Still on Forest Trail in Mirkwood Posted by Sylvia 1393 days ago

In the month of December I have…

Walked: 65.5km
Run: 51.5 km

Total Distance: 117 km

That’s 72.7 miles.

Distance since leaving Rivendell: 590 km

That’s 366 miles in total.

So, I’m still on the Forest Trail.

It’s still 47 miles to the Enchanted River which is my next update point.

Not surprisingly, it’s actually quite difficult to find images of Mirkwood that aren’t images of the more exciting bits still to come (the spiders and the elves and the river).

Today’s artwork is actually of the entrance to the forest, as imagined by Dominik Matus.

On Forest Trail in Mirkwood. Posted by Sylvia 1419 days ago

So, my total distance since my last update is…

473.6 kilometres. That’s 294 miles.

I’m pretty stunned at that.

I’ve taken up running (well, maybe better defined as really fast walking) and that’s clearly made a big difference to my mileage.

I’m sorry that I haven’t been updating the blog over the past months. The problem is that I use Runkeeper on my iPhone now and it tracks everything for me. By taking the work out of the process, it took away a lot of the motivation for updating this blog, as I’m no longer adding up the figures myself and then looking for someone to share the result with.

I’m trying to think of a good way to watch for waypoints and update as I hit important story points so that my walk across Middle Earth gets irregular updates at least.

As of my last update, the Eagles had picked up Bilbo and his friends and carried them to the Eyrie. That was 41 miles along the route to the Lonely Mountain. Since then, based on my mileage over the year, the party has gone to Beorn’s house and begun their ride through Mirkwood.

I’m a bit disappointed that I’ve not even reached the next good plot point yet but I had to admit, I had no idea how long they walked through Mirkwood before getting into trouble (19 days at 7 miles a day for 143 miles). And I’m rather relieved to see I’ve made it through the bulk of that – if I was still updating once a month, it would have been rather depressing trying to find a dozen good photographs of Mirkwood in order to announce “I’m still on the path.”

Next stop is the Enchanted River.

Today’s photograph is from the excellent Kingdom of Mirkwood Tourist Board website.

Eagles take Company to their Eyrie. Sleep there. Posted by Sylvia 1716 days ago

December-Jan: 5 miles
Day 171 (07 Feb): 1.8 miles
Day 172: 0 miles
Day 173: 3.8 miles
Day 174: 0 miles
Day 175: 3.2 miles
Day 176: 5.1 miles

As you can see, I’ve not been very consistent lately. It isn’t quite as bad as it looks because I joined a gym, so I’ve been doing ellipticals and strength exercies and a bit of treadmill. If you use Fitocracy, feel free to add me!

However, I have decided that I’d like to be walking more. I’m spending a lot of time in Swansea at the moment and really, I’d like to see more of the Gower Peninsula. So I’ve decided that I’d like to walk the Gower Coast Road and the Gower Way – or something approximating it, anyway – starting from the Swansea marina.

I started today: First Leg

As you can see, I meandered a bit. I went into town to buy a sandwich to have as a picnic lunch. Then I went into Clyne Gardens (Interesting Features of Clyne Gardens – City and County of Swansea) to eat said sandwich in the rain.

Meanwhile, in The Hobbit, the Eagles have arrived to rescue the party from the wargs. Bilbo Baggins is currently sleeping in the eagles’ eyrie. The next leg is 52 miles which Bilbo will fly (well, be flown) and I have to walk. That seems rather unfair!

Today’s image of Bilbo and the Eagle was by JRR Tolkien himself.

Warg Attack! Posted by Sylvia 1790 days ago

Day 53-58: 0 miles
Day 59: 3.7 miles
Day 60: 2.9 miles
Day 61: 3.1 miles
Day 62-68: 0 miles
Day 69: 6 miles
Day 70-76: 0 miles
Day 77: 1.7 miles
Day 78-85: 0 miles
Day 86: 3.6 miles
Day 87: 2 miles
Day 88-92: 0 miles
Day 93: 1.7 miles
Day 94-98: 0 miles
Day 98: 0.8 miles
Day 99: 0 miles
Day 100: 0 miles
Day 101: 2 miles
Day 102: 2.8 miles
Total walked: 139 miles

30 miles in 50 days. Ouch, I suck. I’ve really been bad lately about walking – partially just because I’ve been busy and partially because the weather isn’t quite so nice in November in Wales. But I’m supposed to at least keep up a ratio of a mile a day and I haven’t even done that. And then I wonder why I put so much weight on lately. ARGH!

