As a preparation, I’m printing out Google maps’s walking descriptions together with someone’s blog entry on walking from Leagrave to Hatfield (that person got lost). The weather forecast promises a strong thunderstorm late at night, but some sun, breeze and pleasantness for the entire day tomorrow. This is looking good! Google maps truly is a sweet classic for uncomplicated walks: I have used them for hitchiking from Tallinn to Poznan, and for general directions in Gujarat where the actual subcontinent was otherwise the only reference point I could point to on the globe.
In my mind, this photo translates to meters of maps (old and new), scrolls (only old), itineraries pinned, guidebooks consulted, route options chosen, weather reports studied, diaries underlined, notes taken (in different colours). Some part of me sees my great plan as an A4 sheet with a calendar for the coming months drawn onto it. Some part of me sees it as described in the first sentence.
One needs a vision, right?
I shall be doing the Lea Valley Walk on July 17, 18, 19 and 20. Do not know yet whether there will be fellow-walkers on this trip, though.
The planned time and outline for the walk is currently this:
– FRIDAY, JULY 17: walking from Leagrave to Hatfield (roughly 20 miles)
– SATURDAY, JULY 18: walking from Hatfield to Broxbourne (roughly 16 miles)
– SUNDAY, JULY 19: walking from Broxbourne to Lea Bridge Road (roughly 13 miles)
– MONDAY, JULY 20: walking from Lea Bridge Road to Limehouse Basin (4.8 miles)
If I won’t get lost, the towns en route shall be: Luton, Harpenden, Wheathampstead, Welwyn/Hatfield, Hertford, Ware, Hoddesdon, Cheshunt and Waltham Abbey. In Greater London, the walk goes through Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
And for a ceremonial start to all of this, I’ll just… go for a walk. Nothing extreme (oh, how I long for a day when I could call something “extreme walking” and then choke at my own near-twattish copywriting). It will be a walk abundant in great scenery, unforgettable adventures, new sights and budget-friendly entertainments, not to mention the summer weather in all its forms and glory. Um… wait.
What I’ll actually do is the Lea Valley Walk. And it will incorporate some of the above keywords, but probably not all. Never say never, though. The Lea Valley Walk is a long distance walk covering roughly 50 miles (80 km), starting where the River Lea starts (not very far from the Luton airport) and ending in the Thames at Limehouse. Amongst others, the walk passes an agreeable number of towns and valleys, many locks on the river/canal and trendy London suburbs. There is also semi-proper nature involved.
I know that for now and for the next year I won’t have the time or means to go off on long expeditions. That’s why I’m doing everything I can very close to home. Like setting traps for squirrels in my garden for that close-to-home bushcraft experience.