Has To Happen Sooner Or Later :/

*The Orb's remix of Freebird*
 

 

I have been looking at my road map a lot lately.

I need to get out and explore and be a proper, roaming hobo during this summer.

I have some routes planned-out.. Highlighted on my map in yellow. Likely camping spots marked-down. Distances written out. Likely skips (dumpsters) are marked too- they are actually Iceland Foodstores supermarkets. Iceland often has very good skips that are not locked away.

 

*an Iceland store, and a wheelie bin (or, skip)*

 

I had originally planned to go around the north and part of the west coast of Wales and then cut across Wales diagonally to get down to the Severn road bridge, it would be a lovely scenic route, but very hard going as it goes right up over the stunning Mid Wales hills.

*View from the Machinlleth to Llandiloes road in mid Wales*

 

Now I'm thinking I might just make the journey much shorter and head down the Welsh-English border. It's not a pleasant route as it's all roads instead of being able to use the coastal cycle path for part of the way, but it would cut out a lot of hills that I'd have to cross to get back over to Chepstow from the west coast. It would take me up part of the River Severn and along next to the old Montgomeryshire Canal, and would also be an excuse to drop in on my BFF, who I met on EP and who I've been longing to go down and see at her home which is on the way to the Severn crossing.

*The river Severn, in Powys*

 

I could easily follow the straighter, easier route south that lies to the east of the Shropshire Hills in the west--midlands (England), as all the Jon-o-Groats to Land's End travellers do. Taking this route that goes past my BFF's home, however, means that I have to climb up and over the Black Mountains at the eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons. Which is not something I'm looking forward to with all the equipment and food and water that I will be carrying.

*part of the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park, south Wales*

 

I can do up to 80 miles in a day with all my stuff that I need to live "on the road" indefinitely, but not every day; not even every other day. 80 miles completely wipes me out and requires a couple of days resting and doing stuff like cooking, camping, finding food etc.. 40 miles is okay, but still leaves very little time to find a good spot to camp and to set up; take the camp down again and pack up; find food and cook decent meals.. so I'd still not do that distance everyday. I think that if I'm to enjoy the trip, have plenty of time to set up proper camps, build some stuff I can leave behind for the trip back or future visits, and cook, hunt/fish or visit a skip (dumpster) etc.. I need to be stopping much more often, only riding for a few hours each day. I don't have a schedule to keep to, so why make it hard for myself? I have tried to find _likely_ decent camping spots every 25 - 30 miles.... All the way from north Wales down to Cornwall. I will still have to look around and find exactly where to set up my camps, and the spots I have marked on the map are only likely spots, I will not know if they are suitable until I get there for real.

It's difficult travelling on my bike now because the gears are completely broken, so I go everywhere in one gear.. and I really ought to buy a new front tyre before I try to go anywhere because the one I have has a huge hole in it that I tried to cover with a few puncture-patches, but they are way too soft ad stretchy and I always worry about having a proper blow-out that will leave me stranded with an unfixable inner tube. Unfortunately, a new tyre that is worth buying is £30, and I only have £40 to last me until my birthday at the end of September (assuming someone gives me some money as a birthday present!), so I can't buy one. I need to sell a painting really (I do portraits in pastel, mainly pets but I can do people too), but I just don't know how I will find a customer without spending money and risking throwing what little I have down the drain. I'm not very brave when it comes to things like that. =/

The hardest bit of the journey down to the westcountry, for finding a place to sleep, will be around the Severn crossing/Bristol where it is very urban. Luckily there is a cycle lane on the severn road bridge so that part will be safe.

*The cycle lane next to the motorway on the M48 road bridge over the start of the Severn estuary, this takes me out of Wales and into south west England*

 

I will still look out for somewhere to camp around there, but I know there won't be many nice places this close to the city. I will be trying to get past Bristol as fast as possible anyway, as there is a likely skip (dumpster) just on the other side of it at Easton. I may not have found food since Abergavenny so it may have had to last three days or more by the time I reach Henbury or Easton. Henbury, the closer of the two, is somewhat more urban then Easton, so there is less chance of obtaining a good amount of supplies there due to the competition that often exists at skips in urban areas.

After leaving the Bristol area I plan to head south, skirting around the east of the Mendip hills, and passing through Glastonbury on my way to the south coast of England at Lyme Regis. After that I can follow the coast as I head west. 

*Glastonbury Tor and part of Glastonbury*

 

Or I could turn west at Glastonbury and go to Taunton (which has an Iceland store, therefore a likely dumpster), then either turn south for the coast there, through the Blackdown hills and following the course of the river Yarty or continue even further west through the Vale of Taunton Deane to the river Exe. The Exe valley is beautiful. I know if I head to the coast early then I have to come several miles back up to Exeter anyway because it has a deep estuary. Exeter also has an Iceland skip (dumpster) that is likely to be good.

After Exeter my plan is to head directly west to the edge of Dartmoor national park, then turn south, following the valley of the river Teign, and pop into Newton Abbot for some more food, then follow the south east edge of Dartmoor until i come to the River Dart.