December will be different. I promise.

Meanwhile, the route to Lonely Mountain is full of adventure! The dwarves threatened to leave Bilbo behind but he snuck up wearing the magic ring and they were so impressed at his sneakiness and Tookishness that they felt bad for ever doubting him (although Gandalf certainly suspected that something was up). And then…

“Clearing. Hear wolves. Climb trees. WARG ATTACK. Eagles Rescue.”

I love the eagle scene – in fact I can’t wait to see how they do that in the film. Woohoo! I’m flying! The next few miles should be easy, right?

I found today’s image by “Jackdaw” on ImagineFX – Winners of the Weekly MYFX Forum Challenges. It was the winner of the MYFX Challenge #72 “The Hobbit” in 2008.

I am in Possession of the One Ring Posted by Sylvia 1840 days ago

Day 37: 3.2 miles
Day 38: 2.6 miles
Day 39: 1.7 miles
Day 40: 7.9 miles
Day 41-43: 0 miles
Day 44: 3.6 miles
Day 45: 2.7 miles
Day 46-51: 0 miles
Day 52: 4.1 miles
Total: 109 miles
Distance remaining to the Lonely Mountain: 460 miles

Still a very long way to go.

I’ve been a bit sporadic with my walking but still getting a decent distance when I do go. Clearly the main issue is just finding the time to get out the door. I need to prioritise exercise more as I’ve completely stopped losing weight. Also, I need to stop expecting perfect weather and just go out when it is time to go out, rather than hopefully waiting for the sun to come out (which can take weeks!).

The past 25 miles have been particularly exciting as Bilbo and the dwarves have been deep down in the goblin tunnels of the Misty Mountains.

Take a look at the final 11 miles:

Bilbo Continues Alone: 11 miles



Bilbo wakes in the dark and realizes he is alone. Begins
crawling along.



Bilbo, while crawling, finds the ONE RING. Pulling out his
sword for light,
he begins trotting along passage.



Bilbo unknowingly passes passage to ‘Back Door’



Bilbo reaches Gollum’s Lake.
Riddle Contest.



Bilbo follows Gollum back up passage. Side passages begin to



Gollum blocks entrance to tunnel to Back Door. Bilbo jumps
over him.



Bilbo reaches the ‘Back Door’ and escapes.

Go, Bilbo, Go!

Today’s lovely sketch is by J. Liberatore, an animation major at Brigham Young University in Utah. See the original at full size on her blogpost: Imaginative Ink: Bravest Little Hobbit of Them All

Gandalf makes light. Dwarves carry Bilbo. Posted by Sylvia 1856 days ago

Walking walking walking walking:
Day 12: 3.7 miles
Day 13: 0 miles
Day 14: 4.1 miles
Day 15: 0 miles
Day 16: 2.2 miles
Day 17: 0 miles
Day 18: 4.4 miles
Day 19: 0 miles
Day 20: 4.2 miles
Day 21: 3.8 miles
Day 22: 0 miles
Day 23: 1.9 miles
Day 24: 1.9 miles
Day 25-26: 0 miles
Day 27: 1 miles
Day 28: 0 miles
Day 29: 5.4 miles
Day 30: 1.5 miles
Day 31: 3.2 miles
Day 32: 1.7 miles
Day 33: 3.8 miles
Day 34: 5.4 miles
Day 35: 2.2 miles
Day 36: 3.8 miles
Total: 83.5 miles
Distance remaining to the Lost Mountain: 486.5 miles

As you can see, I’m walking almost every day now. It’s a big time hit and that’s somewhat problematic but I’m trying to persevere. It helps that I don’t like driving and that Swansea is pretty easy to navigate on foot.

