A Journal From The Offa’s Dyke Walk

A couple of days ago I finished walking the Offa’s Dyke path, a 177 mile (285km) long distance walking trail that roughly follows the England-Wales border in the UK. It took 13 days to complete, covers all manner of terrain and goes through some rural villages and small towns. Apart from a few nights staying with friends and family I wild camped every night.

I really enjoyed the journey and learnt a few things along the way. I also met a lot of very nice people. It was a bit of an escape from technology for me so I didn’t ‘blog’ as such, but I did write a bit of a journal which I have typed up below.

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Photos From Mexico

A few photos I took on my proper camera while on my recent trip to Mexico. I did a loop around the Yucatán Peninsula which was very varied so I felt I got to sample a few of the things Mexico has to offer in my two short weeks there.

Impromptu street dancing – Valladolid, Yucatán

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A Holiday In Mexico

It has been both a fun and relaxing week in Mexico. I am trying to have a bit more of a ‘holiday’ this trip – so I booked some accommodation in advance and have been taking it very very easy. This is quite a different to my winging-it, must-do-everything approach that I usually take on my trips. So far it is going well.

I flew in to Cancun but wanted to avoid the mega resort so immediately took a bus to Playa del Carmen where I had booked a rustic hut near the beach. As I walked out of the bus station there was a big street party taking way which made for a nice welcoming party.

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Ending My Trip In Style – The Yukon and Alaska

It felt a little strange to be heading back West – the complete opposite direction to home and covering a journey which had taken me 5 months to drive in just 7 hours on a plane. My 3 flights up to Whitehorse were well rewarded however – leaving the airport the Northern lights were right above us. Carly explained that I was very lucky because although Aurora activity is common, you aren’t always able to see them due to the clouds. The night was clear and the view only got better as it got darker throughout the night.

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Across Canada – Gaspé, QC to Halifax, NS

After Gaspé I headed down the coast to Percé Rock which Hilary had recommended to me. The large rock impressively sticks out of that water and at low tide you can walk right out to it. Somehow I managed to wake up early enough to get out there before anyone else. The town of Percé itself is a very uninteresting tourist orientated affair but the night before I had found a small rest stop just outside of town where I stayed for the night (there not being any signs telling me not to) Throughout the evening another two campervans had joined me at my little spot – obviously also not fussed about staying in the town itself.

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Across Canada – Montréal, QC to Gaspé, QC

It was a little hard to leave Montréal. I had intended to depart a week before I actually did but the pull of the city kept me there. I had made some good friends during my time there and had lots of fun – so in the end I needed to drag myself away in order to continue my journey. I think I could have stayed there for a long time… well probably until it got silly cold.

My time in Montréal continued to be busy and included gay pride parade, an art gallery, a city break camping trip with my friend Carly, an electronic music festival and plenty more partying. It was great to get a little settled after being on the road for so long.

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Web Development And Me

I have been thinking of a little while that I should write a post about work – specifically what I actually ‘do’ and how that has changed over the last few years. This may not be of interest to everyone, but it is something I have given a lot of thought to over the last year and I figured that as well as explaining how I make a living, it might also have the added advantage of helping me collect my thoughts.

Since graduating from Cardiff University in 2008 with a degree in Computer Science I have been working as a web developer – initially for a company and then self-employed with my own clients. I’m pretty used to getting blank expressions from people when I say what I do. I am also used to people switching ‘web developer’ for ‘web designer’.

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A Pause In Montréal

I have been in Montréal nearly four weeks now, which is hard to believe because it has gone by so fast. This has largely been due to my time here being a whirlwind of meeting lots of people and there always being something to do in the city. Meeting people through Couch Surfing has been a great way to meet people (there are multiple planned activities happening every day!) and sample what the city has to offer. These activities include partying, sight seeing, a comedy festival, climbing, partying, exploring the local cafés, (a little) work, eating lots of delicious food and recovering from partying… to name a few.

Food trucks at the Just For Laughs comedy festival

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Across Canada – Toronto, ON to Montreal, QC

Stocking up on food and beer as we left Toronto, Jim and I headed North towards Algonquin Provincial Park. This was the first time where I had a road trip buddy and it made the drive not only go quicker – but was good fun. With the beats pumping (Albert has a surprisingly good sound system for a family people carrier!) we got to the park in no time. We had stopped off at a Tim Hortons on the way there so I could introduce Jim to my make-it-up-as-you-go-along way of doing things. We were nearly at the park at this point so we did some last minute research into where to go and accommodation options.

Jim taking a well deserved break

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Across Canada – Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON

After Chicago I drove to Cleveland, Ohio to see Martin – another school friend who I haven’t seen for many years. Martin moved to the US on a soccer (football) scholarship after we finished school ten years ago and didn’t come back! It was great to catch up with him and to meet his fiancé Molly.

Lunch Dave’s Cosmic Subs

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