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Mon 15th April 2013

GPS Training

GPS Training

Our GPS training course has evolved over many years but when it is teaching people about technology that keeps evolving it is literally a different course every time we hold it.

As we arrived at Cambo Village Hall early on Saturday morning the weather was warmer and brighter than it had been for a long while and as lots of happy participants started to arrive it gave a real buzz of anticipation of the day ahead.

We loaned GPS units to those who had not already got one so that all participants could take part and with the majority of people with touch screen GPS units it was great to teach everybody on good GPS units.

First of all we did a little background about the technology before going over the set up process you need to go through to get the GPS units to supply you with the information you are wanting.

After a quick break we then went outside for the ‘waypoint game’ which involved manually inputting waypoint data and getting the GPS to navigate us to this point where a question could be answered. Everybody quickly got the hang of this and then we moved on to using the touch screen on the map pages on the GPS units to input this information.

Over lunch Peter gave a quick overview of the Garmin BaseCamp software and also digital maps as we planned on the computer the route for our afternoon GPS walk. We shared this information wirelessly to all the other GPS units and off we went, following a route through the countryside around Cambo.

Upon reaching the end of the route we used the tracklog or backtrack to take us back. It was interesting to compare the differences in navigating using these two different ways and with most people being very proficient at this point with their GPS units we could stop and really go into the finer details including how to display the compass on the map screen and how to change the data fields the GPS is showing you.

Back at the village hall we could then go over what information we had covered and then look at the different GPS units on offer.

A great day was had by all, some great characters, which really made for a good fun day. Thanks everybody for coming along.

Tue 9th April 2013

Leki Nordic Walking Festival

Leki Nordic Walking Festival

At Shepherds Walks we have been Nordic Walking for many years and over that time we have really enjoyed meeting, and Nordic Walking, with many people so what better way to celebrate this than to have a Nordic Walking Festival.

The number of people attending exceeded all our expectations and it was great to get Leki on board to support the event.   To have them along on the day really made for a real festival feel.

With so many courses during the day and Nordic Walks taking place we also brought in some of the best Nordic Walking instructors the North East has to offer with these coming from all different backgrounds. We have worked with all of them before and really appreciate their enthusiasm and commitment to Nordic Walking.

The day before had been a lovely warm day and the Sunday started off in a similar fashion but it was a little colder when the sun went in.

At 10.00 the first of the hourly Nordic Walking taster sessions started with the ‘Take your skills to a new level’ course starting at 10.30. There was a really good atmosphere with many people truly out for the day and browsing, talking and looking over the Leki products between their sessions.

The hour break for lunch vanished in a flash as the taster sessions restarted and the larger groups congregated ready for both the 2 and 5 mile walks in the afternoon.

They went off and returned at a very good pace and when Nordic Walkers come back with a big smile on their faces you know it has been a good walk.

A very big thank you must go to everybody who came along on the day and for all the great feedback we have received after the event.

This is an event we are planning to move around the region, so we can offer different walks every year. I very much hope you can join us again next year.

Tue 9th April 2013

St Oswalds Way - part 1

St Oswalds Way - part 1

Sundance had been quietly soft shoe shuffling during the week and it had worked for Saturday but had he soft shoe shuffled to soon?  Very early Sunday morning even before the larks had rizzed! Mike gave a sigh of relief it was DRY but overcast and cold.

At 7.00 Richard picked up Mike and they set off for Belford to meet the group.  By the time the taxi arrived everyone was getting ready and so Richard and three of the group set off for the start on Holy Island as soon as the taxi left the mini buses arrived.  Mike was so keen to get going that in the mad scramble to get everyone on board that he very nearly left two of the group behind.

We met up again with Richard and others at the start of the Pilgrims Way where he explained (wittered) about the tides, the sand formations, the fact the marker poles are a fairly recent addition.  Eventually we set off across the sands heading towards Snook Point, at first people tried to dodge the puddles but in the end just walked through them.  As we approached Snook point we entered an area of Eel Grass this was just an excuse for deep mud and puddles hidden by vegetation.  Eventually we reached the tarmac causeway the walking underfoot was easier but we then had to dodge the traffic.  In the end we managed to reach the main land and had a short break.

After a couple of fields the next issue was to cross the North East main line, a quick phone call to the signal man on the phone provided we were given permission to cross and then after another quick phone call to say we had all crossed safely we started to climb up away from the sea and make our way inland to the next major obstacle, crossing the A1 this took about 5 minutes as a constant stream of traffic first one way then the other made the crossing a waiting game.  Eventually all crossed safely and after walking through the village of Fenwick and another witter we stopped for lunch.

After lunch the group was split into three allowing for people to walk more at there own pace. As usual mike helped bring up the rear.  The route now enters Detchant Wood and although a pleasant stroll little in the way of views.  Just after leaving the wood St Cuthbert’s Way  heads west whilst St. Oswalds continues south.  It was along the next section we reached the high point of the day 165m. A good track lead to Swinhoe Farm then one last climb and it was all downhill To Belford.