Meanwhile, things are heating up for Bilbo Baggins. They’ve climbed up into the Misty Mountains and sheltered in a cave from the Thunder-battle. Goblins capture the party and take them for questioning in the Great Goblin’s Cavern. I shall have to update more frequently if I don’t want to miss all the good images in the Goblin caves!

Today’s beautiful watercolur is Over the Misty Mountains by David Wenzel and available to purchase as a print on his website.

Climbing Steadily Posted by Sylvia 1881 days ago

Day 1: 4.3 miles
Day 2: 4.2 miles
Day 3: 6.3 miles
Day 4: 1.8 miles
Day 5-6: 0 miles
Day 7: 5.4 miles
Day 8-9: 0 miles
Day 10: 4.9 miles
Day 11: 2.7 miles
Total: 29.5 miles
Distance to the Lonely Mountain: 540 miles

I started off well and then came down with a horrible cold that knocked the wind out of my sails. I’m feeling much better now and looking at some interesting “Walking by Bus” routes in the Swansea Bay area. I found the leaflets at the Tourist Information Centre which includes the bus route, a circular walk with a list of highlights and information about refreshments at the location. What a great idea!

Meanwhile, Bilbo and the dwarves have left fair Rivendell and are following Gandalf into the Misty Mountains. Bilbo is on a pony so he has a definite advantage. The party have been travelling at a rate of four miles per day and I’ve been trying to keep up with them. They have passed the foothills and are climbing steadily. Soon, the thunder will begin and they will seek shelter in a cave.

Today’s image is called Far over the Misty Mountains and was done by by Leonid Kozienko who is on deviantART as agnidevi

I have reached Rivendell! Posted by Sylvia 1892 days ago

Day 444: 6 miles
Day 445: 4.5 miles
Day 446-453: 0 miles
Day 454: 1.2 miles
Day 455: 2.8 miles
Day 456: 3.3 miles
Day 457: 1.1 miles
Day 458: 0 miles
Day 459: 5.1 miles
Day 460: 1 miles
Day 461: 3.6 miles
Day 462: 0 miles
Day 463: 1.8 miles
Day 464: 3.6 miles
Day 465-467: 0 miles
Day 468: 1.5 miles
Day 469: 2 miles
Day 470-471: 0 miles

Total mileage: 411 miles
Total time: 471 days

Total distance to Rivendell: 397 miles

So, I’ve been busy and although I was noting my mileage, I didn’t have a chance to update the website. I completed my challenge almost two weeks ago but I have only just got around to updating the website.

THE HOBBIT: Bag End to Rivendell (397 Miles) has been a great motivator for tracking my mileage over five countries and helping me to see how it all adds up. So I’d like to continue it. I’ll count my final miles as quiet walks around the Last Homely House and start tomorrow at zero.

The next walk is 570 Miles, the distance that Bilbo travelled from from Rivendell to Lonely Mountain. Eowyn’s Challenge will remain my guide and I hope to complete this walk in less than 570 days!

Today’s image is fan art based on stills from the Lord of the Rings films which I found on

With few provisions, they hurry along. Posted by Sylvia 1919 days ago

Day 438: 0.8 miles
Day 439: 4.3 miles
Day 440: 2.8 miles
Day 441: 3.4 miles
Day 442: 0 miles
Day 443: 4 miles
Distance walked:25.6 miles
Total distance: 373.9
Distance remaining to Rivendell: 23 miles

Only a week since my last update but I’ve walked over half of the remaining distance to Rivendell. I will be travelling next week so I don’t know that I’ll match the distance from last week, but I am getting very close to my goal. Of course, Bilbo Baggins did half of that journey in a single day:

June 2 – Day 36: 13 miles



Road now runs due east. With few provisions, they hurry along.



Can see ruins on hilltop to the north.



South of the Road, ravine of the Bruinen comes close. Road
turns NE.



Pass a valley from the north.




Today’s picture is “Disturber of the Peace,” by Weta Workshop concept artist Ben Wootten, who worked on the Lord of the Rings films. You can purchase a print for $35.00 plus shipping.

