Category Archives: walking

A Very Long Walk…

After walking the 12 miles from Downham Market to Kings Lynn along the Fen Rivers way.

DSCF7754I thought it would be a good idea to walk the rest of the Fen Rivers Way

So last weekend I met up with my friend from the LDWA to walk the remaining ร‚ย 33 miles from Cambridge to Downham Market.

33 miles is nothing to Jayne who often walks 50 miles and has done 10 of the 100 mile challenge walks, this year she finished it in 36 hours… ร‚ย  totally amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

We set off at around 7am, the path along the River Cam bustling with runners, with all the chatter we just flew along reaching Ely in no time at all, where we enjoyed tea and cake at Peacocks Tearooms.

10 Mile Bank

10 Mile Bank

Then we happily set off for Downham Market, it was a nice enough walk to Littleport but the stretch from littleport ร‚ย along 10 mile bank was hell….. you could see Downham Market in the distance but we never seemed to get any closer as the river twisted and turned ๐Ÿ™

Finally 12 hours after setting off we arrived in Downham Market,10 hours of walking 2 hours of breaks and amazingly we kept a constant pace and never slowed down !

Total miles for the day was 36 the most I have ever walked… ร‚ย I suffered by having blisters deep under the skin on the bottom of my heels ๐Ÿ™ ร‚ย but no aching legs ๐Ÿ™‚ I was rewarded with another fitbit badge for doing 0ver 75,000 steps in one day, I actually did 77,910 ๐Ÿ™‚

I was also told by another long distance walker that my blisters were badges of honour !!

A straight forward walk

Finally I left my bike at home on Sunday and went for a walk.

Helen had mentioned she would like to start walking so we had arranged to walk some of the Fen Rivers Way, an easy straight walk along the river.

Screenshot 28:08:2013 09:20

Originally I was going to do it from Kings Lynn to Downham Market but Geoff suggested I should try it the other way for a change and walk Home.

Fen Rivers Way

The day started off looking grey and dull but by the time we had arrived in Downham Market the sun was out and it continued to be a beautiful Sunny walking day.

With lots of chatter we soon arrived at the Church Ruins near Wiggenhall St Peter, where we sat for a while enjoying the view and peace.

Church Ruins at Wiggenhall St Peter

Soon on our way again we could see Kings Lynn in the distance and before long ร‚ย was sat outside Marriott’s Warehouse on the Quay side enjoying coffee….

Kings Lynn

I have planned to meet up with my LDWA friend next weekend and we are going to walk the Fen Rivers Way from Cambridge and see how far we can get in a day….

GEA Day 12…Largo Scaffaolo to Abetone.

A sad day as this was going to be our last walking day along the GEA.

So glad we managed to get this far as this was a totally exhilarating day, fantastic walking along a mountain ridge with nice climbs and lovely wild flowers, with no tree’s to be seen ๐Ÿ™‚

Luckily we had great weather as this would be a hard walk to do in bad weather due to the long exposed stretches.

Very sad to be finishing just as the scenery really changes and becomes more Alp like but maybe we shall come back next year and finish the walk, although it would have to be in July/August to catch the Rifugio’s open.

We caught up with our French friends In Abetone, where we had a beer together and said our goodbye’s before we caught a late afternoon bus down to Pistoria.

Very happy to have completed 15 of the 23 stages of the GEA walk !

GEA Day 11…..Pracchia to Largo Scaffaiolo

We enjoyed our stay at Hotel Melini,and was looking forward to todays walk as the books says this stage marks an exciting change in scenery, which means we must be leaving the tree’s behind at last.

Hotel Melini

I was a bit concerned about tonight’s Rifugio as it says open from mid June, so phone calls were made and we were assured someone would be there to let us in at 6pm. So we happily set off on our way, in beautiful sunshine, expecting a great day.

It was a tough hilly start but before long and for the first time in 11 days we actually left the tree’s behind and had the WOW feeling for a short while.


We made good time, even enjoying a long lunch in the sun, reading our books at the closed Rifugio Montanaro, where we caught up with our French friends once again ๐Ÿ™‚

Shortly after lunch the mist came down and the sun went in making the last of the walk cold and windy. We arrived at Largo Scaffaiolo and Rifugio Duca degli Abruzzi at 3pm, so we had 3 hours to kill before it was due to be opened for us, it was not going to be an enjoyable wait !

The French guys had set up camp nearby at a very cold and damp hut, they gave us tea and helped pass away some of the time then an Italian cyclist arrived at 5pm hoping to see the Rifugio open too.

