31 May 2012 – two bridge challenge

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This morning I decided to do a shorter walk because I still have big blisters on the bottom of my right foot and didn’t want to stray too far from home. Commando suggested the two bridge challenge, something he set for himself a while ago, although he runs it. It is about four and a half miles and crosses the river Itchen over the two main bridges.

Things started off fine because I had a blister plaster on. I set off on my normal walk to work route over the Northam Bridge towards the City Centre on a rather dull morning with my denim jacket to keep me warm. Once I got to the other side of the bridge instead of carrying straight on I turned left past the pub on the corner and walked around by Shamrock Quay. This route is always full of runners and quite a few sped past me as I walked past the football stadium (home of the Saints). It’s not very pretty really, mainly industrial but it’s fairly quiet in terms of traffic except for the odd big lorry on the way to the docks.

At about two and a quarter miles I reached the Itcehn Bridge at Ocean Village and stopped for a moment to take my jacket off and tie it round my waist. The sun was trying to come out through the clouds by this time and I was getting a little warm. The Itchen Bridge was built in 1977 to replace the old floating bridges that used to link Woolston and the City Centre, it’s just over half a mile across and fairly steep. By the time I got to the Woolston side my blister was beginning to throb a bit so I stopped for a moment to adjust my shoes and rest then carried on up the long hill towards The Village and home.

Because my foot was uncomfortable my pace slowed quite drastically at this Point so my overall time was rubbish. Still it’s all exercise. The hill that runs from Woolston up to The Village is not steep but it is a bit wearing because it seems to go on forever. At least it’s quite a pretty road though. It’s called Peartree Avenue and is about one and a half miles long with a lovely little church on Peartree Green and some wonderful views over the water across the place where the spitfire factory used to be. After I left the green I got quite caught up looking at all the gardens in the houses I passed. Everything is so pretty at this time of the year. It also took my mind off my foot.

Right at the top of the hill is The Village and just before that the turn to go back down to my house. All in all I walked for just under and hour and a half and covered around four and three quarter miles, not counting walking round Sainsbury’s for milk at the end. CJ did make me a coffee and, after a quick rest we walked back up the big hill to get some more supplies. He is my helper monkey on Thursdays, he comes shopping with me, gets things off high shelves and carries the heavy bags home in return for me turning a blind eye to the rubbish he puts into the basket (today it was two pot noodles which aren’t even food as far as I can tell and some Oreo cookies). That was another hour walking under my belt, although much slower this time. I think that’s my exercise for the day done

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