Wednesday and walk to the Pub!

I waved goodbye to Bill as he abandoned me in the Carpark at Stanedge.  The weather forecast was bleak.   The nice lady on the TV had cheefully said to expect heavy showers, and some of them thundery, not to worry though as later on in the week the showers would become dryer!  (Eh???? Dry Showers???? I could do with them type!).  As such, I was dressed accordingly with waterproofs and gloves on.  Northwards I set, and off I trudged.  The way crossed with the Pennine Bridleway here, and it could be a bit confusing.  I picked out where I should be and climbed up and onto the heathland.  To my dismay, I found a kissing gate to get through.   I wondered just how many I would come across.  Off Bernie came as there just was not enough room for the two of us, and he was maneouvered through.  That done, I could see back over Stanedge and beyond.   Wow, I had come a fair way.  Off I strolls again, the strong westerly wind flapping my map around, but it was still dry.  There were a lot of menacing clouds around, but no rain.

Another Kissing gate crossed my path and i decided there must be a better way of doing this without having to take Bernie off all the time.  I found, it.  If I straddled the inner sides of the gate hole so Bernie was above the fence, then opened the gate below me, it was so much easier!  Anne – 1, Gate – 0!  My joy was short lived as there before me, right on the path, all laid down looking unimpressed, were a herd of white cattle.  I couldn’t walk around them, so had to carefully tread past them.  Relief followed when none of them paid any attention, and I did not have to do a pathetic attempt at running with my pack on!  I was quite pleased to see the next kissing gate I can tell you!

The path progressed very nicely over the moors to another road, and it was such a pleasant walk with the path being easy going after yesterdays rock climbing!  Crossed the road, to climb the moor to the top of White Hill.   The moor was swathed with cotton and looked very pretty.  Although a little boggy in places, again the path was relaxing and the views were spectacular.  The only niggly little thing was that my waterproof trousers kept creeping down, to the point where i was getting really annoyed with them.  (Clearly Bernie was relieved something else was getting my wrath instead of him!)  I descended slowly to yet another road, and i could hear roar of the M62 long before I saw it.  It was like a huge moving snake across the moor.  It looked quite spectacular in the glory of the sun which now was shining!  As I crossed the road and made my way to the high footbridge which crosses the M62, I started to get texts from folk wishing me well, which was lovely to keep me spurred on and motivated.

It felt quite wierd walking across the motorway at such a height and the noise was unbelievable! I paused at the middle to take the obligatory photos, before continuing onwards.  Pause again at the end of the bridge to pull the bloody trousers up again – fear not, I did not cause any accidents by pulling any unintentional moonies on the bridge!  Another climb, this time to another notorious part of the walk – Redmires.  Apparently very boggy, and yep, it did live up to it’s reputation.  It was a bit of a quagmire, but I managed it, and continued the climb up to blackstone edge, stopping every so often to pull the trousers up.  Seriously, I may need to invest in some braces if this continues!

Now I had made a date to meet parents at the White House between 1pm and 1:30, given they stop serving meals at 2pm, I realised that my mess up with the time this morning was meaning it would be a bit of scrape to get there in time (I didn’t actually start walking until 10am – abysmal I know).  A worried Ian called as he could see where I was, and wanted to know if he should place an order.  Then I rang mum to reassure her that I wasn’t all that far away – really I wasn’t.  She called me back to say they were going to be late because the moorland road was blocked and they were following a detour.  It was a race against time, but i was feeling so confident.

This was shattered on reaching the summit of Blastone Edge.  The path just disappeared amongst the many strewn boulders, and following what i believed to be the correct path, led me partway down the side of the crag, and I was rock climbing again.  Some rock climbers nodded at me in wonderment as I jostled Bernie over rocks and along the very narrow path.  Eventually I found where i needed to be and was off at a pace again, checking my watch it was only 1:45.  I passed over a roman road – but no time for photos, well ok one of the sprawl of Littleborough below me.  Eventually the pub was in sight just around the corner, and so was the green Saab. We both made it just in time, and the landlady was expecting us, having received orders for 3 rump steaks with egg.

