Day 107 mile 107: Exploring. From the thoroughly unrepresentative sample of people who I happen to have chatted to about this, I am sure that most of us travel past something on a regular basis, be that a road, a book or a doorway and have never had the opportunity to find out what it contains. Well today is one of the days where I took the chance to put that right.
As the Old Mill Road winds its way up the Sychnant Pass around the base of Allt Wen the mountain that boarders one side of the col it crosses and re-crosses the (river) Afon Gyrach. While travelling along this road I have seen a footpath sign across a bridge, pointing in an enigmatic tangent across the contours of the hills. So, today with no real plan or idea where it lead and went that way.
The beauty of running a mile, especially in these days of GPS trackers, is that in a worst case scenario you can go an indicated 0.5m in one direction and then turn around, however today worked out far better than that.
The path started just across the bridge in amongst a number of stone houses with walls and rockery lined with bluebells, before looping behind them and up a flight of steps through deciduous woods choired with pigeons crooning in the warm morning air. The steps eventually gave way to a rocky path and continued to go up, leaving me wondering if; I had inadvertently picked a path that went straight up the mountain, or if I had bitten off more than i could chew, or indeed if a warm-up might have been a good idea!
Just as these ideas were flashing though my head I came to a gate into denser woodland with holly trees on either side. The reddening soil of the path began to flatten out and eventually to slope downwards taking me whistling through the woods past dry stone walls and muddy pools indicating the presence of the water table and an increasing loss (!?) of hight.
I emerged into the daylight of the back of the caravan park. It’s a rather grandiose affair aimed more at the holiday home end of the market rather than a mobile subsistence, leaving me feeling like a bit of a muddy, tousle-haired intruder among the white picket fences and tidy 8ft sections of lawn.
Upon exiting the park I found myself on the road back to the start, about 0.6 of a mile in and on course to make an almost perfect anticlockwise loop. Coming to an uphill section of road I noticed yet another footpath to my left, which seemed to be going roughly the right way and looked a little flatter. I took the chance. It lead me back along the river snaking through woodland and birdsong on a route I never even knew existed let alone had travelled before.
I got back to the start and the meter on my watch read 1.02 miles. Job done, If i had planned that on a map I would probably never have got it that close or had as much fun! All this and within a five minute drive of home 🙂
Today I am feeling a lot better too, it turns out that while Sunday Dinner, a glass of wine and a dose of ibuprofen may be a recipe for a more than slightly funny feeling in the tummy by about 10pm it does finally result in a really good night’s sleep and an massive improvement in the neck strain which has been plaguing me for over a week. All of a sudden it feels as if I could run for the rest of the year without my head actually sheering off in the next 2 minutes! (Obviously this is not medically advisable!)
Thanks for all the support as ever!
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1631.1 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
View more on Strava
Today’s earworm… I seem to be getting a lot of them lately!