Gosh! Half way through Walkfest already!
Doesn't time fly! It seems no time at all since David Rose led our launch walk from The Hive yet, as I write this, it is now 17th of September and we have 24 walks under our belts. And we have had some real belters!
For me, one of the highlights was the RSPB birdwatching walk on 16th. I think that this one - along with several others this week - highlights that walking isn't just about clocking up the miles but is also about the impact on all our senses. With the RSPB walk we only covered two or three miles during the entire two hours but our ears and eyes were working overtime. Whether listening for (and sometimes identifying) bird songs and calls or catching glimpses and longer views of the many different birds seen, this was a fascinating and educational session. Add in the great scenery as we wandered the towpath of the Wey and then strolled from Stoke Lock back along the boardwalk through the nature reserve this really was a memorable morning. My highlights? - we saw kingfishers (yes, more than one) and, in a first for me, we saw a pair of ravens soaring above us. Wow!
Another slow, relaxing stroll was the Toddler and Buggy-friendly walk from Send. We had a smaller group for this one than we did last year - but with temperatures reaching over 30 degrees on the day, perhaps that wasn't surprising. However, those who did participate had a great time.
Yet another highlight of the week for me was a new addition to our programme - a twilight walk with Simone Dill from Back on Track. This took us on an evening walk around Blackheath with the plan being to end up on some of the darker paths as the sun set and it became dark. Torches were a must for this walk but gave a whole new sensation as we walked through the peace and quiet of the woodland with minimum illumination. To the best of my knowledge, this is also the first time when we have had a walk with a sizeable group (about 20) where everyone apart from myself was female. I wonder, were the men afraid of the dark?
In fact, all the walks that I've attended this week (and those that I didn't manage to get to) have been very well received - so Well Done to all the organisers and walk leaders. But it isn't over yet! We have lots more exciting, educational, relaxing and / or strenuous walks to come. Take a look at the programme and become part of Walkfest 2023. You won't regret it!