I plonked Bernied down on a bench in the foyer, and left waterproof jacket there and made a beeline for the wc.  Here, I discovered the problem of the falling down trousers – I had only managed to put them on back to front!  What a wally I felt!  Sorted that out, and as I approached the table, I adjusted my top to find i had put it on inside out.  There really was no hope was there!!!  It’s a good job Ian wasn’t with me, he would be so ashamed!

However, food soon arrived, and I downed half a pint of orange squash, followed by a pint of lager.  I managed the steak, but left most of the chips and veg as I was too full to eat any further.  For those who may not believe what they have just read, yes, I definately said I was too full to finish my meal – a first for me I know.  It was 15:30 before we were eventually persuaded out of the pub, and I bid farewell to mum and dad before plodding along the path by the reservoir.  My feet were definately starting to feel a little sorer than usual, and I feared I would not make it to my next destination at Badger Hill Farm at the other side of Charlestown – the other side of the gorge.  I rang to say I would not make it for 6pm for the evening meal, but would be there at some point this evening.  She asked where I was and agreed I still had a fair distance to go yet.  The clouds were menacing and actually looked as if they meant it this time.  Although the path was really good, I wasn’t really enjoying the walk as much now, in fact, rump steak probably made me feel too sleepy.  The path followed the edge of a couple of reservoirs, which seemed to expand in size as I walked along them.   The last reservoir certainly did.  I eventually got to the end, and looking at the clouds all closing in, I suddenly felt really tired and that I could not go any further today.  Spying a place where my tent could go, I phoned Ian to give him my intention, and he phoned Badger Hill for me so I could get my tent up and sort myself out.  I was releived in a way as it meant I would get a reasonably early night.  Not brilliant time when wild camping as you are supposed to camp as late as possilbe and leave as soon as possible the following morning.  However, needs must.  I gave up with trying to find somewhere dry, the moor was waterlogged – if I hear any newscaster mention water shortage or drought, I may have to resort to violence.

Lade my mat out, followed by plastic bag, followd by sleeping bag.  Arranged Bernie in a suitable place, undressed and climbed in my sac and that was it, instant sleep.  I awoke at about 8.30pm to the sound of voices who were clearly intrigued by my tent, what batty type would be on the moors at that time??? ok, what OTHER batty type would be on the moors at that time – some cyclists, I could hear the squeal of their brakes.  Eventually all went quiet after 9pm, and the wind started as did the rain.  As a comfort, I rang Ian and chatted to him for a while, taking comfort from hearing his voice.  I was cosy and I was warm, just my feet were still bothering me.

I drifted off again, and was woken at 4:30 by some cheerful little bird singing it’s heart off.  Slept for a further hour and half, then decided I should get up.  This is where things started to go downhill.  Firstly, I decided I wished I were a bloke, and blokes need to appreciate this!  I was absolutely desperate for a wee.  So I got dressed as hurridly as possible when your body is stiff and complaining.  Squeezed my painful feet into my boots, hurried outside and found relief.  The sky was very dark and very menacing.  I decided time to get the tent packed away quick before the clouds unleashed their very heavy load.

Went back in tent, undressed and freshened up, redressed and started looking for breakfast – tin of mackerel will do with some jelly beans.  Yum, that was such an enjoyable breakfast compared to yesterday ( I wonder if Bill does delivery service).   Started to pack and organise Bernie, and it happened again, desperate to wee, I had to squeeze boots on again and go outside.  I was getting a tadge frustrated and annoyed.  Ian obviously picked the wrong moment to ring me, cos I was really fed up and very tearful as I felt I wasn’t making progress.  Wrong thing to do cos Ian was now worried.  I reassured him I would persist and ring him later.

Eventually got tent down and packed away, just in time too as the heavens absolutely opened up, the torrential shower lasted ages, and I could see more heavily laden clouds waiting their turn behind.  I set off, and truly, my feet complained in a way they hadn’t before, especially my left foot.  It was utter agony.  I carried on a bit longer, but the pain was becoming unbearable, and it was then I decided that it would be fruitless and stupid to persist any longer.  I phoned Ian and told him I would be coming home and why.  He then rang my parents who wanted to pick me up, so I arranged a pick up point at a youth hostel only a couple of miles away down the moor.   I picked my way down the moorland path, incredibly and painfully slowly.  The shower just persisted and persisted.  I limped into Mankinholes, and eventually found the youth hostel.  I got in the entrance foyer which was lovely and warm.  The man inside said as it was 10am, sadly they were closing for the day, but he must have read the look of desperation on my face, and said I could wait in the foyer for my parents, he got me a chair and told me where I could put things to dry off.  That chair was relief.

