In case anyone gets the wrong idea that this is all a breeze and it’s all just skipping along singing a song, here is some reality and a wee bit on the pain of a long distance walk.

Feeling damp…  You are never dry!! Even if not soaking wet from rain, then you and your clothes are damp from sweat. All of the time. A good part of any day is trying to dry stuff out properly. Then minutes after starting to walk again, you’re damp. Humidity has been surprisingly high starting out the walk in October.

Up down, further and never, ever reaching The Top… Going up and down is part and parcel of the walk. Think of it like having to breathe in and out. Cannot be avoided. Although sometimes I go sideways on really steep bits.

Knees killing… add to that thighs, calves, lungs, your left wrist, shoulder blade, little pinky for no reason whatsoever. Gorse scratches. Keep the list going. Hoping my body will start to harden up so the list of what hurts, reduces.

Losing toenails… or at least imminent threat of loss. The fourth toenail on both my feet are threatening to depart. A blister has built up beneath the left one.

Bruises… that just appear out of nowhere. Here is one making its presence known on my forearm. Just getting bluer and blacker as the days go by… No bad knock, I think it is from picking my pack up. Otherwise it’s a mystery.

Each nights sleep a question mark… part of the adventure, but flexibility needed on this one. Somewhere with a roof, the woods, anywhere flat please!!!

Wet tent and tent drying… key to decisions on the previous point is making sure the tent is dry before having to put it up again. Goes to point one, not being too damp, especially when sleeping.

Keeping clothes clean… forget this. Impossible. Embrace the dirt. And avoid embracing anyone you meet along the way.

Getting lost… when futilely trying to avoid point two.

Getting electrocuted… whilst trying to find the path again.

PS a night in a hotel, with access to a mirror, I have discovered another bruise. Huge. Just HUGE. Not taking a photo of this one. On my right bum cheek. Acquired I think back in the field in Southdene, when I was pilfering/borrowing a duvet from the farmers shed. A cost well worth the comfort.

I also have a shin bruise slowly appearing from the rocks the Clovelly… taking a surprisingly long time to appear, but impressive.