Therapy is Expensive

It’s been almost 6 months since I completed my LEJOG and after spending 18 months thinking, planning and living it I still find it hard to believe its over.

I’m like one of those Japanese soldiers they found hiding in the jungle in the late 1940’s who refused to believe that the war had ended. Also, my LEJOG has become my point of reference in time, and I find myself thinking  “I haven’t seen him since LEJOG” or “it wasn’t like this before LEJOG”. Worst of all are the reminders, like my backpack which sits in the same closet I open every day before I go to work.  It mocks me like a ventriloquist’s dummy who refuses to go back in his case. “You’re getting fat!” it screams as I shut the door. “We should really go for a long walk.” “You never take me anywhere!”.

Sure I need help but therapy is expensive. The only sane option is to start planning another trip, even it is at least two years away.

As much as I’d like to plan another walk for 2012 it’s very unlikely I’ll be able to get away until 2013. That gives me plenty of time to mull over my options and to convince family, friends and employers how much better their lives would be if I were several thousand miles away (this is not always as difficult as you might think).

At this point there are a handful of route options messing with my head:

1. A JOGLE or another LEJOG (but using a different route)

A JOGLE is a logical follow-up to a LEJOG but having already done an End to End walk I’m keen to explore other options first.

2. A walk around Ireland

I really haven’t thought this one through but it’s intriguing.  I haven’t visited Ireland since 1983 and it would give me an opportunity to research some of my Irish roots.

3. A walk that includes the entire coast of Wales

I’ve read that the Welsh government has set 2012 as a target date for the completion of a coastal path running around the entire country.  I’ve also read that the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is stunning. I’d love to hear from anyone who has walked this or any other coastal path in Wales.

4. A walk that includes the southern half of the South West Coast path

I enjoyed walking the northern half of the SWCP so much that I’m very keen to walk the southern half.  I could link this walk up with the Welsh coastal walk.

5. A walk that includes the entire Thames Path

Instead of travelling to Penzance I could start from the Thames Barrier in London and then walk to the river’s source in the Cotswolds.  From here it would be a two day walk to Wales and the start of the coastal path.

6. Link a Wales coastal walk to a Coast-to-Coast walk.

At this point I haven’t done any research into walking from Liverpool to St. Bees.  Although I’ve been to the Lakes a couple of times I’ve never visited the coast.  Should the Blackpool Illuminations and Morecambe Bay be added to my bucket list?

I feel better already!  I’m open to other suggestions so please let me know what you think.

If Andy & Alfie are reading this … have you got “Fantasy Footpaths” up and running yet?

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6 thoughts on “Therapy is Expensive

  1. You have described the situation very well steve and so are not alone in missing the trail.

    I have thought about the welsh coast plus the lake district coast looks very attractive.

    An easterly lejog crossing the marlborough/lambourne downs to oxford, the canal north, then across country to York, passing through Edinburgh and then Braemar area over some mountains.

    I have spent most time on a wide coast to coast, St Davids head to Lowestoft, taking in the Brecon beacons, Stratford on avon and Ely (this i have been disscusing with Andy). The breadth of Britain sounds like a nice complement to the length of Britain.

    Best of luck with your plans, i sure look forward to reading the blog of which ever route you choose.

    Cheers J.P.

  2. Hi Steve,

    I am not surprised that you have once again got itchy feet after your challenge of last summer, once you have spent 3 months walking with the freedom it gives you its bound to be difficult to let go. Your initial mullings are all fanstatic and shows what a fanstatic place britain is for walking with an endless variety, and although 2013 sound a long way of it will soon come with 2011 only now days away. Best wishes and have a great xmas and new year.

  3. Hi Andy and Hi John,

    I borrowed the “National Trail Guide: The Thames Path” from the library and am having fun looking it over. I had even more fun when I pulled out a couple of my OS maps and plotted a path from Kemble to Chepstow. When I started linking up minor roads with bridleways and footpaths I became entirely absorbed in the process and for a moment I thought I was back on the trail. Quite a rush actually 🙂

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Cheers,
    Steve

  4. Hi Steve , as yet Fantasy footpaths is still a figment of my imagination! lol
    but will emerge one day hopefully soon!

    to aid you in your route planning may i suggest downloading mobile alas creator

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/trekbuddyatlasc/

    an excellent resource for OS maps right down to 1-25000 scale it allows you to export maps to various android apps and i daresay Iphone too, i currently have about 2 GB of maps on my phone very usefull for weekend walks!
    If I dont comment again before christmas have a good one!

    ps
    my rucksack is also telling me i’m getting fat!

  5. Hi Steve,

    Just discovered your LEJOG blog and spent half the day reading it – and excellent bit of reading it was too. Pity (for you, at least!) that we were away walking when you were heading north, as we could have easily solved your lack of accommodation in Codsall for you!

    As for what next, well after our LEJOG in 2008 we opted for ‘the opposite corners’ in 2010 and walked from Kent to Cape Wrath. Not only did we enjoy the walk a lot (the weather this year did help), but unless I’m suffering from ‘it was always sunny in the old days’ syndrome, remarkably little of it involved roads.

    Of course, LEJOG combined with K2CW has set a trend for ‘the extremities’ series, so in just under 3 months time we’re setting out to walk from Lowestoft to Ardnamurchan (furthest East to furthest West in Britain).

    Whatever you chose to do next, I look forward to reading about it.

    Gayle

    • Hi Gayle,

      Thanks for posting your comments and a Happy New Year too. I’m looking forward to following your East to West walk in three months time and have added a link to your blog. I haven’t read all of your ‘opposite corners’ blog yet but the itinerary is very intriguing so I certainly will!

      I have fond memories of Codsall, well to be honest I have fond memories of the pub at the station in Codsall 🙂 It seems like only yesterday…

      Thanks again and happy walking!

      Cheers,
      Steve

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