That is when the impact of my decision hit me, and I cried.  I was so upset at having to give up so early in the walk.  A couple emerged from the building and gave me some solace by telling me he had started the Pennine way, and had got as far as Hebden Bridge, like me, but ended his walk in hospital with exhaustion.  That did make me feel better, and I was proud of the fact I walked or limped my way off the moor.

The walk may be off for now, but if my feet heal in time, and I am fully recovered enough, I still have time to go back and do some more.  I realise now that to expect to do the whole lot in one go would be unrealistic, and my daily expectations of the mileage to be covered were a little optimistic given the pack I was carrying.  Nevertheless, what I have acheived is more than some, and I am proud of how far I got.  I did it in some difficult conditions, the weather was not really all that kind to me.  If I go back, it will be with the intention of doing less daily mileage, with a slimmed down Bernie, and acceptance that I get as far as I get and that is it.  I miss being on the walk, I was really enjoying it, some of the climbs were tough, but were rewarding at the end, and the sense of achievement at the end of each day was overwhelming.  I still feel that to you need to be challenged sometimes, and placed out of your comfort zone once in a while.  It does wonders for the soul, not to mention your self esteem!

In the words of Arnie – I’ll be back!!!!












Tuesday – mixture of terrain and weather

Although I felt absolutely shattered and really not in the mood to walk again, Bernie and I trudged our way back to the Pennine way – a short meander up a steep farm track.  There was truly no regrets leaving Torside as I found it unbearably noisy, and not really a quiet retreat.  I crossed some fields to the chorusing of sheep bleating their warnings to me – not that I was in the least bit bothered, I just shouted mint sauce at them and trudged on.  The path then followed a small copse of conifers, which was oh so pretty.  My spirits were starting to lift as the sun came out.  As I climbed higher and looked back on Torside, and was able to see the edge of the clough on which I wearily picked my way down in the rain last night.  Blimey, it was a bit high, but it did not bother me, it was now behind me, I was craving to know what was ahead.

Along the way I passed what was obviously school children on an adventure trip, readying themselves for a climb up Black Tor rocks, at least that is what I could only guess as they were all wearing climbing gear and helmets.  They all very childishly and amusingly felt the need to ‘caw’ at me as I passed.  I did have to give my feet and legs a good talking to as they felt they were running out of steam and were stubbornly wanting to rest.  Bernie was deposited on a handy rock so I could get to jelly beans and have a five minute respite, and he tumbled over falling to the ground, taking my camera with him.  I warned him that any further behaviour of that kind would end up with some severe reprimand of some kind – when i could think of what that might be.  I hoisted him back on the rock and sternly told him to stay – anyone witnessing me would really think I had lost the plot!  They would probably be right as well!!!!

Respite over, off we trudged again, this time with a bit more bounce, and that was despite the looming ascent to Laddow Rocks.   It was quite a tough ascent, rocky and awkward in places, then boggy and then rocky again.  I managed to get to the top in one piece, and it was quite a precarious walk along the edge as the path got quite narrow in places and boulders sometimes made progress very challenging.  I regret not getting a photo at the time, but I was determined to get across the precipice.  I could see directly opposite a comunications mast of some kind.  A good opportunity I thought to let Ian know I was ok.  However, no matter how many times I showed my phone the mast, it stubbornly refused to find a signal.  Ok thought I, I will try later on.  Off I carefully trod, picking my way along the path, waving at the sheep below.  Just as I was rounding a particuarly awkward bit, my phone mockingly decided to go bong, indicating I had a signal.  I stopped and found a safe and secure place to sit, fumbled for my phone and yep, there was a text from Ian asking how I was, but come to reply and yep, you guessed, the signal fairy had come and pinched the signal again!  Annoyed, I shoved the phone back in pocket, and carried on.  Got safely to the end of the precarious bit, stumbled and fell on my camera!  Luckily, it was ok and despite being wet, still worked!  Well done Fuji, you built a very sturdy camera which was getting very thoroughly tested!  Picked myself up, adjusted Bernie and off I trudged again, along the grough.  Another Bong, this time, there was a smidging of a signal, so I took the opportunity, to find the battery was very low.  I spoke to Ian and told him I would swap sim card to back up phone but it would mean the tracker would not work.  Sadly, in apple’s wisdom and consideration for ease of use, they had made access to the sim only possible with the aid of a special tool – of course I did not carry this tool with me.  Grrrrr, phone was nearly hurled into the grough, but I reasoned with myself and texted Ian that I was unable to swap phones so only phone me if there was a real need.

