The Cleveland Way guidebook

Wuhuuu I got some mail!:)

The mailman brought me a brand new official national trail guide of the Cleveland Way. I ordered it from Adlibris-online bookstore since I have an account there and they have a nice variety of hiking books. I’m so used to the guidebooks of Cicerone Press and their style, that at the first look I was really missing some elements and graphics in this one, but it seems to be a solid guidebook.

The maps are very detailed but unfortunately not all of the accommodation options are marked there… just some if comparing to the accommodation guide at the website. So I’m still struggling to make a perfect plan for camping through the whole trail.

The route descriptions seem to be clear enough but we’ll see this later in the action if getting lost or not.  But I think I won’t take any other maps since the waymarking should be quite good, and because the area is not that difficult wilderness area to navigate. Also this guidebook has a lot of information about the history of the interest points and villages, much more than usual hiking guidebooks so I’m looking forward to get to know the area this time a bit better.

I’m having now a few weeks break of long distance walking exercises because the roads here are very icy at the moment. The spring sun is melting the top snow layer revealing the ice underneath making walking quite an acrobatic performance. So better to wait for a while until the roads are bit more melted and then starting again.


Sunday walk 31km

Todays route, plus 6km repeating the last part.

After being sitting the whole last week inside of the Monte Gustos office, behind closed curtains and safety doors, where the magic happens, I needed desperately some fresh air.

I felt crazy need to see the sunrise, so I set my alarm clock to 6:00 am sunday morning. I had already packed everything the night before so after my morning porridge I started walking around 6:45. The day started in an overcast weather which seemed like a bad luck since it had been so nice and sunny the whole week that far. At least that’s what the people had told me, I hadn’t stick my nose outside at all. So cursing my luck if this would be the only cloudy day of the week I set foot after another following the frozen Kerava-river.

Fortunately in an hour or so the sky cleared and it felt really like a spring, only the strong wind made it quite cold. Pushing forwards in familiar riverside, the walking felt good and pack as well. I stopped few times to take some photos but the first real break was in the Haltiala farm around 9:00 am, after some 11km of walking. The Cafeteria there was just opening up but I had my own tea and sandwiches.

Haltiala farm and the steaming “soup cannon” getting ready for hungry skiiers.

After this the route entered into the woods and I faced my first and only problem. The road I was supposed to follow was turned into a skiing tracks in winter time. And this seemed to be quite popular area for that. I pondered my options for a while, but then I decided to walk boldly between the skiing tracks. The surface was hard and there were enough space for skiiers to go both directions so I didn’t see any problem. No one said anything but few almost run into… It was only for few kilometers until I hit the road again at the artificial lake where the turning point of the route was.

I walked around the long lake looking for a place to have the second break. I had never been in this area before.

I wasn’t very ready with my camera…

Soon I came into an open area of farmland and small hill where families where enjoying the winter activities. I found a nice, calm and sunny spot there to sit down to my Thermarest and enjoying the sun and snacks. Two third of the walk was done and no problems. Last part would be quite tiring march along the roads back home.

I passed by some interesting neighbourhoods though. The roads were very slippery making the walking quite slow time to times but the last five kilometers I was like flying. I finished the walk early in the afternoon, just on time to enjoy the last rays of sun reaching our patio.

The beer is unfortunately just a prop for the photo.. I emptied it the previous friday.

The walk itself served for two purposes: first of all I wanted to test how it feels to walk 30km, which would be required almost on daily basis on the Cleveland Way. And second, I wanted to test how it feels to walk that long with my current gear, especially full loaded Osprey Exos 58.

No worries I would say. Except my boots. I’m a bit unsure what should I do… I have had those Haglöfs Hawk gore-tex hiking boots with me through the Alps and Dutch coast, but they have never felt awesome, especially on more flat grounds and road walking. The second pair of shoes I have is a normal pair of running sneakers. I have walked with them as well to see if going more lighter with footwear is an option or not? I really like the idea of that but then I should maybe buy a nice pair of trailrunning shoes like Inov-8´s. (I’m dreaming of Roclite 319)

Any ideas or recommendations? After muddy Cleveland Way there’s the rocky GR20 coming as well…