Day 38 Off to Damascus

Thursday 17th May

The shelter was awake early , 3 socks and another hiker were almost packed.
I released the air out of my mat and climbed out of bed, put on my shoes and went to the loo.
Once back I quickly packed up then made tea .
Okay I was ready. I hoisted my pack and set off Damascus here I come.
As I left I passed a camp of university students morning guys i  said  as i  walked
The trail was similar to yesterday, a  few big climbs at first then a roller-costa trail
As  I pushed on my right toe began to  hurt, I blocked it out and pushed on . I was in no hurry as I did the miles yesterday so it should be an easy day. Ping went my watch informing me an hour had passed.  It was a glorious day and  warm all ready, i would  love a breeze please .
I pushed on for another 2 hours the pain in my foot not relenting, and  so when I came to an old disused shelter I decided to stop to do foot maintenance.

I taped the  toes on my left foot, my right foot was swollen,not a lot  I can do about that.
I ate some snacks before  putting  my socks and shoes back on and set off my shoes are now beginning to fail but hopefully there are new ones waiting for me in Damascus !!
I pushed on passing water, Should i stop  i said  to myself  but still pushed on . After an hour I checked my map., bugger the water at the shelter is far away oh well.
At last I arrived at the shelter, there was another hiker already here.
Where is the water I asked, and is it far ?
Yes it is he replied
I dropped my pack and headed down the  path .Water was .2 of a mile and  down a steep decent.
But the water was good. I filtered a litre and promptly guzzled it. I then grabbed another 2 litres and began the climb back.
I had just arrived back at the shelter when 3 socks turned up.
Yes it’s far and steep I said .
I ate more snacks and then made tea.
I was just beginning to pack up when Beth and Dan arrived  shortly  followed by captain Bob.
I stayed for a while then set off although it want long until Beth caught me.
I shadowed her for a while as we chatted but Beth’s too fast for me so let her go.
Dan was next to catch   me. and again, I shadowed him for a while as I was staying with them in Damascus.
We shortly caught up with Beth who was resting and waiting.
As Dan & Beth live here they were familiar with this part of the trail as they often run it together.
We are almost their snail trainer , Beth said.   and sure enough we were soon dropping down towards the town .
As we  got nearer    there  were  little pockets  of  tents  where hikers had  claimed their  spot .
The  trail actually  goes  through   the town  and  so we  were  soon in daylight and  could  see  the    Festival  in front  of  us.
Dan & Beth stopped by   a  house  which  belonged to friends to  pick up their keys .
Then  we  headed towards  trail days , Passing  through  the  arch, we posed  for  photos   then wandered  through  the  festival  pausing to look at  the  stalls and to see if there were any bargains  to get .
WE walked through and out the other side. At this end was a calaboose and a small train. WE turned right and headed up the main street that was packed with hikers and signs promoting free food hot showers. Beth & Dan lived at the far end of town, as we approached we noticed two figures sat in the doorstep one was whitely and the other tank.
Dan was a little miffed that  they were  there, as he  had only invite   close mates  to  his  house
Their house was really  lovely , I dropped my pack outside as BETH & Dan introduced me to their lodger a young girl who was    into canoeing .
Then beer  was opened , Later Big Red and  Magic arrived, I  had  bagged  the right  sofa  and  so  they had  the chair  and  other couch.
Once we were settled  we  retreated top  the porch to chill and  drink  more  beer , As  the afternoon wore  on a familiar stream  of familiar  faces  arrived  , turning into a great  party atmosphere

Start 451
Finish 469
mileage 16 miles
Remaining 1723 Miles

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