Off I continued, and the heavens opened – this time not just power shower, no – mixed in was some hail just to cheer me up!!!  Luckily I had my waterproofs on and I was warm and cosy.  It was easily heard how much water had come down recently as the stream at the bottom of the grough was quite loud.  This was confirmed by two women coming the other way, who cheerily said they walked this path often and had never seen the stream levels so high, and hoped I could swim as the stream had to be crossed several times and it was quite deep in places, but as I had poles, I would be ok.  Nice.  Thanks for that, I could not contain my excitement at the thought of what was to come.  I tried to curb my enthusiasm by eating some more jelly beans.

Sure enough, the path following the grough was very boggy and difficult in places, but I trudged on, not really caring how muddy my trousers were getting.  My spirits were lifted by a man walking his black labrador, who was wearing a rain coat – which was obviously soaked through.  I jokingly pointed out his coat seemed a bit pointless, the man nodded in agreement and said that it really didn’t help when the dog went swimming in it!  I just laughed and sympathised telling him I had a hound equally silly for doing exactly the same kind of thing.   I did come across the stream crossings quite regularly, too many to keep count, and whilst they were obviously higher than normal, they were by no means all that deep.   There was only one that was particularly tricky as the stream mingled with bog, so inevitably I got muddier and wetter than I already was.  Despite this, I was enjoying myself, the sun was coming out, and I could finally see the path starting to climb out of the grough and onto the moors towards the notorious Black Hill.

I reached a stile onto the moor, where I took the opportunity to deposit Bernie onto the step to rest my shoulders for a few minutes, and he obliged by falling over again.  He got another ticking off, and again when I realised my bag of phone chargers had been ejected at the same time.  It was also at this point that I realised that as the sun had emerged again, my sunglasses had last been seen on the top of Luddow Rocks – and that is exactly where they would stay I decided, anyhow, the sun was behind me.  With Bernie securely attached, I climbed the stile, and started across the paved path, which was surrounded by bogs and clumps of cotton.  It really was very pretty.

Black Hill was one of the places I was a little nervous about having read about it in different guide books.  Indeed Wainright despised it, describing it as a boggy mire where men had died getting stuck in the peat, and should be navigated carefully while watching for other unfortunate walkers who may be stuck!!  Another guide book warned that if the weather was wet (was he really trying to be funny???) that you should detour around Black Hill so as not to get stuck in the bog.  With trepidation, I plodded onwards and upwards.  I could see large mounds of peat, which reminded me a little of Bleaklow Head, and as I got to the summit, the path became paved, and although in some places a little submerged in water, absolutely no problem at all.  I reached the triganomitry point at the summit, known as Soldiers Lump.  I am not sure why it got this name, but there was no military reference to it.  There was plenty of boggy ponds around, but as long as you stuck to the paved path, it was really ok.  In fact, I felt it was much safer than Bleaklow Head which I knew had bad boggy patches which you had to traverse, and no warnings about that in any of the guides!!!!  The view from the other side of the hill were absolutely astounding.  I could see Holme Moss, and Rochdale, Manchester – it was gorgeous.  I was a little sad to leave Black Hill, I felt it had been given a hard time,  I am sure without the paving stones it would have been a different matter, but I quite liked it.

