3rd June 2018
My wife is ill, so I travelled home yesterday afternoon. (Update 7th June: now substantially recovered)
Yesterday’s Jaffa-cake-sponge coffee shop was the second part of an anxious wait. The first was a rather decent haircut that left lots of cut hairs stuck to my suncreamed face and neck.
Sitting in a busy bus shelter, another hour ticked away as I waited for news. I checked train timetables, as the window for getting home that night gradually closed. The decision of a hospital admission for an ear infection finally came. A bus to Edinburgh, a train to Manchester via York (pouring with rain in Newcastle), a tram: just 6 hours after leaving Peebles I was home. Quite remarkable speed really: I even squeezed in a refreshing shower at Edinburgh station. The hospital allowed a late visit. Everyone hugged & I then crawled gratefully into bed at home.
My resumption point will be Peebles, rather than Spean Bridge. But that’s next year at least.
It’s been great, unbelievable at times that I was even doing it. Some days brought a euphoria I have rarely experienced: a thrill at the vastness & beauty or desolation of the landscape. Others just the determination to keep going (Wenlock Edge). I am going to reflect on all this for quite some time.
A big thanks to everyone who joined me for a day (or more!) and for the happy companionship of the Pennine Way walkers. Bonne marche a tous!
Putting on my normal shoes today feels very odd, and my balance is unsteady. I must have relied on the walking poles a lot!
I am also allowing myself to acknowledge that my feet and knees are sore. That my body in general is feeling very tired, and I am grateful for a longer rest. I have been away from home for a very long time.
But today is also a celebration day: The Botanist in Manchester will see us (only two!) raising some cocktails to Clara’s 18th birthday! (Exactly 18 years ago yesterday I did a mad dash across country, but that’s another story).
Weight obsession corner:
Bodyweight: 71.1 kg (I visibly haven’t burned off all the calories that my walking appetite demanded. I call it “Mr Podge”)
I left a pair of gloves in the Newtown St Boswell bookshop.
Full Kit review here later…
- Rucksack: Osprey Talon 33: 915g
- Packed clothing: green waterproof bag; waterproof socks (Sealskinz); pair Ron Hill trousers; pair underpants; pair woollen socks; pullover fleece; sun hat; warm hat. Total: 905g
- Waterproofs: Montane jacket (455g); gortex trousers (240g). Total 695g
- Washbag: 2 fleece towels: 105g, soap 55g, mossie head net 25g, suncreams 110g, toiletries 130g, repair kit, plasters etc 115g; compass 45g; mapcase 75g. Total 685g
- Electronics bag: Kindle; folding plug; battery pack; cables; backup mobile phone; iPhone (145g): Total 820g
- Sunglasses and case:
- Poles: Pair Fizan with added lengths of sticky tape. Total 380g
- Wearing: pair Ron Hill trousers (210g); pair underpants (65g); pair woollen socks (75g); Paramo long sleeve shirt (210g); zip-fleece (370g), money belt & contents (140g); spectacles (?). Total: 1075g
- Walking boots:
- Tent with poles, pegs & carry bag (980g); footprint ( 140g). Total 1120g
- Sleeping bag; compressor sack; pump sack. Total: 910g
- Thermarest Neoair plus repair kit. Total 395g