FRIDAY 16TH May
Yes a good site I slept so well and I’m up early as I put my head through the flap as Early Bee walks by “I cant stop snailtrainer” he says.I quickly break camp and just as I get onto the trail French toast and Alpine come by,I tag along with them as we go around a corner there are about 8 other hiker tents made me smile well you can’t see in the dark. We were all heading for water at Cotton creek bridge It’s 5 miles and the trail is level. It’s was also a glorious morning and in the distance are the tops of windmills from a wind farm. French toast & Alpine had a steady speed so was nice to tag along as you chat the miles just pass.They later stopped for a break and I marched on, there should be a water cache at this bridge. Wow what a lot of windmills,the only ones I’ve seen before are on the way to Cornwall but here there are hundreds . At last the bridge came into view and by the side was a huge water container.I filled up as the next water source is 7 miles and doesn’t sound like good water so I filled 4 liters. I headed off down the path, but then I was suddenly sapped off all energy and my feet became a plod. I plodded on for several miles watching the temperature on my watch climb.i was also heavy, so I stopped to eat some food and lighten the load..I took about 30 minutes. Then off again ,there was a lovely breeze except that it was straight at you like someone holding a hair dryer in front of your face so as soon as you sipped water your mouth was instantly dried so your tongue lolled around or stuck to your mouth YUCK.I encouraged my self to move but I felt like lead it’s 10.30 I will walk to 12 then have lunch . The wind continued and so did the rise in temperature. Lunch time yeah, I ate lunch lying beneath a tree but then woke up two hours later Bugger but guess my body needed it! .On I walked god its hot even with the cool breeze it was hot and the whoop whoop whoop sound as the big blades turned on the windmills. I was still exhausted,maybe the night hike messed up my body clock?..my thoughts now turned to water and a nice cup of tea. .The water is in a creek that means down but I’m still climbing up and up.it was 7 miles how many have I done 5 I must of gone 5 this is the bit when you check you GPS then wish you hadn’t sob round and round I go I’m still climbing .Hurrah I’m going down.I will get water and camp that will be it for today ,12 miles I will do more tomorrow.
From the top of the hill I can see the creek yes yes. I am soon descending until I am at the stream. I drop my pack and find a good part of the stream. It looks okay clean and clear , but with my cup I scoop out the gravel then wait for the water to clear before filling my bottle ready to filter. It’s quite slow process but I fill my 3 liter bladder and 1 liter bottle. The other I leave dirty as boiling water for tea works .just as I was filtering early Bee appears .There are other hikers under that tree..
Then two others appear they grab water we chat for a while they are going on to mile 549 as then it’s only 7 to the town in the morning. Of course I reply i hadn’t thought of that and in my mind i had a day in hand .mmm Do I have another 10 miles in me as today ? as i have been climbing all day. Its only 3 PM yes I can do this. So off I go and of course it’s straight up .As I climb I can see the other hikers down below , sheltering beneath the trees waiting for it to cool down but they are all fast hikers so they are bound to pass me later. Up and up I go the views from here are stunning and you can see windmills for miles, i seem to be making a good pace , but it’s not long before all the others stream past. I wish I had more speed. I try and keep up but as I’m going down one switchback they are on the other mountain nearing the top and then they are gone
I envy the lizards that scurry around my feet their speed, oh well plod plod plod, but again the views. Ping goes my watch another hr gone.gone. I’m thinking I will be there by 8 hopefully. The miles count down then I can see another windfarm in the distance and more amazing scenery. As I round another corner the wind comes .A mighty wind ,a wind you can’t stand up in, its ferocious. I struggle to stand still this is just what I need why couldn’t it be behind me and push me up the hill. My plod is now a stagger it’s quite scary pulling and pulling you ,so your crabbing to go forward at last I’m in a Burn area and it’s sheltered. I have to sit as that last bit sapped my depleted energy
The sun was now heading home and the light was fading, this time I refused to look at my GPS. I will get there when I get there but a I rounded a corner I notice tents. This has to be it I said to myself yes there is water. There was a large cache of 1/2 liter bottles I necked 1 then topped up my bottles..I then found a tent spot. It was dark I was tired it will do I threw every thing inside my tent before cooking.i made hot chocolate then made two lots of Mac cheese with bacon bits.it looked like wall paper paste and wasn’t quite cooked but I was ravenous
I walked 24 miles and 14 of them were up hill yeah but really it was too far today but I’m here
FRIDAY 16TH May