Keiron - August 20th 2018

A week in Italy, the land of pizza and gelato was always going to threaten the waistline and the walking fitness I'd built up over the past few months. Yet, despite succumbing to the food temptations of Venice and Lake Garda my walking regimen was unrelenting. We averaged around twelve miles a day which was a good effort considering it was thirty degrees plus most days.

Venice with its winding streets and waterways is almost wholly pedestrianised and exploring it requires a lot of time on your feet. Obviously, you don't realise how far you're walking when browsing through shops and wandering round the islands of Murano and Burano. I'd been to Venice before but had forgotten just what a high energy destination it was. Through the day at least.

Lake Garda was a place I'd longed to visit. Sirmione was our base, a picturesque peninsula at the southern end of the lake. Monte Baldo, loomed large on its eastern shores. Its peak cloaked in cloud giving it a foreboding presence. 

Many people reach the top via cable car from the lake shore town of Malcesine or walk from Malcesine to San Michelle around 600 metres up the mountain along one of the many trails snaking their way upwards and then hop on the cable car after a drink and a bite in one of the cafes. 

Despite concerns over my partner, Catherine's knee, we set out to do all of it knowing it was good practice for the Hadrian Hundred and for my upcoming trip to Everest Base Camp. 

After a solid four hours of uphill graft, we reached the top. Catherine's knee had held up, just and I was grateful for the shade of the trees as the sun beat down mercilessly. Our time at the top was short unfortunately as we needed to get a cable car back down but we stayed long enough to appreciate the alpine views and enjoy the grandeur of the lake.

On returning home my attention turned to the 50 mile qualifier which still needs completing if the goal of the Hadrian Hundred can be achieved. I am looking for a walking buddy to keep me company though ultimately I will do it by myself if needs be as you always talk to people along the way and find someone with whom you have a compatible walking pace. 

The Red Rose is looking enticing and a decision about that will need to be made very soon. Anyone with thoughts or tips on it please feel free to share them. I'd be grateful.

But with more miles in the legs this past weekend along the Cleveland Way, I feel physically and emotionally in a good place and ready to go. A more frugal diet is meant to right the wrongs of Italy but we'll see how long that will last.

I'm hoping to do Scafell Pike next week and hopefully I'll be able to announce the qualifier in my next blog. So until then I hope you all enjoy what remains of the summer.