Leave early and make haste Posted by Sylvia 1926 days ago

Day 410-417: 0 miles
Day 418: 3 miles
Day 419-421: 0 miles
Day 422: 1.6 miles
Day 423: 0 miles
Day 424: 3.2 miles
Day 425-428: 0 miles
Day 429: 1 mile
Day 430-31: 0 miles
Day 431: 0 miles
Day 432: 3.5 miles
Day 433: 0 miles
Day 434: 4.1 miles
Day 435: 3 miles
Day 436: 3.3 miles
Day 437: 0 miles
Total Distance: 358.5 miles

When I started this, it was easy to check for the waypoints and update the blog when the adventurer party had stopped to camp. Lately, I’ve been finding it much more difficult and I’ve been very frustrated that I always seem to be a couple of miles ahead or behind of the next clear update point. Only today have I realised that this is a direct result of my walking more. I was generally walking a mile, maybe two a day and it was easy to link up to the The Hobbit: Bag End to Rivendell mileage chart.

Now, when I walk it tends to be for three or four miles and I’m much more unlikely to land directly at one of the camp spots from the book.

I have enough stupid things in my life to stress about without this. I’m going to stop trying to match my mileage updates to an exact point on the route of the Hobbit and accept that I’m in the right general area for a campsite.

Although I am pretty excited at how close I am to my goal! Bilbo and Co have left the Trollshaws behind them and are going east through the woods. Bilbo doesn’t know it yet, but he will discover his own version of paradise within a couple of days. Based on previous updates, it will take me a couple of weeks. This entire journey has taken a lot longer than I expected (my original goal was to complete the walk in a year by averaging just over a mile a day) but it has been a fun way of tracking my walking over time, when it would otherwise have felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere.

Fili and Kili Revealed in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – This image is one of the pre-release photos from the filming of The Hobbit. I always knew that Fili and Kili were much younger than the other dwarves, a generation apart. But I never really thought about what a young dwarf might look like. I think I might be a little bit in love with Kili (on the right) although he does have a slightly Elvish look to him, don’t you think?

Reach fire: Trolls. Company captured. Posted by Sylvia 1952 days ago

Day 369: 5.7 miles
Day 370: 3.3 miles
Day 371: 2.1 miles
Day 372-378: 0 miles
Day 373: 2.3 miles
Day 379: 7.8 miles
Day 380: 2.4 miles
Day 381: 2.9 miles
Day 382-393: 0 miles
Day 394: 3.3 miles
Day 395: 0 miles
Day 396: 1.2 miles
Day 397-400: 0 miles
Day 401: 3 miles
Day 402: 0 miles
Day 403: 1.9 miles
Day 404: 0 miles
Day 405: 6 miles
Day 406: 3.8 miles
Day 407-8: 0 miles
Day 408: 0 miles
Day 409: 7.2 miles
Day 410-411: 0 miles

Mileage: 88.11
Total distance: 335.8 miles
Distance remaining to Rivendell: 61 miles

My god, when did that happen. I knew I’d been a bit lax about updating but suddenly I’ve passed a number of my landmarks and less only 60 miles to go!

I need to pay more attention. I’m missing lots of opportunities for great images.

Meanwhile, Bilbo Baggins has started having serious adventures. They’ve crossed the Last Bridge and Gandalf is missing and the pony bolted into the river and lost their food and then the entire company (except Gandalf, thank goodness) were captured by trolls.

Gandalf and company follow trail to Troll-hole. Find swords for Thorin and Gandalf. Bilbo takes blade. Collect gold. Return to fire.

The image today is by Douglas Carrel. I know we’ve already passed the trolls but it is one of my favourites and I would have hated to skip it!

Ahead, dark wooded hills appear higher. Posted by Sylvia 1995 days ago

Day 349: 3 miles
Day 350-355: 0 miles
Day 356: 3 miles
Day 357-360: 0 miles
Day 361: 3.1 miles
Day 362: 3.3 miles
Day 363: 3 miles
Day 364-367: 0 miles
Day 368: 2.8 miles

Mileage: 18.2
Total distance: 282.93 miles
Distance remaining to Rivendell: 114 miles

It has taken me some time to get back into the swing of things and I spent a week near death suffering with a cold so progress isn’t as good as I’d like.

