Rude awakening…

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Turtle Doves are aces…

Holiday season is over, it is less than six months until we commence Dove Step in some respects this seems like a long time. In other respects the thought of 25 miles per day for two weeks sounds intense! But to be honest we would walk 300 miles for Turtle Doves tomorrow.

Since my last post there has been more bad news, this is the way of a species in free fall decline. On the upside it is good to have a constant motivator. There is of course a wealth of information on Turtle Doves available online and Talking Naturally provides a good cross-continent snap shot of the perils this species faces.

As ever the Operation Turtle Dove site is always a good port of call too and even includes some positives amongst the doom and there are positives; the next generation is seeing Turtle Doves and learning of their importance and Turtle Doves continue to inspire art.

We are hoping to help too. I am very proud that the JustGiving page has tipped the £50 mark, a clean 10% of our fundraising target. With many thanks to Swaingrove Print and Mr Gibson for getting us off to such a good start.

So, with the weeks and months counting down training is starting in earnest. The Team is busy with various training activities and there will be some exciting posts from other members over the coming weeks. We are meeting next month to tighten up the route, logistics and our equipment.

I used this weekend to set a baseline for myself, gather equipment and weigh my pack which comes in at 16kg minus clothes and food. So I guess we will actually carry 20 – 25kg each come next April.

Waterproofs, tent, stove, water and sleeping bag come in at 16kg (ladies feet and dog not included)
Waterproofs, tent, stove, water and sleeping bag come in at 16kg (ladies feet and dog not included)
My new best friend... ... the pack. The dog was already my friend.
My new best friend…
… the pack. The dog was already my friend.
About to start and coming to terms with 16km
About to start and coming to terms with 16km
My first Dove Step training walk!
My first Dove Step training walk!

I learnt a lot of lessons from this walk, primarily that 16kg is pretty heavy! My right foot is a little blistered and the straps of my bag dug into my shoulders, more worrying a couple of hours after I finished I had to have a nap! This will not be an option every 16km come the big event.

The numbers give an amount of comfort though, I stopped occasionally for a drink/ snack/ to look at birds and averaged 12.54 mins per km. With a target distance of 40.2km per day (25miles), if sustained this would see us complete the route in just 12 days as long as we put in 8.5 hour days walking!

Obviously issues at this stage are the fact that I didn’t even walk half of what will be our daily distance and incurred a nap attack! Still, it is a starting point and every adventure starts somewhere.

So, a whole hearted thank you to those visiting the site and look out for progress posts about Turtle Doves and training over the coming weeks…

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