Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Monkey Mapping

The plan was to meet Peter at Newlands Corner on the North Downs Way(NDW) at 7.00pm last Friday, leave his car there and we drive to Farnham (the start of the NDW) mark the first 15 miles of the 100 mile course get in his car and get him to drive me back to Farnham to collect my car to go home....simple!
In fact it was not, after meeting Peter at Newlands Corner, the heavens opened and so carnage unfolded on the roads ahead with early Friday evening drivers stuck in queues created by crashed cars or sheer weight of traffic leaving us to arrive at the start of the North Downs Way in Farnham some 50 minutes behind schedule....not good when it transpired poor old Peter had left his waterproof in his car and I had a 1:50,000 scale map of the NDW which, whilst useful, is rubbish on a route finding as the scale was just to small to see detail.

With big hugs from the Centurion Crew we went on our way happily marking our way following the paths and roads easily but then the rain really hit us, the wind picking up and the signage becoming difficult to spot  in the gloom some with missing fingers to confirm our direction which during the day is quite easy but at night in bad weather very difficult.

Then the mistake happened, a bad judgement call by me taking us down a hill and to a double T-Junction that in the gloom made me fit the road to the map sending us both in the wrong direction. Now the rain really hit us and after about 4 exploratory runs, a phone call to my wife to get a fix on our location on Google Maps my map finally turned to mush, the cover falling off. We had been out for 2.5 hours and covered only 6 miles (marking is very time consuming) we decided to make the call to go back to my car via road.

By Road

This was probably not one of my best decisions when we got directions from a lone female driver how to get back to Farnham by road which took us along a notoriously dark and dangerous road famous for its ghosts called the Hog's Back. Here we ran on the road and on the verge as cars drove past at 60 mph to return to the car unharmed.

Not my best entry as a runner having failed my promise to complete my job, going out with inadequate equipment (map case) and taking my older head torch which is good for a trail run but not for the job of marking.

1 comment:

  1. It's not only the ghosts you're lucky to have avoided along the Hog's Back in the dark. There's rather a notorious layby along that stretch (above Puttenham)...