Monthly Miles: October 2020

Reviewing my miles and walks from October 2020.

I find it surprising to think back to where we were six months ago. Still in the grip of a proper Lockdown (unlike the current model) yet with certain restrictions easing, while some (myself included) made a steady return to work.

Yet this time in between has passed. That is significant. Much uncertainty may remain, as we attempt to look forwards. But recognising that time can and will pass is very important, in my opinion.

04/10 – 11.5 miles – Thornbury and the Severn (Brunel)
11/10 – 8 miles – Priddy, Somerset (Weston-super-Walkers)
18/10 – 10.25 miles – Sugar Loaf, Brecon Beacons
25/10 – 12.5 miles – Mendip Hills (Brunel Walking Group)

Total for October 2020 = 43.25 miles

View of Cheddar from the cliffs above the gorge.

Compared to some of my previous months, this one may look a little bit low. No trips away anywhere and, with the daylight hours having diminished, opportunities for post-work evening walks have extinguished until some time next year.

October 2020 was the first month in which I didn’t attempt a single run, after having started the habit back in May. Initially, I was resting a foot problem. After that, I felt my confidence drop and shatter on the floor. Thoughts of pounding pedestrianised pavements in the dark… I know most other runners and joggers do this but I was yearning for those quiet roads and the occasional field.

On the approach to Sugar Loaf in South Wales.

Slowly, I’m looking to restart my running habits through November. I have a few ideas on how to ease my way in to it. I bought running trousers (not leggings) to overcome my excuse of it being ‘too cold’ for shorts… Although I’ve not worn them once. We’ll have to wait and see how the month pans out!

Somewhere between Thornbury and the River Severn.

In the world of walking, it started off with the attendance of someone else’s group walk. Foul weather and miles of mud didn’t make for anything like a bad day.

View over the flooded Somerset Levels from above Wookey Hole.

Then I took my Weston group out for our first proper day walk since March! Limited to a total number of six. I wasn’t to know that this would be our last walk until December – at the earliest – thanks to the introduction of what I’ve dubbed “Unlockdown”… Many people are still travelling to work and school. What’s mostly affected is leisure. Our social lives. Wales is emerging from its own “Firebreak” lockdown, where residents were served with a limit on how far they could travel from home…

But in England, we’ve not seen such restrictions. Dick could drive from London to the Lake District for the day – and probably has done!

On Sugar Loaf, looking over the Black Mountains.

A personal highlight was the day spent in South Wales with two friends. We’d been talking about doing Sugar Loaf for a few years. I’ve been up there a few times but they’d not been there once. It was great to be able to introduce them to it and share my first venture over in to Wales since December.

Sugar Loaf from the Deri ridge.
Leading Brunel Walking Group up to Beacon Batch on Mendip.

Before the month came to an end, I took Brunel out for only the second time this year. Another good day with a group of people.

Current total for 2020 = 625.75 miles

An alternative route down to Abergavenny!

Thanks for reading.

Author: Olly Parry-Jones

I live in Weston-super-Mare, close to the Mendip Hills in Somerset and I enjoy time spent outdoors, whether that's walking, camping or backpacking. My day job involved making furniture from recycled wood (I'm a furniture maker and carpenter by trade). I have two blogs: Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking) Walks With Olly (walking, camping and kit) You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My second YouTube channel is titled 'Walks with Olly'.

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