It’s good to see that I walked 18 miles over 18 days, which puts me back in line with my original goal. Unfortunately with the time I lost, I don’t think I’ll ever get the journey back on track for to one mile per day again on average.

But I am making headway. It is strangely exciting as I compare my progress to Bilbo Baggins in the book.

He’s in wild country but the weather is good. According to The Hobbit: Bag End to Rivendell it is the 24th of May and he’s been following the dwarves for 28 days.

If I continue this past Rivendell, I’d love to match my next destination with the season in the book. But there’s no real point: they are ranging between 4 and 9 miles a day and it’s taken me just over a year to walk what they did in a month.

Mile 282: Continue east. Behind, Weather Hills have almost disappeared. Ahead, dark wooded hills appear higher. Camp.

The image is by Alan Lee.

Many of his Middle Earth prints are available at Artists UK.

See the tops of the Trollshaws. Camp. Posted by Sylvia 2013 days ago

Day 319-323: 0 miles
Day 324: 1.2 miles
Day 325: 1.4 miles
Day 326: 1.7 miles
Day 327: 3.4 miles
Day 328: 1.2 miles
Day 329: 1.8 miles
Day 330: 2 miles
Day 331-333: 0 miles
Day 334: 1.7 miles
Day 335: 2.4 miles
Day 336: 2.4 miles
Day 337: 2.7 miles
Day 338-340: 0 miles
Day 341: 2.8 miles
Day 342: 2.6 miles
Day 343: 2.5 miles
Day 344: 0 miles
Day 345: 1.2 miles
Day 346-347: 0 miles
Day 348: 2.9 miles
Miles walked: 31.6
Total distance: 264.74 miles

I’m finally making progress again. This is to a great extent a result of putting visible weight on this year so every time I look in the mirror, I see what not exercising (and too much wine and cheese, obviously) do to me. A friend advised me to try the Nike sensor which works with my iphone. It’s a “coaching” app which gives me updates as I walk and it uploads to the Nike website to give me a clear view of my progress (mileage, pace, calories burned).

Also, mile 264 is an important one:

Continue east. Far behind, the Weather Hills show less and less. Ahead, company begins to see the tops of the Trollshaws. Camp.

The Trollshaws! The adventure is beginning! And along with that, a great set of images that I am looking forward to posting.

Today’s image is from the cover of Hillmen of the Trollshaws by Jeff McKeage, Peter C. Fenlon, John D. Ruemmler, a Middle Earth Role Playing guide.

Turning Over a New New Leaf Posted by Sylvia 2043 days ago

I’m not going to embarrass myself by posting all the days with 0 mileage.

The point is that since my last update which was *mumble*over a month ago*mumble*, I have only walked a total of 10 miles. Which does get me to my next milestop but is hardly a sensible mileage.

Miles walked: 10 miles
Total distance walked: 230
Distance to Rivendell: 167 miles

However, most of that was in the last two weeks. My ankle has healed and the weather seems to be getting better and I got a new camera for my birthday so I have lots of reasons to go walking. Not the least of which is that I’m starting to look a bit hobbit-ish around the middle again!

The Eowyn Challenge shows a random and unexplained camp as Weathertop falls away behind our wandering party. I thought I’d use the chance to catch up on the blog and also to post this neat photograph!

The full-size photo can be seen on Pictures from the set of The Hobbit! | It is from Peter Jackson’s Facebook page, showing him finally on the set of the Hobbit. If that doesn’t inspire me, nothing will!

The Important Thing is to Keep Moving Posted by Sylvia 2092 days ago

I have been … um … not walking very much. I blame the holidays. And the rain. And the midges.

