Back home again

3rd June 2018

Penny 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:


Finishing weights:

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

missing: gloves

Author: Walklizard

May your feet stay dry as you walk through the bog. May your face be unblemished as you walk in the sunshine.

6 thoughts on “Back home again”

  1. Sorry to hear of the illness – hope they make a speedy recovery. Great effort to get up to Peebles!




  2. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your daily blogs. Recognising in the early days places I have visited and learning about parts of the country I have never been to. I have also identified with , in my own small way, many of your emotions of euphoria and struggles. I admire your tenacity and have enjoyed your talent for conveying in your writings the deep beauty of our landscape.
    I hope all is well with you and yours. Take care x


  3. Hope all is well. Have really enjoyed reading your blog, makes you appreciate just how beautiful this country is. It was good to see pictures of familiar and not so familiar areas. It’s an amazing achievement to have done as much as you did.


  4. Cary, best and healing wishes to you and your family. Thank you for your blog, information, photos, and good deeds, and congratulations on all you have achieved. John and Johanne, Ottawa


  5. Hi Cary,
    Very sorry to hear of your family illness.
    Hope things go Ok for you all.
    Yours is a huge achievement getting as far as Peebles. We have managed to follow your recent blogs despite intermittent internet coverage (we are in the Western Isles). I guess your focus will soon return to those last few Munros.
    See you soon.
    Nigel and Sue


    1. Thanks for everyone’s good wishes. The ‘patient’ is now home after 2 nights in hospital, another week recovery required. When I, too, recover I will indeed be looking towards those last Munros


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