The path down from the hill was quite steep and long, but this was eased by the awesome views.  Getting across to the road was a different story.  the path seemed endless, and I was starting to get tired and weary.  It’s funny, no matter how far I plodded, it seemed like someone was building the path further on, making it seem as though the road was not getting any nearer.  Just as I thought it was within reach, there was another grough to navigate down and up.  Oh man I thought, what do I tell my knees???  Whilst the path was very evident, it was more or less made up of large boulders which you had to climb down.  My short legs were certainly getting their work out today, especially after fording the slightly swollen and fast running stream.   The path back out was equally challenging, and I felt like I was rock climbing.  I was now finding it quite tough, but the road was eventually in sight.  I was really exhausted and had to succumb to ringing Ian for some help.  Bless him, he found a taxi service, who quickly found where i was and he had sorted some accomodation out in Diggle.  The taxi driver was brilliant, despite his dodgy three point turn on a major moorland road, which he chose to carry out in a dip – we were narrowly missed by a speeding Audi who was using some colourfull language and hand gestures!  Still he got me to the B&B, which I have to say was a lovely warm and friendly place.  The owner, Bill, had a lovely sense of humour, and could not offer enough assistance.  He apologised for not doing evening meals, but pointed me in the direction of the local pub.  I dumped my bag and made a beeline for the pub – hobbling down with what Ian would describe as having Beer Goggles on.

The pub was delightful, with real ales, and food that was simple and realistically priced, folks were friendly too.  I had assistance from two elderly gentlemen to choose an appropriate ale.  Meal choice made, I went to find a table.  Who should I discover, but the young man who passed me at the beginning of the walk.  I joined him at his table, and we compared experiences.  It was a relief to hear someone with the same difficulties as myself, he was telling me how he  was discarding things from his pack to lighten his load, and he worried when he ran out of clothes!!  He did not carry any maps, but relied entirely on his guide book.  He did not book accommodation in advance, but took pot luck every night, and was staying close to the pub.  He agreed that the last two days had been tough, and he was worried he may have to abandon his walk due to a weak ankle from an old injury, and the paths had been unkind to his feet as they hurt.  This was such a relief to hear as I worried my feet were starting to hurt a little  and was feeling a bit of a wuss about it.

We talked whisky talk with the two elderly gentlemen, and I enjoyed steak and ale pie, followed by summer fruits crumble.  It felt so good!  Looking at the time, I decided an early night was in order, and meandered back to the digs.  I caught up with a little laundry work, and covered all the radiators with various items of clothing.  Then tried to get a signal, but nope, it wasn’t happening.  So out with the penknife, and eventually managed to get the sim card out of the iphone and into the back up phone.  Wey hey, a small signal, but one all the same.  I chatted to Ian, then rang mum and dad to make arrangements about a possible meet at the White House.  This done, the bed felt so comfy, and using the back up phone, I set the alarm for 7am, having told Bill that 8:30 would be a nice time for breakfast.

I awoke early, too early, and feeling pleasantly releived, enjoyed another hour and half in bed thinking of breakfast.  I switched the tv on to check the news out, and to my horror, the time on the tv read 08:10.  No way!!! I checked the phone again, only to find that it was still set to winter times!  Bloody hell.  Trying to rush when your legs are doing a John Wayne impression is not easy, or funny!  I got dressed as quickly as my body would allow, packed Bernie as much as I could, leaving out a tin of Chille Con Carne which I had bought at Torside the night before, I felt it unecessary weight, especially as I would be eating at a pub today, and I still had pasta meals.

Breakfast was lovely, and Bill was charming and looked after me very well.  It was a lovely place to stay, and at £35, was very good value!  I could have stayed longer!  After breakfast, I gave Bill his gift – which he was really enthralled at!! Made sure I had everything packed, including the semi dry laundry which had not quite dried properly.  He then very kindly loaded his car, and drove me to where I needed to be, a service which he said he gave to many walkers who stayed with him.  He did point out I was doing well, especially with the pack as he more often took fed up walkers to the station to go home!  That bucked me up loads, and gave me renewed energy.