Day 225 – 228: 0 miles
Day 229: 0.5 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 230: 0 miles
Day 231: 1 mile in Potters Bar
Day 232: 0 miles
Day 233: 0.5 miles in Herts.
Day 234: 1.4 miles in Potters Bar
Day 235: 0 miles
Day 236: 1.9 miles in Potters Bar
Day 237: 0.7 miles in Potters Bar
Day 238: 0 miles
Day 239: 1 mile in Seckenheim (Photograph)
Day 240 – 246: 0 miles
Day 247: 0.7 miles in Potters Bar
Day 248: 1.45 miles in Potters Bar (Photographs)
Day 249: 0.7 miles in Potters Bar
Day 250: 1.6 miles in Potters Bar
Day 251: 0.7 miles in Potters Bar
Day 252: 0.7 miles in Potters Bar
Day 253: 0 miles
Day 254: 0.7 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 255: 0.6 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 256: 0.7 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 257 – 262: 0 miles
Day 263: 0.6 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 264: 0.6 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 265: 0 miles
Day 266: 0.6 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 267 – 270 : 0 miles
Day 271: 2.9 miles in Mijas Costa (Photographs)
Total: 220 miles

Clearly, I need to stop taking the half-mile walks because they make me feel righteous without actually helping my progress very much. This completely ruins the 1 mile/day average that I had achieved last year. Well, I shall do better in February!

One last image of Weathertop, which at Mile 219 was still clearly visible from behind Bilbo and the dwarves. This is a model designed by Tankred from scratch after he was dissatisfied with his purchased model. He gives all the details on his website.

Only Ruins Remained Posted by Sylvia 2139 days ago

Day 214: 0.8 miles
Day 215: 0.6 miles
Day 216: 2.5 miles
Day 217: 1 mile
Day 218: 0
Day 219: 1.6 miles
Day 220: 0
Day 221: 1 mile
Day 222: 0
Day 223: 1 mile
Day 224: 0
Total Distance: 200.4 miles
Distance Remaining: 196.6 miles

I’ve passed the halfway point! I have walked halfway to Rivendell! I’m stupidly happy about this.

After over 220 days of tracking the 200 miles that I have walked, I have only finally moved it onto the computer. I am now using a spreadsheet rather than scribbling notes each day of where I walked and working through them all when I thought I was near a waypoint. Yes, sometimes I’m a bit slow to think things through. Still, at least I have a system now.

Weathertop rises immediately north of the Road. Camp at its foot. Weathertop doesn’t feature in the Hobbit but later in the trilogy, Frodo recognises the camp from Bilbo’s memoirs. I loved this when I first read it, a feeling of shared recognition that really put me into the story.

This photograph was taken of a fallen tower in Ireland by LordSaddler on deviantART. The tower on the top of the hill reminded him of the description of Weathertop: “The Tower of Amon Sul was once tall and fair, but by the end of the Third Age only ruins remained.”

Continue at a Comfortable Pace Posted by Sylvia 2149 days ago

Weathertop by T. RuepingDay 188: 0 miles
Day 188: 0
Day 189: 1 mile in London
Day 190: 0
Day 191: 1 mile in Blackpool (photographs)
Day 192: 0
Day 193: 0.8 miles in Swansea
Day 194: 6.1 miles in Swansea (photographs)
Day 195: 0
Day 196: 2.2 miles in Swansea
Day 197-200: 0
Day 201: 1 mile in Potters Bar
Day 202: 0.9 miles in Potters Bar
Day 203-207: 0
Day 208: 1.2 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 209: 2.4 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 210: 1.5 miles in Mijas Costa
Day 211: 0
Day 212: 1.6 miles in Mijas Costa (photographs)
Day 213: 0 miles in Mijas Costa

Total Mileage: 191.9

I’ve been remiss about updating although I have still been walking in various locations around England and Wales as well as here at home on the coast. I’ve been taking my camera with me to take photographs to accompany the mileage. All in all I feel quite the traveller, even if I haven’t even come close to reaching Rivendell in total mileage.

My shoddy updating means we’ve missed a stop – at Mile 180 Bilbo and co. camped to see open, rough lands on both sides of the road and Weathertop visible ahead. By the next stop at Mile 190, the land is sloping uphill towards Weathertop, which I take to mean they have entered the Weather Hills.

