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The Emperor’s new clothes

May 21, 2011
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Ta da! A new look and a new name.  What do you think?

Beach hike in front of Burj al Arab

End of beach hike in a sandstorm.

There were many rejects before I plumped on Walking on Sunshine.  Sadly ‘Best foot forward’ and ‘Pereginations’ were already taken.  Walking in Sunshine is what I do most of the year and Walking on Sunshine is exactly how it feels when I am striding across a hill, wind in my hair, looking out on a fantastic view.

You may be hearing the Katrina and the Waves song in your head as you read those words but not me.  It’s the Eddy Grant version that takes me back to the 80′s (or even the Rockers Revenge remix).  Katrina was just too squeaky clean for my liking (and a bit annoying).

handpainting

Handpainting with children in the Shatila refugee camp

I first started sharing my thoughts here with a very fixed purpose in mind – training, fund-raising for and documenting a challenge for charity along part of the Lebanon Mountain Eco Trail.  It’s just over a year since I returned from that trip and I loved it, particularly hiking through the beautiful countryside.  It was a fantastic experience, life-changing in a quiet way and among other things it made me want to keep writing about my passion for walking.

Mostly I just walk my two dogs – Border terriers called Hazel and Rosie – in my neighbourhood in Dubai.  It’s thinking time for me and as an inveterate nosey person I like the pace that enables me to peek into open gates, stare up at mosque towers and observe the varied inhabitants out on the streets (sometimes with a camera).

No parking for boats

On my morning walk

Dubai is a vibrant and energetic city but I do miss energetic walking in the countryside so much sometimes it aches.  I’m lucky enough to escape to Europe over the scorching summer with a few other trips near and far too.  This is the place to share my favourite journeys, a few thoughts and observations…all from a pedestrian viewpoint whether at home or away.

I just thought I’d put a few waymarkers up about the terrain and the direction I’m heading so you can decide whether you want to stay and come along with me or say farewell.

Over the stile into the field

My sister with walk book in hand

It was the Gulf for Good 10th anniversary party last week and I started to think seriously about doing another challenge in 2012.  So the trials and tribulations of getting fit enough and what I find when we get there is definitely on the cards.  With the region undergoing so many changes due to the ‘Arab Spring’ I might look back on some previous trips too.  Plus I’m itching to try out some more walks from my sister’s book as well as my favourite lonely and dramatic routes on Dartmoor this summer.

I won’t be bombarding you with posts but if you’d like to hear from me more often and have an interest in food, I blog over at My Custard Pie too.

Thank you for coming this far – massive and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has read, subscribed, commented and given the most amazing encouragement over the past year and a half.  You got me up a few hills I can tell you, as well as over that 10km finish line.

2 Comments
  1. May 21, 2011 11:40 pm

    I like the title you have chosen!
    Until recently I did a lot of walking in the rain. As it hasn’t rained here in Southern England for about 2 months that seems a distant memory.

  2. May 24, 2011 11:57 am

    Excellent title and, yes, I have music in my head!

    Would love to know which challenge you’re going to do – I get the impression that “The Transylvanian Trek” in Romania has really caught your attention.

    I’m lucky to have already climbed Kilimanjaro and hiked along the Great Wall of China, so that just leaves me with the difficult choice between Vietnam/Cambodia, Myanmar, Romania and Syria!

    See you at the training …. !

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