I remember my very first geography homework (even though the past is a foreign country). I had to draw a map of the street where I lived and the surrounding roads. This began a lifelong fascination with maps. But I am now imagining how geography would have been, if we had access to the internet (or even computers). In addition to the wealth of information out there, one has so many resources when you want to mess around with maps. In planning for the long walk, I have been looking at a very versatile system from ViewRanger. And it is looking as though this will be the main system that I will use:
- to prepare maps in advance of the walk (one had access to OpenStreetMap)
- to find my way using my mobile on route (it has an offline mode so you can still see maps when there is no mobile connectivity)
- to send info back to LocoHQ.
- to let others track where I am.
You can even embed the prepared maps onto sites, as the following shows (this is the last stage of the route which I hope some of you may join me on). If anyone is interested, we would be quite happy to talk to you about using maps, GPS and how they can be used in lessons. *
* Since writing this post, I have been thinking more about a short curriculum based around maps, GPS and mobile phones, and I think it would go something like this.
- A brief history of maps. Early times, Ordnance Survey, maps on the internet – Google, Google Earth, Bing. Looking at things in 3D
- OpenStreetMap – what it is= the wiki of mapping, how it came about=crowd sourcing, things for free
- GPS, compasses – how they work, how they are used, SatNav, on mobiles, limitations=mapping indoors
- Where am I? Tracking me – threats and opportunities. 4Square and commercialisation
- Putting it all together for a long walk. Useful apps – ViewRanger + BuddyBeacon, GPS-Status
Writing this here as a way to start some serious planning for the tour. By imagining how a day might pan out, I can start to think of the things that I will need, plus it will also be useful for anyone interest in accompanying me on a stage (none of the following is cast in stone so it is just a suggestion based on a bit of map work).
Sunday 26th August - Start of stage 9 – Warwick to Stratford 11 miles
One of the shortest walks of the trip – well short of the normal 15 miles. We had our rest day in Warwick yesterday and said farewell to X who accompanied me from Abbots Bromley. And we now welcome Y who will be with me on the 4 days to Woodstock in Oxfordshire.
In time-honoured fashion we begin the day with green tea and our SmartSword exercises at around 6:30. The first part of the walk begins at 7:00 after a short video blog (watch it here). Don’t forget you can follow our progress by looking at live tracking on our blog pages.
Our delightful travelling hotel “4TVan” takes us to the start of the walk which is a couple of miles to the west of Warwick to join the point where we left Shakespeare’s Way on Friday. From there it’s around 4 miles to Hampton Wood where we will be rendezvousing with 4tVan for breakfast at 8:30.
We then make our way following the course of the Avon to Stratford (eta 12:00) where we will head directly to our gaming venue at the Stratford Sports Club. Today we will be playing Detect-o-saurus, our dinosaur hunting game, as well as a spot of toy hacking, Mission Explore, and spreading the word about DEB. Of course, this is preceded by a spot of lunch assuming Driver D has stocked up with provisions.
Our stop-over point is near the Dirty Duck and once again, after our supper, we invite other musicians to join us in an hour of songs and, maybe, Shakespeare. We will set off directly from here tomorrow when we will be stopping at Shipston (or shipping at Stopson.
Here’s where we have been doing this month
- Travel for Moira to and from Scotland (for the cycling leg)
- Booking of accommodation for the cycling leg (still some to do)
- Identification of all other accommodation for cycling leg
- Preparation of maps (this is an ongoing process – currently preparing better quality OS maps with elevation data – showing participants just how hilly certain bits are)
- Interview and rejection of tech support person
- Building up a list of potential road managers (2 so far)
- Viewing of support vehicle. Have gone off the idea of the horse box. Liking the Swift Kontiki (see below).
What’s that? With a little bit of alliteration, Taking the Tablets Tour (4 Tees – guess it really should be 6 Tees but that would be pushing it a bit) becomes the new name for Richard’s Long Walk. It’s supposed to be a little ironic in a “keep taking the tablets” sort of way, plus I will actually be taking tablets – probably Samsung Galaxy Tabs, but yet to be decided.
Just before Christmas I reported that I would be walking from Scotland back to Brighton starting in July. I am pleased to report some progress on my plans. The trip starts with a 2 week cycle tour (July1st to 16th) from above Stornoway to Ardrossan, a journey of around 300 miles. I guess I should have walked this too but it would have added around another 25 days to my trip, plus it is the one bit of the journey that my wife, Moira, wants to do.
The rest of the journey has been divided into 12 stages of 4 days walk plus one day off with an average of around 15 miles per day. That means a total of just over 700 miles starting on July 17th and ending on September 13th. On each stage apart from the last, I have/will be inviting a friend to accompany me. On the last stage, where I am obviously a lot closer to home, I am hoping that anyone locally may join me for a day. You can see the route and all the stages here.
At each stopping point there will be the opportunity for children to play some of the games that I will be taking, and also to see some of the projects that we have been running at DEB. If there are other organisations that want me to take games on the journey, I will be very happy to talk to them – in fact there are a couple of organisations that I have contacted, or am about to, who may participate.
For various logistic reasons I will be accompanied by a back-up vehicle. If things go according to plan this will serve as accommodation, storage, an exhibition area, and possibly a stage. This means that in addition to finding a vehicle I will also be hiring a road manager (they won’t be paid but they will have an 8 week holiday and see Britain from top to toe). So far, my best idea for transport is a horse box - could meet all the criteria although there are no plans to take a horse.
Being a fairly techy sort of person, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that there will be all sorts of blogging and tracking going on. I will be equipped with both GPS and video camera so anyone interested will see where I am and what I am getting up to. The vehicle will act as a mobile HQ for this and I expect there will be a base station back in Brighton – location to be determined but this could be a school. One problem that people may have advice on is that the trip will extend between two terms and the summer holidays, so how schools get involved may prove awkward.