*The river Dart in Devon*

 

At this point i can explore upriver, or I can head down it. I will probably do both as the Dart is absolutely gorgeous. To head west again I need to go downriver, to flatter land where I can get across to the Avon. Then I'll be staying pretty close to the coast, fishing the estuaries of the Avon, the Erme and the Yealm befre I head back inland to visit the Iceland store's skips in Plympton on my way up to the river Plym and the Plym forest which is an excellent place to camp and has lots of brown trout. I may follow the Plym Vally Cycleway, up the old railway line to travel up the wooded valley of the river Plym right up into the hills as I like it up there. It's mostly wooded on the way up the Plym so there's loads of places I can just stop and find a place to camp. A high viaduct takes the line over the river at one point.

*The river Plym and woods of the Plym valley seen from the cycle path over the old viaduct*

 

It's certainly the more attractive route over the River Tamar into Cornwall. It would mean I can check out the wooded valley of the River Tavy on the way.

*The beautiful little river Tavy near the Devon/Cornwall border*

 

At this point there are no more supermarkets that I know about for many miles, so I would want to be successful catching something to eat along the way.  I'll have to dash from river to river as I work my way either up to Padstow where I can definitely fish successfully on the rocky north coast, or back down to the south coast, which I should join at Downderry, just east of Looe. I may still pop back inland, though and enjoy another lovely wooded river valley: that of the River Fowey. I can then either head for the north Cornwall coast, stopping in the Bodmin Forest, or I can fish the lower Fowey on my way over to St. Austell on the south coast (which has another Iceland store). 

I like the south coast as it is much more sheltered and beachy than the north. it also has more woodland I can camp in and more significant rivers with estuaries (which are the only part of the rivers I can legally fish).

*The bottom of the river Fal, I think*

 

I can get more skip-food at Truro, then Falmouth if I head south (which would allow me to fish the estuary of several rivers that come together, known as Carrick Roads) or Redruth and Camborne if I fancy heading west toward St. Ives.

Whether I explore the last bit clockwise or anticlockwise I will definitely be visiting Helford River, Mullion cove, the long beach of Porthlevan sands..he most westerly Iceland skip in Great Britain at Penzance, and the section of coast between Lamorna Cove and St. Levan.

*Shores of the Lizard peninsular, south Cornwall*

 

I love this part of the coast. It's rocky, great for fishing, and the remote little beaches are not so popular- not covered in sunbeds and ice cream trucks as they are down at the bottom of cliffs.

I estimate that reaching the far south west tip of Great Britain will take at least 15 days and probably quite a lot longer... Especially as I've really only counted the travelling days, no the relaxing on the beach having-fun-just-being-a-hobo days. lol. I certainly intend to have lots of days where I don't travel at all and just spend time making a camp that I can leave behind for future use. I would like to build several structures to leave behind I can use saplings to make the skeleton of a shelter that I can just throw my waterproof fabric sheets over to create a nice shelter for my fire and finding thick logs and stuff to use as seating and a table. I'll have to find good remote spots to do this, then they won't be discovered or if they are then at least hopefully they won't be tampered with while I'm not there and then I can camp much more quickly and have all those comforts reay for me any time I want to stop there again.

*One of my camps, somewhere*

 

 

I will miss my EP family and friends terribly while I am away and out of contact. :(  That's the down side. A pretty big down side. ...but I do need to go. I cannot remain here and keep using this computer all summer like I did last year. I have no choice in this.

I have to go. I have to survive as a real roaming hobo, not just one who hangs around the same areas every year. I need to know that I can get-by even with such limited local knowledge. It's easy here because I know where I'm going now, I know all my routes and how difficult they will be and where to camp, where to get water and food.. but this will challenge me again. This will make me find new local knowledge, learn these new places and then I will have that knowledge for the future.

Plus I'm looking forward to those Cornish beaches!

TheLuckyHobo TheLuckyHobo
31-35, M
11 Responses Mar 5, 2010

hahahaha. Thanks for making me laugh, AP. I think you don't have to eat the heads that stick out of the pie, inside it's just a seafood pie.. nothing in there that's that bad.. a pie wouldn't have bones in it so those fish heads sticking up are just for decoration really. I doubt I'll eat one as fish doesn't keep well in a wheelie bin in summer! Fish head curry sounds gross, lol. I love spicy fish, but I've never tried a fish head curry.. I dont think anywhere around here sells it. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I'll get as many pics as I can to bring back and show everyone. :) *hugs back*<br />
<br />
MissGuided, thanks for reading and commenting. :) I'm afraid I haven't read that book yet.. I think I know how it ends though soo.. maybe I won't read that before I set off, lol. Cornwall's not exactly the wild anyway, lol, so I should be safe. Unfortunately I think carrying a book would be too inconvenient on this trip even if I could get hold of one. I'll carry as much food as I can, or as much as I have that's suitable for travelling. In the past I have taken dry food that I bought especially for travelling with: instant noodles (I eat them dry and save the curry flavouring sachet for a cup of soup), porridge oats, milk powder, sugar, salt, and some solid vegetable fat. In the past I even carried Indian wheat flour so I could bake naan breads on a hot stone by the campfire. I do make a good naan bread. =)_ I will only be carrying milk powder and salt from the start this time, plus whatever I can find in the local "skips" in the week before I go. I'll just pick up whatever else I need at the skips along the way. =) I wish I could get a new tyre, but I don't think I'll be able to stretch to that.. I'll have to look out for something I can use as an extra patch to put inside, maybe a peice of leather or something like that.

