A reader, Jan, asked me a couple of questions the other day - how much approximately did my hiking trip cost and how did I physically prepare ahead of time for the kilometres of daily walking?
1) I am somewhat ashamed to say I have never tallied up the costs but will do so today. I told a friend yesterday it was somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000!! Great estimate eh? So...here goes...bear in mind these costs are in Canadian dollars.
- Flight: $760 ( you can't seem to get a flight to the UK from Toronto for under $700 anymore)
- Robert Q: $126.81 (transportation from London to the airport in Toronto and return trip)
- Cotswold Walking Tour (guidebooks, accommodations, breakfast, daily transportation of luggage) $1331.48 (9 days)
- Hotel in London for 1 night - $44.11
- B&B for 3 nights in Norwich - $240
- Oyster Card (for the underground, buses) $46.33 (I still have the card with lots left of on it for my next trip)
- trains: $260 total (Heathrow to Paddington, Paddington to Moreton in Marsh, Bartley to London, London to Norwich, Norwich to Gatwick)
- RBC Travel Insurance - $58.00
- Airport Meals - $80.00 (bloody expensive!!)
- Spending Money: 300L -> $555.00 Canadian. I came back with maybe 20L - I tried to use it up before I left. I found this amount more than adequate to cover all of my dinners and lunches and cream teas :) plus entrance fees into Sudeley Castle, Broadway Tower and several other places, one taxi, souvenirs, local beer...
So, for flight, Robert Q, accommodations, trains, Oyster card, Meals, insurance the trip cost was:
(+ $465 on Mastercard for Christmas gifts)
Not as bad as I thought!! And well worth the enjoyment I had from the experience.
Something that would have helped - more hill climbing! It was a lot hillier than I expected but I managed. My strategy was to walk backwards when my muscles started screaming. Walking backwards uses different muscles and was sort of like taking a bit of a break. I would still have to take a breather now and again - even stopping for 2 minutes really helps in the middle of a long climb.
For at least 6 or 7 years I've had a stationary bike in the basement that I use quite faithfully (15km last night) and for the past 2 years I've used my real bike to ride to work and back daily (not in the winter though!!) I also joined two hiking clubs and still try to hike 3 times a week (though I won't hike when it's colder than -10c!!)
The most important bit of preparation was wearing my hiking boots on all of my hikes prior to leaving on my trip - these are the most important things you'll need. My feet are size 7.5 but my boots are size 8 allowing ever so important wiggle room for toes. Expensive hiking socks with liners will prevent blisters and every night I massaged a ton of lotion into my feet. Take care of your feet and they will take care of you!
I've ordered a guide book for a couple of hikes in the East Anglia area which is where Norwich is. I might try organizing my own hiking trip and use just a larger backpack (no suitcase). I'd like to try that sort of a trip (where I carry everything I need with me) to see if I can do it before I attempt something huge like walking the Camino.
Well Jan I hope that answers your questions adequately. It's certainly an amazing way to see and experience a place and has whet my appetite for further adventures!