Monday and start no 2

Ok i was so excited, the sun was shining and it was warm. Bid farewell to Clair and set off for Edale. Unpacked Bernie and all my gubbins, readied myself and posed for necessary photo before bidding tearful farewell to Ian and Deej. Thats it, the trek had begun and what a fine day.
I meandered through fields of sheep and managed to sneak past some cows (the only thing i was truly fearing on the walk). Passed through the campsite we stayed at earlier, and was passed be a young bloke with pack on, who was also doing the pennine way. He marched on, i went at the speed i was comfortable with. Arrived at Jacobs Ladder where a stream was crossed on an age old bridge, it was so quaint and pretty. Time for some jelly beans and application of sun cream – it was so hot!!!
The climb up to kinder scout was unforgiving and hard, but i did it. Yep i stopped several times on the way up to take in the immense views. The only thing spoiling it was the relentless noise of aircraft as they rose out of whichever airport the had taken off from.
Kinder Scout Plateau was like a moonscape, totally bizarre and amazing. The view from the edge was equally astounding. The path here was pretty tricky, dodging boulders and climbing over them, plus the path became a bit indistinct among the rocks but it was easy to see where i was headed. Walkers coming the other way warned of bandit sheep at Kinder Downfall, bleating stand and deliver. Ha, i was not going to succumb to their mobbish behaviour.
Sure enough, on reaching the very underwhelming waterfall, i was approached on all sides by the brazen balls of wool who all had very menacing looks. I waved a pole at them and told them i had no worthy loot and the let me by! Other walkers were not so lucky, having to pay the going rate of a sandwich to get by, jelly beans are not considered legal tender on Kinder!
Round to the far end of the ridge, and stop for a break and wc needs. With sadness i left Kinder Scout and trudged on to Mill Hill with a very steep and tricky descent (so glad i wasn’t going up!!). The path was over endless moorland and bogs, thankfully old millstone slabs made the going easy, but a bit laborious at the same time as it just seemed to go on and on and on!!
Eventually path came out onto a major trunk road, and a very friendly looking sign said Bleaklow Head 2.5 miles. Sets off up the paved path which very quicly detriorated into rock strewn peaty boggy stream, flanked at both sides by endless mounds of peat jelly!!! Lovely!!! As i could not see over the mounds, navigation became a bit tricky, especially as the gully twisted and wound itself forward, joined by lots of similar looking gulleys! There was lots of bog wading, making the going a bit slow. The monotony was broken when I met a man coming the other way who was interested to know my destination and why such a big pack.  I told him what I was doing, and he offered a donation of coins, but decided against it as it would weigh me further.  Instead I gave him details of my website, and he has since given a very kind donation.  Many thanks to you kind sir!  I continued plodding onwards and confirmed my position when i saw the Wain Stones (Kissing Stones) and waved an unenthusiastc hand to acknowledge there presence, but thats it! Things went downhill from there. The path was very tricky to determin, but having no visible landmarks, the position of the sun told me i was in the right direcyon, but the gulleys twisted and wound so much that i lost my bearing completely. Out came the sat nav which confirmed tjat i had gone in a huge circle, lots of time and energy wasted! It was starting to get late when i joined the path again (7pm) and i could not get a signal to reasure Ian i was ok! Just to add to my misery, Him upstairs put the power shower on, taking me totally by surprise as i had not got waterproofs on (naughty sneaky clouds!). I was so tired and unimpressed at getting lost i just marched on.
The path down off the moor was bad enough being precariously close to a long and very steep descent – good job i was not afraid of heights! The path itself was hazardous in itself being very narroe and strewn with boulders which had to be climbed – no easy task with Bernie clinging on to you! The final steep descent was so ridiculously tricky, hampered by slippery cobbles that i was forced take a painfully slow pace!!! Bythe time i got to the road at the bottom of Torside Reservoir, i was tired and wet, but not cold. It was about 9:30pm and i managed to get a signal to ring Ian and tell him i was ok and to ring the campsite to let them know i was still on my way. After traversing a path at the otherside of the reservoir which went through some gorgeous conifers (i would have enjoyed it more if it had been earlier and i was more awake), i finally trudged through the campsite gate to be met by a fed up warden, clearly unimpressed at having to wait up for me in the rain. He showed me around and kindly made me a coffee, and allowed me use of the office phine (there was no payphone and no signal) – just to let Ian know i was safe. He showed me the drying room except the heater doesnt work (so the point of it is then???). With sopping wet hair, i managed to put the tent up whilst asleep and somehow arrange belongings, get undressed and climb into my sac, looking forward to drifting blissfully asleep being as tired as i was!
No such chance, the campsite was right next to the main Glossop road, which truck drivers clearly thought was a raceway! Every time i started to drift off, i was startled awake by a screaming truck or clattering trailer, and then there were the planes, those darn planes. Despite my exhaustion, i got very little sleep that night.
I managed to wake up after a soothing shower, discovered there was a hair dryer (grrrrr – would have been handy to know about that last night!). Ate chille con carne for breakfast, as yesterday, after the lovely breakfast i had, the only other things eaten were 3 snickers bars and some jelly beans! I know it was not good and did not help my energy levels, but i knew it was a long day and i had to push on!
Tent wearily packed away i prepared to trudge again!



