full steam ahead

After months of preparation, the first day of my 70 mile walk from Bath to Cardiff had arrived.
I was up ridiculously early, I was anxious about sleeping in so I got up at 5.30 to get everything ready.
You might think that all you need for a long distance walk is a good pair of shoes and a map!
Well, I had a good pair of trainers, map not applicable, a brand new pair of trousers, and of course my platypus!
Platypus? Why would you want to lug a monotreme 70 miles, I hear some of you ask!
Well, a platypus is one of a long distance walkers best companions.
Put simply it’s a plastic bag which you put water in, and it has a tube connected to it which you can clip on to your rucksack.
It saves faffing around with bottles of water.
Mum and Chelsea joined us on the first part of the walk, which was fantastic.
Chelly was the star of the show and trotted along with Dot, a withdrawn guide dog who came along with the rehoming officer for Guide dogs Cymru, Leslie.
Also with me was my walking companion and guide dogs community fundraiser Frank Greig, and one of my lovely friends from Calvary church.
We had a lot of fun – and the long distances I’d walked in the last few weeks as part of my training were very useful.
We saw a huge steam engine, part of the Avon Valley railway.
It was called Sappa and was pulled by six coaches.
The first class coaches were named Doris, Martha and Angela.
I love steam engines, especially the smell and sound they make.
It was also a poignant moment for me because we took Dad on a steam train in North Wales for his 80th birthday.
Today would have been his 86th birthday – the reason for starting the walk on this date.
We encountered loads of cyclists of varying degrees of politeness.
When I returned Mum had cooked a delicious meal of salmon and vegies, which I devoured!
After a bowl of rice pudding and a hot bath, I feel tired but happy.
Tomorrow we’re doing another fifteen miles from Bristol to the old Severn bridge.

If you’d like to donate to my justgiving page to name a guide dog after my Dad, please visit:
http://www.justgiving.com/ChelseaTwoJames

You can follow my adventures at:
http://www.twitter.com/nickiandchelly

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