The west Wales coast is beautiful and a lot of it is unspoilt.

I'm thinking I may do a little exploration as far as Bristol starting at Easter, then come back up, and go again in the summer.. I really don't know when yet. <br />
Why would you prefer hitch hiking? I really think going by bike is a big advantage: It means I can reach really out-of-the-way places far off the truck/commuter routes where it may be difficult to get a ride to, and I can enjoy some traffic-free routes, like the Plym valley cycle path that goes up into the hills from Plymouth. Plus I have something to take the weight of all my equipment so I am not bearing it all on my shoulders. <br />
The route is not set in stone, it's just a guideline really.. I would like to get around to creating a route map on google maps at some point, so I can show everyone where I am going.. I just have to get around to that.<br />
I totally agree about the rain, it is such a pain when you're camping. I don't mind getting wet, it's the staying wet and never being able to get your stuff properly dried out.

Hey when are you going?? I wanna do a similar thing just not biking..hitchhiking instead..but camping out & skipping and the like...<br />
Could u share your route+tips when u have it please?<br />
I`ll probably go in the summer..and hope it won`t raing..argh i hate the rain..<br />
thanks :)

Wow. You have a real plan here! <br />
<br />
Yes I agree, that I often totally romanticize this sort of life in my mind too, the reality is so much harder then I can even imagine I know, but there is something about that ever illusive appeal if traveling and completely being caught up in that adventure of life... moving from one place to the next that really, really has a fascinating appeal that I admit I've fantasized about far too much. I wish I were as free as that sometimes, many times.

super photos,they add alot.epic countryside...!<br />
I like your camo tarp.<br />
hope the whole battery thing works out,well planned!<br />
I know what you're saying about hungry critters-good point.<br />
public libraries,colleges and churches often have electric sockets to loan...<br />
<br />
if you're ever in Northern California,we'll howl a few songs and share a few kebabs...over here they are kabobs,but I like to play brit a bit.someday hope to roam the UK countryside,on the cheap I would imagine...I do have family in Wicklow and a friend in Leeds...and dreams of my mother soil...<br />
happy trails bro.

HEY! Have a great time traveling! :-D<br />
Many HUGS! :-D<br />
<br />
And don't worry about EP... you'll beat the withdrawls sooner than later. I did, when I took my break. Go see the world and have adventures! You'll come back here in better shape. for it. I promise! ^_-

Thanks Mr Kebab. =)<br />
<br />
I don't actually have any musical ability, unfortunately. That's okay, though. I have the strange rhythms inside my head. =P lol. <br />
Well, actually I'm HOPING I can beg one of my relatives to buy me the battery charger (for normal AAA recharchables) that fits to my "Freeloader" portable solar charger. I currently only use it for charging my phone, but I have the larger add-on solar cell for it that will charge batteries quite fast, so I would like to be able to use that for AAAs and then I can keep my little mp3 pla<x>yer going. I need the battery charger anyway really, as my head-torch is powered by AAA rechargeable batteries and I will definitely need to recharge them on such a long trip.<br />
<br />
I'm hoping that I will be able to plant some veggies along the way, but there are so many rabbits and in the remote spots deer too.. I would need to find discarded chicken wire to make protection for them. It's a lot of work really for what I would get. <br />
<br />
I feel those gypsy urges too. I would want to go on some adventures anyway, even if I was able to stay here... but I would just make them shorter and keep coming back so I could go on EP! I can't wait to have some adventures, though.. to travel through the night to new places, and have the whole country as my home. :)

hey Hobo,great stuff here-may the road rise to meet ya and all that.<br />
<br />
my bike also has one gear currently,complicated cables...<br />
are you bringing any music stuff?harmonicas and jaw-harps are very portable,drums less so,but easily improvised along the way...also you can plant some food along your route to return to...always nice to hear of some real adventures on EP...my gypsy urges are returning with the spring,but first I need to finish up with the probation department-they are truly not keen on me just wandering off(plus I've now got a few vegetable gardens to attend to,yay.)<br />
but I miss the stars,etc.I made a little firepit,but it's just not the same as being off the beaten track,you know.

Umm, I will. lol. <br />
Ah, yes.. but what you do is valuable to the world. What would we all do without toilet paper? :p <br />
lol, ok, I'm sure you meant bringing-up the L.O.; but I envy you for that, so we're even! :)

Say "Hello" to Glastonbury for me when you pass through. I really do envy your lifestyle although I know I have a bit of a romantic notion about it and it's not really that easy...but then doing what I do isn't either, at times.