I was feeling a bit aimless again after last week’s Long Mynd overnight bivvy and sat down on Tuesday determined to dream up another micro-adventure to tackle in the very near future. What I came up with was a long walk. A very long walk, one requiring another overnight bivvi. Specifically, I thought it would be fun to undertake a point-to-point walk that takes in the highest and most significant peaks in Shropshire. This would take Manstone Rock on Stiperstones as a start point and continue through Pole Bank on the Long Mynd, Titterstone Clee Hill, Brown Clee Hill (Shropshire’s highest point) and, finally, The Wrekin. A walk of some 53 miles to be completed in two stages: 20 miles on a Friday afternoon (starting straight after work) followed by an overnight bivvi and the remaining 33 miles the next day.
Once again I approached my half-crazed Italian friend as my potential partner-in-crime: “If you don’t do it”, I explained, “then I’ll just have to take monkey along instead“. To my surprise, he not only agreed but announced that the route just wasn’t tough enough. In his opinion the route needed to circle back to Stiperstones and be completed non-stop with only short breaks rather than an overnight bivvi. This would increase the overall distance to over 70 miles!
I was flabbergasted at first and presented him with all sorts of reasons why this was either impossible or highly undesirable. Then I got to thinking about something I’d read in Ranulph Fiennes’ autobiography: at the age of 59, and only 3 months after a heart attack and double bypass operation, Fiennes ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. If he could manage that then surely I could manage this?
I contacted my friend again and 24 hours later my next micro-adventure is a done deal: 75 miles in 36 more-or-less non-stop hours. Absolutely bonkers.
Time to stock up on blister plasters methinks…