Ambleside Kirkstone ‘Marched into March’ with great enthusiasm. Having enjoyed last month's presentation by Rebecca Brown from St Mary's Hospice the time had come to dig out the walking boots from the back of the wardrobe, dust off our bobble hats and waterproof jackets and set off on another virtual walk. With running costs of £9000 per day St Mary's had set up a 9000 steps per day challenge to raise awareness and funds for the Hospice. As on our previous virtual walks in the first lockdown Colin T very kindly agreed to collate our daily/weekly mileage and keep a log of our distances and virtual places visited. So, on March 1st we set off to walk/run/cycle virtually from St Bees on the Cumbrian coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire coast, the Coast-to-Coast long-distance path.
The walk of about 190 miles was easily achieved, including a few deviations to the route to say hello to virtual friends or to visit old stamping grounds from years past. This was only week one of the challenge, so where to next? With members reminiscing of family and childhood holidays in the South West it seemed an excellent idea to take on the South West long distance path, England's longest waymarked long-distance footpath and a National Trail. We walked the 630 miles (1,014 km), running from Poole Harbour in Dorset along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall to Minehead in Somerset. This was followed by a virtual trip to Germany from Fahrenhausen to Fussen in Bavaria, and south to Munich where there were marvellous views of the Alps.
With a few days left of the months challenge we carried on walking and found ourselves in Turkey on the Lycian Way (Likya Yolu) completing the long distance 310 mile walk by the end of the month.
Having ‘Marched into March’ we emerged into April with a spring in our steps having covered 1892 miles since we left from St Bees on the 1st March - an average of 59.4 miles each day. An excellent achievement by everyone and whether this was achieved by running, cycling, swimming, paddle boarding, or just simple walking the end result was the same - some physical and mental exercise and much needed funds for St Mary's. (Total amount still to be advised)
But it wasn’t just virtual adventures in March for AK. We also enjoyed a fun zoom get together, thanks to Judy, where we sported green clothing to spare ourselves from being pinched by leprechauns as we celebrated St Patrick’s Day with a social evening online. Entertainment featured an Irish themed quiz, a video of master of Irish dance, Michael Flatley, a selection of Irish jokes and sayings, and ended with a lovely acapella rendition of the Irish Blessing.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be ever at you back
May the sunshine warm upon your face
And the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May god hold you, may god hold you
Ever in the palm of his hand
The month concluded with a fascinating talk via zoom, by Zoologist and Naturetrek explorer guide Sara Frost about the sea voyage from Oban to the remote island of St Kilda, 50 miles west of Outer Hebrides.
With maps to reference the journey, beautiful close up photographs of the wonderful array of marine, bird and plant life encountered were enhanced by informative and entertaining observations on the characteristics of species ranging from otters to orcas, porpoises to puffins, red deer to dolphins, Soay sheep to sea eagles, St Kilda’s own wren, and magnificent colonies of squawking guillemots and cormorants clinging to every ledge on the guano covered sea cliffs. The harsh conditions endured by the St Kildan people were sympathetically described, alongside historically significant photographs of their lives before severe hardships forced the final residents to abandon the island in 1930.
Sara was an accomplished speaker who imparted a myriad of fascinating facts with enthusiasm and humour to a very appreciative audience of members and guests.
With Spring, warm sunny days and a skip in our step we are all looking forward to more inclusive get togethers in the not too distant furture.
Happy Easter one and all!
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"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." George Orwell, 1984 Meanwhile, here at AK Rotary members were introduced to Strigiformes even before our Call my Bluff evening!more
Despite the Covid pandemic having dominated all lives and events during this year, AK has continued with friendship and service locally and internationally - just on a smaller and different scale.more