Philip Sharp

Entered the Hall of Fame:5th August 2016
Trail Completed:29th July 2016

Background: My partner and I live in Auckland, New Zealand. We flew to England to visit family and to do a northbound thru-hike of the ODP. We had previously completed a thru-hike of the Long Trail, Vermont in 2013 and a thru-hike of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in 2014.

Schedule: We arrived by bus at Chepstow 2pm on July 20 and walked to the southern terminus of the ODP. We started going north at 3pm and camped at Beeches Farm. On the subsequent nights we camped on the lawn of the Hogshead Pub (Great Treadam), a farm camping ground just west of Hay, Lower Dolley Farm, Panpwnton Farm (Knighton), Mellington Hall, the lawn of the Golden Lion Pub (Four Crosses), Wern Isaf camping ground (Llangollen), and Station Caravan Park (Bodfari). We reached the northern terminus noon on July 29.

Weather: We had light rain on two days. The remaining days were either overcast or fine.

Some highlights: The vast network of footpaths and good signage; looking down on Tintern Abbey from Devil's Pulpit; Whitecastle and Dinas Bran Castle; the walk from Llangollen to Llandegla; the friendly and helpful locals.

Medical issue: We were both bitten by flies a few hundred metres south of Bigs Weir. My partner had an allergic reaction which we countered with anti-histamine tablets. As a precaution, we rested in Knighton for 24 hours and sought medical attention. My partner had almost fully recovered by the end of the hike. I was bitten again later in the hike. I was unaffected by all bites.

Equipment: We know people around our age of 60 who no longer hike because their knees are permanently damaged through carrying heavy packs when they were young. One consequence is that we practice ultralight hiking. Our baseweight for the current hike was 7-8 pounds. Our shelter was a Hexamid Twin from Z-packs. We walked in modestly-priced running shoes. We wore long-sleeved shirts to reduce sun exposure.

What we would do differently next time: Get more information on re-supply possibilities and the location of camping grounds close to the ODP. Carry Aqua Mira so that we could purify water between the standard water points.
 

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