So 7 months ago, a 3/4 mile walk, would take me a fair few days to recover from.
Move forward 7 months, and last weekend. I survived Marzi's event in Llanberis, up and down the Slate Trail.
On Saturday I coped with both walks at the Westies Party in the Park. Yesterday I was the Geocaching Walk Leader, for the Conway Walking Festival, Introduction to Geocaching. The main Walk Leader being Alun a Conway County Council Countryside Service Ranger, and aided by Martin-justthejob.
So having arranged to meet Martin and Alun at 16:45, I arrived just before 14:00. The plan being to visit
And check all 4 caches, to make sure they were ok, before the walking group found them.
The first cache at the bottom of the hill behind the Fairy Glen pub, the middle two a stiff climb up a very steep hill. Before dropping virtually all the way back to the road for the last one.
So cache one was quickly found, then the climb started to the second one, I power walked up the hill. That in it's self a major achievement. Part way up, I happened to notice a barely visible path heading straight up the hill to the second cache. As I was pressed for time, and did not know, how much would be added on by following the path. I powered directly up the hill, nearly taking a couple of dives, where the foliage hid that the path dropped away.
On arriving at the cache site, I was horrified to find it in the remains of a Dry Stone Wall, so Having put a new log book in, I posted a Reviewer Note in the log book, stating that I would be Disabling the cache, and requiring the owner to move it out of the Dry Stone Wall.
So on to number 3, which was the highest point of the walk. I happened to spot a Sheep Trail heading in the right direction, which short cutted the main path. I followed this into and out of a dip, and meet up with the main path, with a further up hill walk to the cache location.
Now having read the hint, which did not make sense, I approached the cache location, and a big wet fish gave me a smack across the chops. And a eureka moment, and I could understand the hint. Cache in hand log signed and a New Log book put in. Off to number 4
That was just 245m away, but down a virtually straight drop.
At this point the main path split, going up towards the Jubilee tower, or The North Wales Path heading down hill. As this looked to be going in the correct direction, I took that. Only to suddenly discover that I was over 600m away from the cache. I decided to proceed downwards and when a path heading down to the houses and road appeared, I took that, this put me on a path heading back towards the cache, running at the back of the houses. the cache at that point about 1km away.
I followed this path, at one point a couple sat on their back door step, pointed out the upwardly going path I need to take, to head towards the cache, and the Fairy Glen pub, which I had told them I was heading for.
So after a bit of a scramble, I made my way on to the path where the cache was, only for my GPSr to be pointing 22m up a steep slope, the Hint mentioning the roots of a tree.
So dumping my Bergen on the path, I scrambled up, and searched a number of trees. Running out of time. I called it a day. And ended up coming down the slope backwards, on my hands and feet, sliding all the way down.
Back to the car, and Martin was sat waiting for me, Alun soon turned up. The whole route took me around 2 hours.
I found out at this point, Martin had walked the route Saturday, and had also made the same mistake over routing I had, and also DNF'd the fourth cache. Alun and Peter from Edge of Wales, who set the route, had also DNF'd it, when they walked the route to do the Risk Assessment. [now remember the 4 of us DNF'd it]
Peter had supplied the loan units for the walk, 2 etrex's [which I've used before] 3 geckos [which I've never used before] and 2 Etrex 10's, which I'd never even seen before.
We headed up to the Fairy Glen pub to meet the attendee's, where Alun logged everyone attending in, a total of 16 people, including a family with a 4 year old, and a family with a 4 month old.
I arranged for everyone to go to the First cache, as there was a large grassed area there, where I could give the talk about Geocaching, about how to safely use a GPSr, and about staying together as a group.
I had all the GPSr's powered up, and individually talked people through using them. And watched as they found the first cache.
We all then headed of up the hill to the second cache. Where once found, the group made their way to the third cache. Which was quickly found
On to cache number four, and we took a shorter route, which involved a Sheep Trail. For those who took the long route on the first Celestrial Bar Event, will remember th point along the track with the steep drop. Which threw me for a six. Well this track was narrower, had a longer steeper drop, and I coped with it well.
At the cache location [now at this point, remember I suggested you remember something?] there was a Master Class in finding a cache, by a Four Year Old.
Log Book signed, so both Martin and I could claim the find, and we all made our way back to the road. At which we said Good Bye to everyone, who had had a great time. Collected the GPSr's. and headed back to our cars.
Time back at the car was around 21:00. I stopped at McD's Abergele for a Sweet Chilli Chicken Snack wrap, an a free latte, with a voucher.
Before driving to Rhudlian Nature Reserve Car Park to eat it. Once refreshed, I decided to go and find the cache Mike had just relocated. But horrors, I'd somehow deleted all the caches in the area off Maggie Magellan. So plan B, break out the phone. The cache was spotted as I walked in. Log signed and about to put it back, when a loud and very boisterous group of Teenagers, walked past on the other side of the foliage. So I had to wait until they had gone past and crossed the road before replacing it and heading home.
So 7 months of support has made a huge difference, and the results are evident. 7 months ago I'd have struggled to do all 4 caches, never mind Power Walking up to them, then repeating the route. I would not have had the legs to get out the car and go and find Mike's cache afterwards.
It is amazing what 7 months can change, I set myself a goal of One cache a week, that not to include Events. The cache of the week, had to be one I'd walked to, no hopping out of the car, sign the log and hop back into the car. I've been doing Hi Intensity Training, 3-4 ties a week. This means 2 minutes of warm up, then 30 seconds of Burpee's at a all out pace, I minute of rest, 30 seconds all out, I minute rest, 30 seconds all out. The emphasis being on the 30 seconds all out period, you have to push yourself to the maximum of your ability.
With the weekly Geocaching walk, the regular HIT, and above all, the support of my friends, I have dropped the Insulin down from 55 units, to 35 units. And I have lost over a Stone. And have gained in stamina and strength.