I also used the walks to test my new camera, a Fuji Finepix F70 EXR, to see how well it would do. On previous walks I have been using my Sony Ericsson C905 mobile phone, however, while the camera on the phone is great for a point and shoot, the image quality and lack of zoom is quite restrictive. The resolution of the C905 is also not great - it's fine for close up, party or casual snapping, but for landscape work you loose a lot of detail in trees and the distant views. The F70 EXR excelled in all fields, has a fantastic zoom and the HDR mode means that the images have a great range - the light areas such as the sky do not get burnt out and the dark areas still have detail.
Anyway, the Cheddar walk was nowhere near as challenging as it was last week, even though the ground was even more soggy and muddy. We made good progress but had to stop a few times to shelter from the rain. We completed the walk in 3 hours 12 minutes which included resting for lunch and stopping twice to take shelter from the rain. Our last effort was 3 hours 24 minutes, so we are defiantly fitter this week!
After we finished the gorge walk we stopped for a quick drink before heading off in the Land Rover to Crook Peak. Despite being tired from the Cheddar walk, we still found the start of the walk easier than the first time and we completed the first part of the walkthrough Kings Wood without stopping. We made good progress upto the next hill which was very, very muddy. In places, the mud was 3-4 inches thick and very sticky clay. This did slow us down somewhat, but the rest of the walk was easier. We reached the top and took a few pictures, a cup of hot coffee before climbing back down.
At this point, my gamy knee decided enough was enough and it then proceeded to protest all the way back to the Landy. Good job I had a new walking pole to help me as the downward trek was quite painful and it still is today. On the way back the mud in places was very difficult to walk down, in places we had to stop and inch down muddy slopes.
We eventually made it back in 2 hours 54 minutes including stopping for a break at the top. This is a bit longer than our previous 2 hours 14 minutes, however the sheer amount of mud slowed us down considerably. We also rested for longer this time.
All in all a very tiring but worthwhile day.
Total Distance Walked: 9.3 miles (15 km)
Time Taken: 6 hours 06 minutes.