Anecdota

Laughter is the Best Medicine

I attempted to cross an entire country in a straight line. PART 1



how do you do Tom Davis here longtime lover of mischief and adventure in the winter of 2018 I thought I'd attempt something that as far as I know had never been done before walk across an entire country in a straight line am I mad to pull this off I'd need to find a country in which it was physically possible to walk across in a straight line one that wasn't too wide and one with the right balance of remoteness and human activity that country was right on my doorstep Wales starting at the English border just south of Oswestry I would make my way west before eventually winding up here at the mouth dock estuary a pen mine pool along the way there'd be barbed wire fences hedgerows farmers rivers mountains forests gorges lakes marshes people's back gardens and much more the weather was going to be shit and over the course of the next few days I'm going through I was going to go slightly mad oops sorry you're watching the straight-line mission across Wales a quick briefing on the route later on I would have to cross these mountains and this giant lake but for now it was very feel the affair which wasn't much better day one would start off with a river crossing a fairly big wood and then a whole lot of fields and farmyards if I could make it past this particularly crowded section here by late afternoon I would be well on my way and if I could get past the little village of Rossi booth Britain that one I've been touching distance of these woods perfect places to camp especially if I needed to make a fire to dry off my clothes by the way at the risk of looking like a wannabe soldier wanker would be British army gear head-to-toe due to a thing clearly camouflaged in bushes and as a last resort a foolproof disguise Dan Hopkins SAS in all seriousness though I was kind of dreading and getting stuck at a hedgerow with an angry farmer approaching from behind and dogs farm yards with big bastard Alsatians in a row and on that note I should probably apologize in advance for my swearing fuck me apparently I swear a lot in these kinds of situations so kids if you're watching in fact don't watch this it's naughty we just leave the key or don't see other option really Oh God okay here we go I don't get out of it I think I'll just hop over here gonna get used to this sort of shit whoops look okay over there is where I start just over there that is the border of England and Wales but there is a farm just next to it so I'm terrified to be honest I'm terrified of being caught right off the bat I just think I'd be so demoralized and look at these hedgerows as well fuck me desperately don't want to be seen by this farm let's do it so let's make this quick I'm on the border of Wales that is the border of England and Wales right there this is where I start my journey to be honest I've just got to I've got to get on with this quick so let's do it here we go fuck May this is impossible okay I think I can get through there Oh oh okay we're still on track over the next one bag off again I think what's up with the ball boy and we're down have you got some more houses over it no one's chasing me yet it's a good start here's our River the dreaded River in question was the river tan at fast and shallow when not in flood but after five days of solid rain I was a bit worried that it would just be fast and deep now I was supposed to cross this river three times here here and here however if the river really was as bad as the lovely landlady at the penny Ponton told me it was I could cut my losses and sacrifice a few meters by skirting around the edge of this meander I could effectively cut out two whole crossings but I would still have to cross the river later so at this point I was very eager to get up close and see the damage fucking hell I've gotta cross that that's mental okay shit I've gotta get down here bollocks man Jesus Christ oh okay ice mate this is a swift one we have gone slightly off but I can't go in that River but I will have to cross it I will have to cross that very soon so that could be the end of me jump this oh okay bullshit oh I mean I mean look at that my foot just slipped down the clay bank there and I've gone straight in okay I've got to get through this I've got a hug as close to the river as I can oh jesus this is never-ending I'm only 30 minutes in okay do the stinging nettle sting at this size yes they do out but bags getting caught on everything Oh huh and it's weighing down on my head I've got to take my bag off and get in nowhere Oh okay I've gone in a straight line here it's the edge of the river it's gonna run across this field now to the point where I cross I don't know how I'm gonna do it I really don't if a farmer comes now I'm pretty fuck cuz I've gotta cross the river which is just ahead to do that I've got to strip off put all my stuff in a waterproof bag somehow get the bag across the river I don't even know if we can throw it that far there's a farmer right here I'm hoping hey he doesn't own this land and be he just sees me thinks I'm army leaves me alone but he's coming up to the entrance of the field is he gonna go past here that's a pretty old tractor I think I could run away from that anyway oh god I'm nervous about this good god I'm nervous I don't know if I can do it moment of truth everyone what does this River look like here my god it's fucking huge that is huge mainly I was worried about getting into this river but I was also worried about farmers potentially spotting me from the road so I acted quick stripping off packing all my stuff into the bag with a view to at least semi attempt across the river I knew I couldn't cross it by simply holding onto the bag and kicking I'd have been swept downstream like a plastic bottle so instead I tied my rope to the bag Thank You Scouts the plan being to throw the bag as far as I could upstream okay and make a mad dash for it before it flowed past me and dragged me down the river already my willy had shrunk to the size of an acorn but it was about to get a whole lot smaller I can't believe I'm doing this look at it cool God okay that floats that's good [Applause] I