I have also taken on a administrator for the 3 months prior to the trip. Her name is Pauline Chardon and she is a language student from Marbaix-la-Tour in Belgium, and she has had some experience in organising and running events. Her role will be to liaise with everyone else prior to the Tour, including schools here and on route, creating and distributing material, and finalising the stopping places along the route. For various reasons the stops may be at pubs – a useful place for refreshments after a long walk, plus as I am intending to meet up with musicians en route, suitable venues for performing.
I am hoping that local children can get involved in the organisation and running of the tour. This could be in several ways.
First, I will need help in setting up the exhibition area – it could be that students create the whole thing from start to finish.
Next, I would like to organise a pre-walk competition based around the 12 stages of the route – 1 clue per stage released over 12 days close to the start. Once again I am open to ideas as to what this competition might be.
Finally it would be great if we could get a student or group of students to be “in charge” of each stage – their job would be to contact schools in each area – to let them know when we are coming and what we will be doing. The same group may be in charge of monitoring and blogging the relevant section during the walk.
Here are the dates and details.
|Wed 15 Aug|
|Tue 17 Jul||Adrossan to Troon||12||Thu 16 Aug||Glossop to Castleton||13|
|Wed 18 Jul||Troon to Ayr||12||Fri 17 Aug||Castleton to Monyash||13|
|Thu 19 Jul||Ayr to Maybole||12||Sat 18 Aug||Monyash to Mayfield||16|
|Fri 20 Jul||Maybole to Barr||12||12||Sun 19 Aug||Mayfield to Abbots Bromley||17||14.75|
|Sat 21 Jul||Mon 20 Aug|
|Sun 22 Jul||Bar to Glentroon||12||Tue 21 Aug||Abbots Bromley to Lichfield||16|
|Mon 23 Jul||Glentroon to Clatteringshaws||15||Wed 22 Aug||Lichfield to Hurley||16|
|Tue 24 Jul||Clatteringshaws to Gatehouse||15||Thu 23 Aug||Hurley to Balsall Common||16|
|Wed 25 Jul||Gatehouse to Kircudbright||13||13.75||Fri 24 Aug||Balsall to Warwick||15||15.75|
|Thu 26 Jul||Sat 25 Aug|
|Fri 27 Jul||Kircudbrighton to Castle Douglas||12||Sun 26 Aug||Warwick to Stratford||11|
|Sat 28 Jul||Castle Douglas to Dumfries||17||Mon 27 Aug||Stratford to Shipston||15|
|Sun 29 Jul||Dumfries to Annan||15||Tue 28 Aug||Shipston to Chipping Norton||12|
|Mon 30 Jul||Annan to Gretna||15||14.75||Wed 29 Aug||Chipping to Woodstock||15||13.25|
|Tue 31 Jul||Thu 30 Aug|
|Wed 01 Aug||Gretna to Carlisle||14||Fri 31 Aug||Woodstock to Blackbirtd Leys||15|
|Thu 02 Aug||Carlisle to Caldbeck||15||Sat 01 Sep||Blackbird Leys to Christmas||15|
|Fri 03 Aug||Caldbeck to Keswick||17||Sun 02 Sep||Christmas Common to Bourne End||16|
|Sat 04 Aug||Keswick to Chapel Stile||18||16||Mon 03 Sep||Bourne End to Ascot||18||16|
|Sun 05 Aug||Tue 04 Sep|
|Mon 06 Aug||Chapel Stile to Stavely||16||Wed 05 Sep||Ascot to Hartley Wintney||17|
|Tue 07 Aug||Stavely to Sedburgh||15||Thu 06 Sep||Hartley to Bradley||18|
|Wed 08 Aug||Sedburgh to Horton||20||Fri 07 Sep||Bradley to Winchester||16|
|Thu 09 Aug||Horton to Malham||14||16.25||Sat 08 Sep||Winchester to Exton||14||16.25|
|Fri 10 Aug||Sun 09 Sep|
|Sat 11 Aug||Malham to Lothersdale||15||Mon 10 Sep||Exton to South Harting||14|
|Sun 12 Aug||Lothersdale to Hebden Bridge||17||Tue 11 Sep||South Harting to Petworth||12|
|Mon 13 Aug||Hebden Bridge to Marsden||17||Wed 12 Sep||Petworth to Washington||13|
|Tue 14 Aug||Marsden to Glossop||17||16.5||Thu 13 Sep||Washington to Hove||14||13.25|
Last week I walked 17 miles (actually 17.5) from the Peace Statue in Brighton to the White Horse in Storrington. The was a test run (ha) for what I will be doing most days between July and September next year (2012) – a walk from Scotland back to Brighton. It will also be the final days in my 50s as I plan to reach home on my 60th birthday.
Why am I doing it? Well for the most part, I just fancied a challenge and the big birthday thing seemed an appropriate time. But the other reason is that I wanted to spread the word about what we are doing with Digital Education Brighton – and giving teachers and children a chance to see and partake in some of the projects that we have/will be doing.
How’s it going to work? A little bit of a cheat to start with, as the first part will be a 300 mile cycle ride through the Western Isles of Scotland – from Stornaway to Arran. I would have walked it but it would add another month to the expedition plus adds a whole set of other difficulties. The walk proper will start at Adrossan and will be in 11 stages, the first 2 of 5 days, and the following 9 of 4 days with a day off between each.
Several things to add at this stage, although I will go into more details in the next blog.
- You can see the route here (although it is still subject to change).
- I would like a companion to walk with me on each one of the stages.
- There will be a support vehicle going with us – providing accommodation, cooking, transport to the start and from the end of each day’s walk, acting as a base station for activities