Good luck Graeme, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.


Wrong thread. This is not a holiday


We are seriously considering a trip to Matera in Southern Italy.
Has anyone been?


Hmmm … if you’d asked me last night, when I got back, I fear I’d have agreed with you.

Before the trip I checked out the LDWA’s route profile (basically an elevation chart) For the whole 275 mile walk they claim there’s over 4000m of climb ! I assumed that simply had to be a mistake, especially given that a good chunk of it is across the dead flat fens, and the Lincolnshire Wolds really don’t amount to much.

Anyway, now I’ve done the part with most of the climb in it I believe them. I swear I’ve dragged myself and my pack up every hill south of the Thames. Every. Bloody. One. And I use the word bloody in the literal sense, given the current state of my feet.

I’m about to start processing the GPS track logs which should give me a more accurate number.



For the record, having cooked the track logs, it turns out to have been 73 miles (67 in the guidebook plus 2 extra I did at the end plus 2 back and forth to shops/pubs etc plus, um, 2 being lost and having to retrace my steps, cursing the while). And 2160 metres of climb (7000 feet in old money).

OK, that’s the first leg.



Good one!
Before I got into climbing I long-distance walked. I once walked across Scotland from Evanton to Poolewe in 3.5 days with tent and a week’s worth of food. That was 88 miles with 35000feet of ascent, crossed 3 roads altogether and was largely not on paths. Glorious weather and pleasantly knackering! Was proper fit then…


Walking with a tent and all your food is in a different league from my ‘soft’ walking. I carried meds and quite a lot of snack carbohydrate (as a diabetic on insulin these aren’t optional), 2 litres of water, emergency and wet weather gear, changes of clothes, toothbrush etc, guidebook, maps and money and spare batteries and chargers for the electronics (phone, GPS). With the rucksack that came to a tad over 10kg, plus the boots and the clothes I stood up in. But I bought lunches and dinners and I stayed in B&B’s. On the first day out I met three parties of teenagers on DofE treks heading southwest out of Lewes. They were packing camping gear but not my middle-aged spread of course !



Just looked at that on google earth. Very impressive.


Well done! I’m not surprised at the hills - you’ve had to cross the South Downs then the North Downs. Should be easier from now on (though hills are nice to get views).
Hope the feet recover quickly!


10kgs? With tent, sleeping bag, roll map, 1 change of clothes, 1 spare pair of pants and socks (usually drying on the outside of sack), plus waterproofs, dried food for a week, stove, gas, water and any extra maps I needed it would come to about 15kgs at most…
Must be the electronics making up the weight! We took none apart from headtorch! Though we were weight-weenies.
I even got the weight down to about 14kgs for the Tour de Mont Blanc, and the same for both GR4 and GR5. All of those are highly recommended, btw, with many huts/hotels etc, especially on the TMB.


When I did the Pennine Way (a long time ago!) my pack weighed 42 lbs. Took me and my mate 13 days but it was bloody tough. Nice feeling of achievement walking into the pub at Kirk Yetholm though.


To be fair, I didn’t sweat this …

Water 2kgs
Rucksack 1.2kg
Waterproofs 1.2kg (cheap and heavy)
Electronics 1kg (incl heavy wind-up LED torch, heavyish GPS and batteries)
Multitool penknife, cathole trowel, bog roll, meds, toiletries etc 1kg
Fleece, walking trousers, hat, espadrilles (for keeping the B&Bs’ carpets clean), gloves, socks (2pr), pants (2pr), tees (2) 1.6kg
Food 1kg
Maps, guidebook, remaining odds and ends 1kg



Anyone been to Mexico? We are going to Playa del Carmen in May and I have around 1K Euro left over from the Croatia trip. Does anyone know if it will be easy to change Euros into local currency?


I know nothing about exchanging your currency but I did have one of the best holidays ever on the Yucatan Peninsula. We got a cut price package deal to Cancun, dumped surplus clothes etc there, hired a car and spent the next couple of weeks first at Punta Allen on Ascension Bay (saltwater fly fishing heaven, rented a cabana on the beach for about 20 quid a night) and then taking in places as we drove back north. I’ll never forget it, it was a great couple of weeks.


Should be fine, but do it in Mexico!


Come to think of it, we took US Dollars to Mexico.


I want to avoid changing twice, so it’s either take the Euros or pay them in and use the Halifax Clarity card.


I would change the Euros to Dollars when you get there. Dollars are accepted pretty much everywhere.


this is what I would do


Madrid was nice. We had a trip out to Segovia. That was nice too.