inched myself forward into the freezing torrent to gauge its depth but as I'd suspected it got very deep very quickly the force of the water was just frightening Oh God no I'm on No do I swim it do I swim it I was completely tall on the one hand fuck it just go for it you'll be fine on the other you might die so I let my pack flow downstream to gauge the force of the water and it took a fair bit of strength to pull it back and that was on the shallower edge of the river man Thomas Davis what have you done shit fucking shit I was now faced with the prospect of having to follow the river upstream straying who knows how far from the line before I could cross it i sized up the river one last time is it that dangerous maybe I could take a running jump whilst clutching my pack and just kick my way to the other side would I just be swept downstream and ensnared in a clutch of submerged branches oh god I can't do it do it what can I say I'm devastated I've failed to cross this river it's just too fast flowing okay the pull was so strong certainly if I could have got my pack across I think I could have made a swim for it but with my pack it was so heavy I didn't know how I would do it because I could get halfway across and the pack would be you know pulling me downstream so maybe I could have done it but to be honest I'm not the strongest swimmer in the world what's this oh my god what is that look at it no it's all collapsed no fucking way I can't cross that surely I can't cross this shit me son I can do that Oh is this a good idea I don't know that it is who this is fucking hell this is suicide this is the most rotten thing I've got the winds picking up hold it together buddy suddenly I was very aware that I was precariously perched clothed bagged and booted above a two meter deep raging torrent high fallin now I'm fucked okay the wire is good but the woods running out the wood is desperately running out and I don't like the look of this wire this small wire oh shit [Applause] fucking hell mate oh the wind I'm caught on a branch okay I hope this wire takes me this thin wire Oh crew almost there [Applause] oh shit okay I'm on I'm home and dry out that film oh good fuck you know what am i doing trying to make up for the fact I didn't cross the river so I do that but I'm across yes okay someone watching me over there okay I've actually gone off course by about a hundred meters they're really not ideal and I hope not to do that again in the whole trip as I wade through this puddle yeah hopefully that is by far and wide no pun intended the the biggest gap ire I have to deviate from but it had to be done I made a decision and for all I know that decision may have saved my life so let's crack on and hope there's lots more adventures to come where's that bloke Bennett can't have gone too far shit there is shit is coming how you doing yeah I'm good shit I'm on a bit of an expedition across Wales right okay that's not filming by the way I'm attempting to be the first recorded person to go in a completely straight line right across the country right so it's been interesting I've just had to cross that River yeah which was what do you own land around do you mind me I think but I'm you get to the top of the hill you're off thank you I appreciate it there's a tenant farmer here but I haven't I haven't come across him yet this morning okay thanks mate if you head up behind those trees Europe you're away there okay ah thanks for being a appreciative obviously it's wherever you come from Oswestry right just on the border yeah it's been obviously I've got a long way to go but and where are you trying to get to dog s lie right yeah good bit of a jaunt probably four days it's gonna take me I've got across Lake Vernon way so that would be interesting I've stashed an inflatable kayak right so I'm hoping the wind and the hoping it's still there when you get there that's yeah that's the main thing yeah but they also treated or guessed by yeah yeah in a straight line 33 miles as the crow flies right but you know I could walk that in a day easy if I was on a trail but yeah but it's it's not as easy as that you haven't been crossed by any angry landowners yeah not yet no no you're the first guy I've seen and you're very tight still time absolutely anyway yeah yeah nice – what's your name and I'm Tom nice to meet you I'll see you in the Saviour in the Wrexham leader of the daily paper yeah young man drowns in river yeah exactly hey thanks a lot mate seemed nice definitely at least 50th in lines of the throat cool just over these trees did you say old bean the last time Dix that's exactly where I'm going anyway you one mile in and had already faced a raging torrent and a charming landowner delighted to have overcome such obstacles I was now refueled and heading into the peaceful sanctuary of the forest a great sense of freedom and pure adventure came over me here and I knew I had to relish that because before long I'd be out the woods and back into the fields in the meantime though I still had to assume that I wasn't alone in these woods still got to stay alert for hunters landowners things like that it could be anywhere oh wow this is really exposed I imagine this would to be really dense when I saw it on the map but look at it so open it's unbelievable which is good because I'm a bit behind ah yes more of this okay we're over it we're over it release me please thank you up cool would this might be a bit worse than all this wood is quite dead I can literally just snap it off as a walk I think we could have people potentially around here there's a pheasant over there I can hear noises I've got to be really careful here guess I go through here happens to be directly on my route don't mind if I do wouldn't fancy climbing that really I'm not sure how I would tackle that so yeah hopefully I don't see anyone Bambang on definite activity down here I think I need to get out here oh boy right how do I do this without damaging it not like that good as new Oh very shortly I'd be granted a short break from the woods in the form of a brief spell of secluded fields nestled cozily in this Pleasant clearing was a little farmhouse the first of many I'd have to sneak