By this time, I’ve normally decided which long distance path I’m going to walk next year, but it’s taken me much longer this year. With barely three weeks remaining of 2012 I have finally decided though – just a minute ago!
Since finishing the Skye Trail in May I’ve pretty much had my heart set on returning to the Pennines and re-visiting the Pennine Way, I enjoyed it so much last time it seemed like a great decision. I had other irons in the fire that also meant a return to the Pennine Way would be the right thing to do.
However, as the year progressed I felt I needed to walk somewhere new, somewhere just as remote and challenging as the Pennine Way, but somewhere I’d not been before. The Skye Trail was majestic, but I was using a fixed base of operation for that walk and that left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied, so I also had to return to a continuous linear path.
I have had a route on file for a couple of years now, one I keep dragging out and blowing the dust off of and one that I keep putting off for another year – but this time I won’t be putting it back in the box – I’ll be using it. I’m doing another Coast to Coast crossing!
No, not Wainwright’s C2C again, this time I’m walking Scotland’s official C2C route – the Southern Upland Way.
Just as challenging as the Pennine Way, almost as long, more remote in places (if that is possible) and probably just as quiet if the lack of personal journals on the Internet is anything to go by.
The SUW was originally part of my “Perfect LEJOG” route, but since I had to pare that route back to meet the constraints of reality, the SUW must now be completed in its own right. 2013 seems like the perfect time to do it.
I’ll be carrying all my own gear, for the first time since 2007 on the aborted Offa’s Dyke. There are two reasons for this; a) the baggage courier service costs about £300 and b) I need to train for the LEJOG in 2014 when I’ll have no choice but to carry all my gear. The SUW seems like a good place to test the kit load and look for ways to improve on it.
I won’t be backpacking it though, the route is too long to experiment with that part of the LEJOG planning, so I’ll be finding other ways to hone my skills in that area.
More posts as the planning continues 🙂