"The best-laid schemes o' mice an men
Gang aft agley"
I might be mad but I have a plan, a schedule of where I'm going to be every day of the E4 walk (attached to this link). Although it's almost certain to go wrong, it's necessary for the people who want to join me (my wife, Christine for example) to plan their journeys and book leave.
I'm now pretty certain about the route and the stop-overs. The main issue has been about rest days, how many to take and where. There is a lot of conflicting advice on this. Some people saying I should stop on a regular basis (every 2 weeks for example), while others have said "crack on" and build up contingency to cope with the things that will inevitably go wrong.
My schedule combines both approaches (typical). It's got 10 stop-overs in places that are accessible and where it should be possible to do some essentials, getting my hair-cut for example. I'm planning to take two days in Tarragonna because it looks such a like a nice place and there is lots to see.
If all goes to plan I should be in Budapest by the 8th of September, which is a couple of weeks earlier than I anticipated when I started planning. I want to get well past the Alps by August, so I have two to three weeks contingency.
I've been particularly encouraged by Nat Severs' experience on his walk around the UK coastline (great blog by the way). Nat describes how he struggled at the beginning with 20 miles a day, but after a while found 30 miles easy. I know Nat is 30 years younger that me, but I'm not carrying anywhere near as much as he did, and only rarely will have to do 30 miles.
Stamina, I think, is one the attributes you can hold onto as you get older (my memory went years ago). On my recent trip to Nepal, there was a big American who, at 67, played with the Kanchenjunga, and who, a couple of years ago, climbed Aconcagua in Argentina, which is just shy of 7,000 metres.
Well the first person I need to convince is myself, and I have a plan!
I will get to:
- Alacala la Real by the 14th of March;
- Cazorla on the 21st;
- Montanejos on the 18th of April;
- Tarragonna on the 29th of April;
- Carcassonne on the 21st of May;
- Malataverne on the 8th of June;
- Grenoble on the 18th of June;
- Konstanz on the 13th of July;
- Salzburg on the 31st of July;
- Kozeg on the 21st of August;
- Budapest on the 8th of September.
Of course all the things I will miss while I'm away are starting to become apparent. Perhaps the best one will be the dodgy start my team usually makes to the football season - by mid-September, the mighty Spurs will be all guns blazing.
|Budapest in September|
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