past it exposed here I have to say all it takes is for one bloke with a bad attitude and I'm off I could be escorted off and at the moment I'm hurting I'm hurting I don't feel like I could run up a hill at the moment but fingers crossed haven't seen any farmers you the coast was clear on the farm truck but then I noticed another little farm on the left but I figured I could just leg it across this field into the safety of these rather strange-looking woods oh this feels like someone's land a stately home or something sadly this wooded section was coming to an end so were the feelings of safety and freedom that came with it it was now time to dive quite literally headfirst into the daunting sequence of fields that lay ahead okay I'm out of the woods suddenly got a wave of dread over all the fields that I've got across now it's just fields for miles now and I'm a bit worried that farmers might be a problem I'll please move I don't want your mom to headbutt me oh fuck handful of sheep shit serves me right I suppose okay no farmers yet [Applause] look at that straight in the gap got to get through this bog first whoo shit what is he stopping for oh boy well it's not a good method Oh in the gap again gotta keep a close eye on that farmhouse with houses to the left of me and farms to the right I was keen to move over these hedgerows quick but the very first hedge was a real girthy one fuck with my Garmin in my gob I figured my best bet was to try and haul myself up and on top of the hedge using the least sharp branches I could find eventually I managed to do that amazingly all these little thin sharp branches took my way and then they decided to stop that's one way doing it this pretty huge farm on the right was drawing nearer and then I noticed something about this house there were two cars in the drive one of which I was fairly sure was the Gulf from the road convinced that the Gulf man was now after me and that I was on his land a freshly dumped children's bicycle only bolstering my theory I sped towards this valley hoping the embankment wasn't as steep as it looked Wow in this valley was the large farm we'd seen earlier but first a fairly tricky stream but sometimes in the world you have to make use of what's around you and improvise this is absolutely non-stop on the opposite side of the valley a farm tract as a scaled the fence appeared down towards the farm to see this a farmer in a 4×4 making his way up to track whether he saw me or not I have no idea but I wasn't going to hang around to find out I still feel quite exposed okay all it takes is one jobs were okay be into a wood over there that'd be good we've got a few cuts to be honest one to six that's quite a few that's not good actually because I've got no antiseptic oh well I may have had sheep shit entering the bloodstream but at least I was back in the sanctuary of the woods with a chance to rest and reflect okay just a quick recap of that last bunch of about eight fields or so got the heart racing because that VW that stopped on the road to have a look at me that must have been what he was doing because he didn't stop to let another car pass he then I saw him in that house he lived in that house that's probably why he was so curious as to what the fuck I was doing so close to his land might have been his land and then I saw that bicycle I thought this is land that they use a lot this is their bloody land because you just don't know what these people are going to be like it might be an absolute ass and rightly so to be honest but it got away with it there was on both sides I had a war on two fronts okay let's carry on there's more fields to come coast is clear but I'm stuck the farm in the next field have been long since abandoned so I could afford to take my time with this hedgerow working its frail gear stick like knobs and hoisting myself up again just like before only this time I had a solid post to push up off him oh shit I've sucked it there I've absolutely sucked it there I'm still in view so I better hurry up I'd quite like to have explored this abandoned farmstead but annoyingly it was 20 yards from my line so I just couldn't maybe I'd get the chance to sleep in something like that on another night I pondered but moments later I found myself counting sheep in a much more literal sense shit what's going on here these sheep appeared to be being herded I had to get out of this field I had this Bush to contend with first though complete with rusty barbed wire okay they're moving of their own accord I think I hope man seemed to be okay but I still have to keep my eyes peeled just in case I was wrong but I think we're good I don't think we're too bad here look at this for a hedgerow actually it looks like this branch is to climb up potentially oh fuck I can hear a quad bike I'm getting over here quick shit that's close okay I'm not in anyone's land so I'm gonna have a break here I think so far so good there is look that's incredible timing you I'm heading straight through this farm fucking out come on don't draw now

30 thoughts on “I attempted to cross an entire country in a straight line. PART 1

  1. I've crossed countless fields in not just Wales, but all over the UK and farmers generally don't give a shit as long as you're not stealing or hurting/scaring their animals.

  2. Imagine getting caught by a farmer:
    "Please no! I just wanted to cross Wales in a straight line"
    Farmer: "that's the worst excuse I ever heard"

  3. Didn't Terry Fox do it in Canada? I know he walked/run through Canada but I don't know if it was in a straight line

  4. This is amazing! Some of the most interesting content on YouTube for a loooong time. Who would've thought crossing Wales would be this suspenseful? 😀 Love it!

  5. Is this some Flat Earther bullshit? You can't walk in a straight line on the surface of a ball without digging into the ground.

  6. Farmers: Put barbered wire up to keep out people.

    GeoWizard: No. I don’t think that will be happening

  7. This is by far some of the best YouTube available and better than anything Bear Grylls has ever done. Amazing job! Hope you don't get into trouble!

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