Our image today is a wondrous view of Weathertop by Tara Rueping. It was created as concept art for the Turbine game, the Lord of the Rings Online. You can see more of her artwork on her gallery: ART OF T.RUEPING

Leaving the Midgewater Marshes Behind Posted by Sylvia 2176 days ago

Previously: 163.6 miles
Goal: 397 miles

Day 171: 1 mile
Day 172: 1.2 miles
Day 173: 1.6 miles
Day 174: 0.8 miles
Day 175: 0
Day 178: 1 mile
Day 179-184: 0
Day 185: 3 miles
Day 186-187: 0

Total distance: 172.2 miles
Average distance per day: 0.92 miles

At mile 170, Bilbo Baggins and his friends reached the southeast tip of the Midgewater Marshes and camped before following the road uphill. It was Day 16 of their journey.

I now have a much better understanding of how relieved he must have been to leave the Midgewater Marshes behind him. I’m certainly looking forward to new and interesting locations for my virtual march. It’s still 225 miles to Rivendell; I’m not even halfway through my journey. But I am finally starting to feel like I’m making progress. Just a few miles more and Weathertop will come into view!

I’m also going to be visiting Swansea (in Wales) next week so I’ll have new scenery to explore in real life as well.

Today’s image is from How to be a Retronaut showing illustrations by M. Belomlinskij in the 1976 edition of the Hobbit published in the USSR.

I feel the stings of fantasy midges Posted by Sylvia 2196 days ago

Previously: 137.4 miles
Day 139: 1 mile in Potters Bar
Day 140: 0
Day 141: 0.6 miles in La Cala de Mijas
Day 142: 0
Day 143: 1.6 miles in La Cala de Mijas
Day 144-147: 0
Day 148: 1 mile in La Cala de Mijas
Day 149: 0
Day 150: 2 miles (at least!) in Malaga, Heathrow and Boston Airports
Day 151: 1 mile in Martha’s Vineyard
Day 152: 3 miles in Martha’s Vineyard
Day 153-154: 0
Day 155: 3 miles in Martha’s Vineyard
Day 156: 0
Day 157: 4 miles in Martha’s Vineyard
Day 158-165: 0
Day 167: 2.4 miles in La Cala de Mijas
Day 168: 1.4 miles in La Cala de Mijas
Day 170: 5.2 miles in Mijas Costa

Total Distance: 163.6 miles
Virtual location: Still working my way around the Midgewater Marshes!

I was not going to update until I managed to get clear of the marshes but I realised today that I was going to go a month without updates if I didn’t get a move on. Today I took a long and interesting walk from Fuengirola to La Cala and I decided I would post, whatever my mileage. According to my guide, Bilbo and co camped south of the road, away from the Marshes at mile 160 and then marched another 10 miles before they cleared the southeast tip and the road began to climb uphill. I’m glad. I’m sick of the marshes and I haven’t even been there.

Today’s image is a midge, drawn by Gina Mikel. You can see more of her artwork on her online gallery.

Working Towards a Mile a Day Posted by Sylvia 2226 days ago

Day 123: 4.6 miles in Edinburgh
Day 124: 6.1 miles in Edinburgh
Day 125: 4.2 miles in Edinburgh
Day 126: 1.3 miles in Sewardstone
Day 127: 1.6 miles in Waltham Abbey
Day 128: 2.2 miles in Potters Bar
Day 129: 1 mile in Potters Bar
Day 130: 0.9 miles at Eynsham Hall
Day 131: 1 mile in Oxford
Day 132-135: 0
Day 136: 1 mile in Potters Bar
Day 137-138: 0

Total Distance: 137.4 miles

I’ve been on the road and unable to update as regularly as I would have liked but I have done quite a bit of walking. I’m pleased to see that my total days and total distance are now almost equal. Now I just need to keep it up!

Meanwhile, Bilbo’s adventuring party is still walking around the Midgewater Marshes. I shall very much look forward to getting past this so that we can have some more interesting images. Mile 137 simply says “Camp. Marshes to the north are now closer to the road” which is hardly very inspiring.

Today’s image is a map of the Bree-land Midgewater Marshes created by Linda Carlson of The Brasse, a fan site for the Lord of the Rings online game. It makes it clear that it’s a fair distance to skirt around the marshes rather than pass through them.