Today’s walk was uneventful. A long day, lots of deep narrows alleys up and down climbing the route was from Kaskoleta to Iraty. 20km. 1400m climb.

I felt so good in that that i decided to make it my first night wild camping. Right before Iraty a saw perfect hammock hanging spots. Off the path, perfectly distance apart, flat ground beneath. I would have stopped but I wanted to get to the shop in Iraty for food supplies.

The chalet at Iraty was really tempting, but I walk another couple of km looking for a spot, nothing as good as what I had seen earlier, plus the cloud had rolled in. Eventually I find an area not too steep of the path, not too densely wooded but it is on a slope and a battle ensues for the next hour between me, the tarp, the hammock and my stuff sacks which insist on rolling down the hill.

I’m tucked in my hammock, with underblanket and Enlightened sleeping bag and so far so toasty. I’ll see how I go through the night.

Here’s the best pic I can get from inside the hammock and under my tarp. It’s 8pm but still light, clouds and mist all around, silence except for the dripping moisture and wind.

Time to watch some Netflix.

Ok so that was a few hours ago. It has started to rain and the wind is howling. The tarp pins which were sitting in nice dry tight ground firmly secured are now sitting in soggy wet ground and are definitely not secure. The positioning of the tarp means foot end of my hammock is now receiving a drip drip drip down the line. And a slowly soaking down towards my down duvet! This is a disaster. Down and damp don’t mix.

I manage to stop the drip. Only about a quarter of the hammock is wet but the down duvet is dry. Phew! Tucked up warmly again, I notice the back side of the tarp seems to be much closer to my head than it previously was. I reach out to touch it and realise that positioned on the slope it is now capturing the rain and creating its own increasingly large reservoir! It feels like several litres has already accumulated. My bags are lying directly in the line of an immininent flood. Arrghhhh! I get out of the hammock again reposition the bags and open the flood gates.

Great. What has previously been a dry slope is now muddy and slippy and I am sliding all over it in my sandals cursing. Things are going from bad to worse. For the next hour or so I sit on my pack keeping my down sleeping bag wrapped up high around me and contemplate my next move. First thing’s first i think, put my walking boots back on. Just on the nick of time half the tarp blows open.

That’s it. It’s now or never time to move. It’s 2 o’clock in the morning, cold dark and wet. There is a small makeshift wooden shelter about a 100 metres away, no idea what it is used for, some boards, a partial roof, open to one side with some strong tarpualin hung over it…

I had seen it earlier when I set up camp and thought “no way would I sleep in there” . At 2 a.m. with the rain and wind howling it is like the Hilton.

I survived the night. I kept the important stuff dry. All in all though not the night I expected, if I can survive that I can survive anything. I will be keeping a closer eye on weather though before deciding to wild camp again.