It’s probably not escaped your notice that we’re now well into February and I’ve yet to publish my plans for 2018. Indeed I’ve yet to publish much of anything. I’d love to say that we’ve been on some crazy mad adventure which has kept me away from the interwebs but I’m afraid the truth is rather more mundane. I’ve been using these past few weeks to simply recharge following the hectic end to last year, concentrating on a few of my other interests which had been sorely neglected of late. The end result is that life feels a whole lot more balanced right now leaving us perfectly poised to crack on with making 2018 another year to remember.
So what will we be getting up to? A lot hopefully but as always these plans are not set in stone and if previous years have taught me anything it’s that they’ll almost certainly change. Even so it’s nice to have a few goals in mind though it’s hard to imagine how we could cram in more than we did over the last twelve months. Nevertheless, we’ll try! A couple of these you may recognise as hangovers from previous such ramblings and one in particular has the potential to change our adventuring fundamentally and open up a whole host of new opportunities. Appetite’s suitably whetted? Then let’s get into this.
Walk the Gower Coast Path
I make no excuses for including a circumnavigation of the entire Gower coast for the third year running because it’s the one walk which keeps bubbling away in my imagination. All I need are three days of semi-decent weather and those forty six miles will finally be conquered. We’ve probably walked just about all of the route in sections by now but that feeling of accomplishment at doing the lot in one go is very appealing indeed. I still think we’ll probably tackle each day via the use of two cars as public transport is a hassle I could just do without, unless of course we choose to wild camp. My experience to date where canvas shelters combine with exposed coastlines however tends me to consider caution in that regard but we’ll have to wait and see.
This is the big one. For a while now I’ve been looking longingly at those who have done self-build campervan conversions thanks to various Facebook groups and the ever expanding community of Van Life vloggers on YouTube. The sense of freedom on offer and opportunity to explore more of this great country appeals to everything that I and this blog stand for and this year, we’re finally taking the plunge. All being well we should be the proud owners of our very first van come the end of February and then the fun can really start. I’m planning on doing most if not all of the conversion myself and will likely be making a series of videos as we go. Probably less of an instructional nature and more the “don’t make the same mistakes I did” kind of thing. Of course the real joy will be found in actually getting out in the van be that for weekends or longer breaks. A trip over to Norfolk is already on the cards even if it’s just a case of chucking our sleeping bags in the back and roughing it. The whole idea excites me massively and I can’t wait to take delivery and get cracking. I will of course be blogging the whole thing as well so stay tuned. I have a feeling that this is going to be very good indeed.
This will be our second year taking part in the walk 1000 miles challenge having racked up a little over that during 2017. We found the whole thing a great way of banishing lazy evenings in front of the sofa and reaped the rewards in terms of increased fitness and a general uplift in mental wellbeing. The benefits of getting outdoors are starting to be better understood and more widely publicised and I for one can vouch for them wholeheartedly. Our mileage target? More than last year for sure but I’m happy to let nature take its course and we’ll see where we end up in twelve month’s time.
Last year saw our first full season with the kayaks and we managed to spend some great days out paddling. Exploring a waterfall in Tobermory Bay comes to mind as an immediate highlight and I want more of those kind of experiences in 2018. We’ve already scoped out a few new spots which look ideal for relative novices such as ourselves and this dovetails nicely with the arrival of our van. Using the car has so far been ok but all that extra space and larger haulage capacity will prove invaluable in us getting out a whole lot more. Just as soon as the sea warms up a little of course.
Explore New Walks
If you didn’t catch ITV’s “Britain’s Favourite Walks” last week then you missed out big time. Two hours spent counting down the public’s top 100 routes culminating in an unexpected winner (I won’t say which just in case you want to catch up). Inevitably I found myself ticking off those we’d done as the evening wore on and finished with a respectable tally of thirty. That does of course mean there’s plenty that we’ve yet to tackle and I’d love to get a few more under our belts before the year is out.
There’s more than enough there to keep us going, especially when you consider that birding is still high on my list of priorities as is Geocaching, cycling and camping. All tie in perfectly with the above and frankly, I can’t wait to get going. Daylight hours are starting to lengthen, temperatures are rising (let’s count today’s snow as an exception) and I’m itching to get out exploring once more. I hope you’ll stick around for the ride as 2018 promises to be another epic year of adventure.