Sunday 2 June 2019

2. My Kilimanjaro Training - 2 months in - Saturday Walkers Club - Holmwood - Leith Hill - Gomshall


Thanks for dropping in to look at how my Kilimanjaro trainings going. With 5 months still to go I've needed to branch out nice and early to practice walking in much tougher terrain if I'm going to get fit to take on the big mountain!

This summer is going to be all about walking, walking and more walking! at least two/three days a month, so what better time to start than a good spring walk out in the wilds of the rolling Surrey hills of England. 

So I began seeking out different places to get some hill walking in around London and came to know about the Saturday Walkers Club which organises free country walks about an hour or so by train from Central London. Feeling that it would be nice to venture into new territory to get some hill walking in, the walk would take us 17km from Holmwood through the Surrey Hills to Gomshall up 294 metres of the wooded hill to Leith Tower - one of the highest points in the Surrey Hills and the South East of England, couldn't beat that for a bit of uphill practice!

Here's a mid walk video from the top of Leith Hill Tower....

By my true heart, I am a true explorer, and the nice thing about having to get outdoors to do this Kili training is that it has renewed my sense of adventure going on long expeditions out in the country - something I haven't done too much of, except when I was travelling or back when I was doing my Duke of Edinburgh Award at school. I feel very grateful and fortunate to be able to have the health and opportunity to do Kilimanjaro in the first place so training for it has forced me back into the fresh air of the great outdoors again and seek out long and challenging hikes to get myself in shape and broken in, aswell as meeting some other active and interesting people along the way.

Its also really good for the soul!

The walk started in Holmwood, Surrey traversing over railway tracks and steady uphill fields towards lofty Leith Hill. My strategy was to practice hiking slowly with 3 litres of water at the back of the group coming across really cute little country treasures....

Very Beatrix Potter.....

Of course hiking slowly behind a walking group didn't really work as me and a South African girl Tarryn found our selves marvelling at the scenery at our own pace and losing the entire group!

Not a complete disaster though, fortunately we had the walking directions printed out but putting it into practice was a different matter especially in the thick of the woods. We were pre-warned about the climb up Leith Hill involving a bit of scrambling but this was exactly the sort of stuff I needed to practice so everything uphill all of a sudden became very appealing! (Don't think I had everyone else's vote on that one). 

At the end of May, the bluebells are out and sweeping across the spreading foliage of the woodland

Slowly making way up to the Leith Hill Tower

Made it! Top of Leith Hill overlooking the North Downs 294 metres high!

 But what goes up, must come down and Tarryn and I found ourselves on are own again both clashing our heads together to get ourselves down the hill to 'explore' through the woods and attempt to navigate our way out of them girl scout style using our paper directions, eventually finding the village pub on Friday Street to have a good sit down!

What I'm starting to like about these walks is the explorations you can go on, into places you never would think to go or even knew existed in the Surrey countryside, serenaded by trilling birdsong or the rustling of bunny rabbits. You start to see once you get out of the big cities, what beautiful green picturesque country we have to explore in England with so much flora and fauna and you never quite know what you'll come across along the way.     

Real scare family!

With stops and a slow steady place we were close to the village of Gomshall after about five hours on the trail, having caught up with some of the straggling group walkers to pass through the sprinkled fields of gold.

Mid Hike video walking through the Fields of Gold.

We eventually finished our walk late afternoon in Gomshall village where I took the opportunity to reward my self with a gorgeous cup of Rooibos tea (pronounced Roy-bosss by my South African walking partner) and smashed 17km under our belts and enough walking miles (10.4 actually) under our muddy boots!

So in all I had a great day practicing the long hikes ahead, we all have to start somewhere I guess and will be on the look out for more challenging journeys to embark on outside the gym.

Oh and in case you forgot (or didn't hear it) I'm collecting any kind donations for me getting myself up Kili for charity Action for M.E who help those affected by the oppression of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My sister has suffered from the illness for over 10 years which means she can't be out and about prancing around golden fields like myself!. If everyone could donate just £1 think how much help thousands of sufferers would get from the charity in making life still worthwhile!

If you'd like to help with anything you could afford - please see my Just Giving page to donate in easy safe steps!

Thank you for being fabulous reading my blog on my Kilimanjaro Training journey and much gratitude to you if you are able to help me with a donation to Action for M.E. 

See ya next time where I'll be heading out into summer days tackling the Box Hill 8 Mile Hike, armed with my sports mask!

RealPeople. Real Disease. Real M.E 

#MEAwareness #RealME

Training Hike Distance  10.4 miles (16.7km) 

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