Super (duper) Trackstick

Super Trackstick After several days walking and having covered a hundred miles or so, I get back home, look at the map and the photos I have taken, and wonder where on earth have I been exactly?

Well now my wondering is over, by taking a Super Trackstick with me I have a GPS log of where and when I have been (and where I have mistakenly gone off route got lost). It is not perfect but it allows me to review the route, work out how far I have gone (in what time), and where I stopped. Knowing the location of each stop is particularly useful to work out where photos were taken (though I am sure GPS in compact cameras will become standard one day).

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Kent coast from the air, well GoogleEarth

Kent from GoogleEarth - looks like the oilseed rape is in flower! It has been a couple of weeks since I completed my walk around the coast of Kent, and I have just read that Google have just updated their high resolution photographs for Kent. As I write they are on GoogleEarth now, but it is normally a few days before they are on GoogleMaps.

Did they get me? Am I on GoogleEarth?? What are the views like…

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Kendal Mint Cake

kendalmintcakebox.jpg No preparation would be complete without ensuring the emergency rations have been packed. In my case this always includes Kendal Mint Cake.

While not a traditional ‘cake’ this post could be equally at home in the A nice cup of tea and… series, though I feel further testing is required before I put a seal on the best Kendal Mint Cake and perhaps had a chance to visit the various establishments in Kendal (there are currently three companies that produce mint cake).

Kendal Mint Cake is the best combination of sugar, water and peppermint oil to be found, and can only be bettered when the chocolate coated variety is at hand mouth. Due to its high energy content it makes for a very good emergency ration.

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The best socks in the world, probably

smartwoolsocks.jpg I have no affiliation to the makers of these socks, but I am willing to stand up and say they are probably the best socks in the world.

In the past I have tried all sorts: thick socks, two pairs of socks, cushioned sock, but at some point I have always got bad blisters and very sore feet. In the summer they would be very sore and hot, in the winter very sore and cold.

SmartWool socks may look like an ordinary pair of socks from the outside, but it is the inside that counts. Made from the softest Merino sheep wool, the inside is deeply piled – like the most luxuriant deep pile carpet. The fibres wick away moisture, create thousands of little air pockets that regulate the temperature of your feet, and – best of all – resist bacteria! So far I have yet to get any serious blisters from any of the hundreds of miles I have walked while wearing them.

They are so soft and comfortable to wear that I have found a fresh pair are the best way to relax and relieve all foot tension after a long day of walking.

Out of this world

With feet firmly on the ground I wondered if a small webcam could be attached to my old and little used telescope.

Last night I was able to get a couple of reasonable images of the moon, though it was impossible to get anything other than a small blurry blob when focusing at Mars – and those images were quickly discarded.

The Moon - out of this world The Moon - out of this world

I have no particular desire to travel to the moon, I am not particular fan of green cheese and I think a trip to Chedder, Lancashire, Cheshire, Gloucester, Leicester, Emmental, Gouda, or even Edam, might be more fruitful cheeseful.

Day 10 Greenhithe to Dartford

A ship unloading with the Dartford Bridge in the background The Dartford Bridge in the background

Overnight another band of rain had raced through, leaving a trail of heavy showers in its wake. The forecast was not great and the wind was up again. I headed back to Gravesend on the bus and decided to catch a train up to Greenhithe.

I missed out a bit of coast but the map and guide showed it as full of industrial areas and waste ground – not pleasant walking particularly in this weather. From Greenhithe I was able to make it quickly back onto the path and soon the Dartford Bridge was looming above me.
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Rochester – a day off from walking…

With time off for a walk around the town.

Rochester Cathedral Rochester Castle Rochester Castle

The Medway towns of Chatham and Rochester have a long history. Chatham is famous for its historic dockyards, it was once the largest navel base in England (during the time of Charles II) and in 1765 HMS Victory was launched here. Rochester is dominated by its Norman castle and the cathedral – although it has a cathedral Rochester is no longer officially a city due to an administrative oversight in 2002.

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