My latest walking challenge was through New York which was nice as it is one of the few places I really want to visit before I expire.
The challenge this time was 42km / 26 miles and started at Prospect Park. As always at each place, there is a virtual postcard and I got to learn a lot about each place, so that is a bonus. The medal is like the others, chunky and well made and in a presentation box, but this one glows in the dark, the city skyline glows, so that is a bit of fun.
Prospect Park – Starting Point
Empire Stat Building
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The Museum of Modern Art
The Metropolitan Museum fo Art
World Trade Center
Statue of Liberty – End Point
I am going to do Paris next which is 60km, and as I seem to be doing city walks I may continue with those challenges for now. I would like to do a big challenge like Camino de Santiago which is 819km / 509 miles. Conqueror does Route 66 which is 3669km / 2280 miles but the medal does not look all that good, and Pacer medals are really nice and chunky. I will keep looking out for other challenges.
A few weeks ago we decided to go to my homelands and have lunch in Llanberis. It was such a beautiful day, the sun was out, the sky was blue and we had lakes and mountains to look at, and to round the evening off we had fish, chips and mushy peas which were delicious.
Llyn Padarn is a glacial formed lake and the largest natural lake in Cymru, 105 meters above sea level and surrounded by the slate mountains, so it is quite spectacular. It is however quite cold in the water as both the dogs found out. Mazikeen was first in after seeing something in the water that she thought she could fish out and fell straight into it. When her little head bobbed up out of the water she looked a little shocked. I had to help her out as it was a little too high for her to get out, but she shook herself and carried on as if nothing happened. We were laughing at her doing it when both of them decided to go down one of the boat jetties which stops about 2 feet into the water and there is a drop. Harper was the first to look down at the edge whilst she was paddling about, then decided she could keep waking and went head first in. She was under the water for about 5 seconds and I thought I would have to jump in to get her out and then her head popped up and I pulled her out as she still had her harness on. Mazikeen, completely unperturbed by falling in and also seeing Harper fall in kept walking further out and then she vanished under the surface. I stepped forward ready to wake in and her little head popped up and she was swimming further out then realised and started going to the right to get back to the shore. Second dunking and she was not put off, and in and out the water for most of the day, but she was a little more careful from that point onwards.
After doing the Rome challenge I decided to do the London challenge, 21km. It was very easy and I did it in a couple of days, however, it encouraged me to move more than normal, and who can complain about that.
As with the Rome challenge, there were virtual checkpoints and postcards with information about the places. I took M to London back in 2002 to stay for a week and stayed in Bloomsbury, the hotel was in the middle of the square where Oliver Twist was filmed and the famous scene of “who will buy my beautiful roses”. We had a great time, but M has never been back since. I have been a good few times to see a dental specialist as I sued my old dentist (yes, I won the case).
The checkpoints where:
Starting point, Big Ben
The Regent’s Park
The British Museum
St Paul’s Cathedral
Tower of London
Finishing point, London Eye
I am not too sure which challenge to do next, but there are a few I like the look of, Everest Base Camp – 70km, Laugavegur Trail – 80km, Pyramids of Egypt – 132km, and The Great Wall of China – 300km. Other companies do challenges covering even more miles however, the medals are not as nice and that is one of the main attractions to the challenge, apart from trying to be healthy and increase my fitness.
Back in 2016, I took M to Rome. He had always wanted to go as it was a bit of a dream of his, who was I to deny him this? I, therefore, surprised him with a week trip. We had a great time, we ate great food, drank too much fine red wine, walked what seemed hundreds of miles, needless to say, we had the best time.
I was on Instagram and noticed an advert for a virtual walking challenge around Rome and could not resist. We cannot travel at the moment due to COVID-19, so why not tour the city virtually. The challenge was a limited-time challenge that hit all the major attractions we had visited 5 years ago. The challenge used my Apple Watch to monitor the steps and distance and maps it out where I was in the city with virtual postcards at all the major spots. It was nice to do and brought back more memories of what a great time we had.
At each of the checkpoints and the “postcard’s”, there is a write up about the place giving the history and some interesting facts all with a virtual 360 visit to the site. Once at the end of the challenge I got a certificate and was sent a medal which can be seen below. The medal is really nice and as can be seen, is hinged to reveal another view of the city.
M and I decided to go out for the day since the weather was going to be good. Originally we were going to go to Hebden Bridge, but after seeing the forecast of rain, we drove south-west and over the border into Wales. We first went to Betws-y-coed and had a short walk there before driving through Snowdonia National Park through the mountains and then on to Bala Lake. There is a cafe on the lake where we had coffee and bara brith, and I chatted to an old guy called Dave, who was doing the rounds chatting to everyone there, he was nice, although a little potty and latched on to us after he asked if we were local, and I told him that my family come from Rhuthun. I let the dogs go for a paddle in the lake which is always a big thing for Mazikeen as she heads for ay body of water to swim in.
After that, we headed for the Great Orme where St Tudno’s church is. Saint Tudno is said to have been one of the seven sons of King Seithenyn, whose legendary kingdom Cantref y Gwaelod in Cardigan Bay was submerged by tidal activity. According to the theory, Tudno studied at St. Dunawd’s college in the monastery of Bangor Iscoed, in order to make recompense for the drunken incompetence of his father, which had led to the loss of the kingdom under the waves.
Seeking a place to live out the religious life, Tudno went to the great ancient limestone outcrop of the Great Orme (Cyngreawdr), jutting from the Creuddyn Peninsula, to bring the message of Christianity to its people. He lived initially as a hermit in a small coastal cave with difficult access known as Ogof Llech, which provided protection from the elements, and a source of fresh water from a spring well Fynnon Llech. From this base, he constructed a church. Nothing remains of this 6th-century church building, although the present 12th-century church, dedicated to St Tudno, stands on the same site, and has a continuous history.
It was a lovely day out covering over 250 miles (I love to drive about), nice vistas, food and people.