I discovered something about my GPS last night which has helped me enormously today. Up until now I’ve been relying on Google Maps on my iPhone to plot routes when road walking, primarily because it has the feature where you can drop a pin on any road and you can see visually if the road is adequate for walking, i.e footpaths, verges, or toepaths. But after tinkering with the features on my GPS I came across a menu which allows you to change your activity to recreational hiking, rather than say driving or pedestrian. I chose my first destination as ‘Bromsgrove’ and it provided me with a journey planner which not only picked out roads which were worthy for walking, but also lessened my journey time by 5 miles by routing me through public foothpaths and canal trails to cut between main ‘A’ and ‘B’ road arteries. It was a bit like a treasure hunt constantly having to refer back to the GPS, usually when I’d completely missed turnoffs or when seldomly used footpaths were overgrown. More importantly, the battery only depleted 25% of it’s power for a full days use. Had it been a sunny day it would not have been too much of a problem journey wise, but with the recent deluge most paths were a quagmire of mud and nettles. The rain today seemed to be the only constant.
I can no longer feel my feet from the arch up to my toes, so, in essence, they no longer hurt. I’m not totally convinced this is a good thing, but from what I’ve heard and read it’s quite natural. In fact, everything is working well, so well that when I’m not walking it’s like my body questions: ‘why not?’.
I had every intention of visiting the village/town? of Bromsgrove but the trail came out too far from the centre and it would have taken a half hour to walk in. I took my break beside the train tracks and just watched trains whizzing by for an hour and ended up falling asleep in the rain. Thankfully, I was waterproofed from head to toe.
After arriving at Worcester at 4pm I was buzzing with the fact I would not have to walk alongside traffic for another 3 days. It’s my birthday tomorrow and all I’ve been wishing for is just one clear day without rain where I can walk in shorts and a t-shirt the whole day and enjoy the British countryside. Looking at the weather forecast for tomorrow – I may just get my wish.