By 6.30 I was beginning to worry,but the Italian guy made some calls and we were assured the Rifugio would be open, luckily the Rifugio owner turned up at 7.30 pm, by which time I was shivering with cold and very hungry but soon there was a roaring wood burner, lovely hot water,food, wine and all ended well.


Our walk today took us high enough to come across traces of left over snow…



GEA Day Ten…Rifugio Pacini to Pracchia

After a very basic breakfast we set off on our way in lovely sunshine once again,although with tired legs after yesterdays long walk.


Quite a bit of road walking today and we lost the GEA a few times but thanks to having the GPX files we found our way back onto the path eventually.

In Cascina di Spedaletto we came across a boy herding his sheep so we sat and watched him a while.

Then we carried on to Passo della Collina , of course the bar/pizzeria just before the village, mentioned in the guide book is closed, although tables are still in the garden so we enjoyed our lunch here.

Much to our amazement when we arrived in Passo della Collina we did find bar Antica Locanda open and enjoyed Ice cream and a drink even if the owner was miserable,later we found out he had refused to sell bread to the French guys,telling them he had none,but then after they had bought other things he suddenly discovered some bread ! We did find the photos in the bar interesting.

On the last stretch into Pracchia we came across an old land slide,and filled our water bottles up at Acqua Silva a mineral water bottling plant, that had a water source for all to enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚


We half expected to be at another Posto Tappa tonight but we found the lovely Hotel Melini open, where we enjoyed a hot shower and the best Italian food of the whole trip.

GEA Day Nine…Passo della Futa to Rifugio Pacini

My diary says this was a perfect day ๐Ÿ™‚

The hotel owner gave us a lift back up to Passo Della Futa, he had also booked the Rifugio for tonight too so we got off to a great start and had nothing to worry about apart from enjoying the walk.

It was a long walk today but so enjoyable as we were often out the tree’s walking along a nice mountain ridge.

We stopped at Montepiano had coffee and lunch, stocked up with some supplies from a nice bread shop and we did notice that the hotel Roma, recommended in the book was closed and up for sale. Then we set off on the 2nd stage of this 20 miler

At Tabernacolo there was a huge shrine cum chapel that some thoughtful soul had fitted out with armchairs so weary walkers could rest there legs ! ร‚ย they were much needed, because as usual it was a relentless up and down day.

Finally we arrived at Rifugio Pacini to find our French friends here too, they made me feel real good by saying I had done well as a very tough day ๐Ÿ™‚

Rifugio Pacini

Dorm rooms, no hot water and a nice if basic meal enjoyed with our french friends and as you can see after a day out drying in the sun Geoff’s camera is now working again ๐Ÿ™‚

GEA Day Eight… Passo del Giogo to Passo Della Futa

This morning we decided to wait around for the camera shop to open,then Geoff could get a new camera card and hopefully his camera would work again, but alas the card didn’t work and we then missed the bus back up to the pass.

The option was a 3 hour wait for another bus or 30 euro for a taxi, as time was getting on and it was an estimated 6 hour walking day, we begrudgingly paid for a taxi, but at least tonights hotel was booked.


Although the book describes todays walk as taxing in places we found it a very nice days walk, we even found a nice freshly cut meadow with a bench to eat our lunch at while the thunder stayed in the distance.


Arriving at della Futa after 4 hours of walking and as usual the Hotel at della Futa was open for beer but no rooms,only at week-ends!ร‚ย We took a look around the WW2 cemetery where over 30,000 German soldiers are laid to rest,which we found kind of strange.


Then it was another mile or so down the road to Traversa and hotel lolanda, where we had a warm welcome with beer and nibbles (which was unusual ).


After we had been there 20 mins or so 4 other English walkers turned up, they were walking from Bologna to Florence using a company called InnTravelร‚ย so a pleasant evening was spent chatting about walking ๐Ÿ™‚

GEA Day Seven…Casaglia to Passo del Giogo

After a good 9 hours sleep in the walkers refuge we returned the keys to the village shop, enjoyed coffee and brioche for breakfast then set off on a short days walk, a short day due to accommodation.

Nice brioche here!

An enjoyable steep start to the day, enjoyable as it was not in the tree’s, but it soon started to rain and became misty so when we did find the view points there was nothing to see.

where are the views??

Nice wide easy walking track to Passo del Giogo , where we found the hotel shut , most annoyingly the owners were there but as in most cases, at this time of year, only want to open at weekends ๐Ÿ™

Shut Hotel

So we caught the bus down into Scarperia, found a hotel, dried out our boots and had a restful afternoon.

Geoff’s Camera stopped working today we think its due to getting damp so that needs drying out too ๐Ÿ™