Sunday 26th December 2016
At night I looked at the weather forecast for Boxing Day and at last we were going to have sun. Well at least for the morning and early afternoon so I decided this was the day over the Christmas holiday period I needed to do my usual countryside route which starts and finishes at my front door. The forecast also mentioned that the temperature was going to be 6 degrees so I wrapped up before venturing out with a silk scarf wrapped around my neck and the Patagonia Stretch Syncilla hat pulled down over my ears. A Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic waterproof jacket provided an effective outer barrier throughout the walk and the upper zip outer pocket was useful in making the iPhone SE accessible. The lower pockets housed the Black Ice fleece gloves, kit I didn’t use, and the Patagonia hat and silk scarf when I was overheating. Keeping the cold at bay was an Iguana fleece jacket used for the intermediate layer. Craghoppers Basecamp trousers once again proved their flexibility as they more than coped with today’s windy conditions.
Throughout the walk I noticed lots of people out much more than normal and these included extended family groups so perhaps they were on their traditional Boxing Day ramble. Even saw a few joggers on the early part of the walk which is on the streets and one jogger past me on a Bridleway in white trainers trying to avoid the mud. Thankfully, even on the footpaths mud wasn’t the problem I thought it was going to be and the Merrell approach shoes, which don’t have a waterproof liner, coped really well over today’s terrain. The sun with the blue sky provided superb images on the iPhone SE and at times the contrast was too great so the HDR function kicked in with amazing results. A couple of images had sun streaks but these added to the scene captured.
Coming to the end of the countryside part of this walk I thought that I hadn’t seen any bird life of note then I hard a crow and almost immediately the call of a buzzard. On hearing this I raised my head to see two buzzards, perhaps the same pair as I saw a couple of months ago, circling around then perching on two different trees. Seeing these two just added to what was a fine day’s walk.
This was my last proper walk in 2016 over my mainstay 7.2 miles countryside route and the ninth time I had completed this walk this year. Today it took me just over 2 hours 32 minutes which means I walked at 2.84 miles per hour. Kit wise my gear of the year goes to the iPhone SE which has provided most of my pictorial record of my walks since the end of May. This was a great 60th birthday present from my wife and daughter. One of my purchases for 2017 will be an Otterbox Defender case to protect the iPhone and save me worrying about dropping it.
Weather information courtesy of BBC Weather:
6 degrees C at 11am staying here until 3pm. Sunny; Humidity 65%; Visibility Very Good; Pressure 1031 (Millibars); Wind direction W & Wind Speed 14 (mph)
It will be a cold but dry Boxing Day, with plenty of sunshine. There will also be some blustery winds at first, however these should gradually ease.
Sunrise 08:17 Sunset 15:55 GMT