End of day one.










What a failure

Saturday started off so well. I was so optimistic. The campsite (once we found it) was ok, truthfully a bit pricey for the facilities but it served its purpose. There was no point looking for dry spots, everywhere was sodden. We found the flattest spot and fastened the buffoon to the fence. Tent up and organised, curry for tea, yes buffoon licked curry pot out and had it around his face and in his ears. We tried settling down for the night and the jostling for space began! Despite a bigger spaced tent the dog still managed to push us both aside, hence we slept awkwardly and in a draft -the tent was useless. Him upstairs turned the power shower on during the night cos it had rained in and some of Ians clothes were wet! I took rubbish out, helped put tent in heap in car, got my water for Bernie and all was well. Drove to start point and reached into glove box to get purse, and ouch, something in my back went no! I could not straighten up and was in a lot of pain. So many emotions were running through my brain just confounded the situation, how could this happen???? I struggled out of the car and with ians help, put Bernie on. Yes i know, looking back now, this was stupidly foolish and hair brained, but i had to try! I walked a few steps then was stopped by excruciating pain, a few more and pain again. Clearly i was not starting the pennine way today (b*****d back is all i could say!) After much deliberating in the car, it was decided to find b&b for the night, rest up with lots of painkillers and hpefully try again in the morning. That was a challenge in itself as we had to get where there was a signal. A local b&b in Edale advertised that muddy boots and dogs were welcome. Yep they had a room but did not allow dogs to stay. So much for the sign!!! Tried another place in Edale to find yes they took dogs but were full. Now we were just driving aimlessly and calling at any place we saw to ask. One dodgy looking place had room AND took dogs, but wanted to charge £105 for one night, but if we booked for two it would be £80 for both nights???? No wonder they had rooms. Eventually we found a room in Ramblers Rest in Castleton, where a lovely Clair asked only £75, and offered us coffee and cake whilst our room was prepared. Hearing about our blighted plans and my predicament, she even gave me some of her own painkillers! What a star, and lovely place to stay with an adorable room – we both wished we could stay longer!!!! After a lot of rest, drugs and sleep, Monday morning i could not only walk ok, but could manage and carry Bernie by myself – i was exstatic!!! That and a really nice breakfast prepared me for my adventure!   20110624-074250.jpg

Who ordered rain????

Ok, its travel down to Edale day. Bernie is chilling out on the sofa with all his contentstaking up the dining room table – i really cant beleive they emerged from his belly!!! I have spent my last night in a comfy bed for a while and seen the laat bit of rivetting tv! I just want to know who ordered the bloody rain???? I am not too bothered, waterproofs are at the ready, just no fun erecting a tent in the rain!
Thanks to all the wellwishers and the next time i write my blog will be in Derbyshire!
(thanks Kathy for my emergency package – i intend to carry it all the way before opening it!)



This time next week…..

Well i have less than 6 days before i set off. Today was my last day off before my holiday and it does now seem a little daunting. I have had the chance to see what some of the money i have raised goes towards. yesterday, i spent the afternoon at a garden party at Alderson House in Bridlington. It is a hotel, run by the British Legion to provide Poppy Breaks to veterans and their dependents. It is a wonderful place and the people truly are very kind. It is awe inspiring to think the Legion have been in existence for 90 years! i know they provide so much more four our ex-service personnel, counselling, health an rehabilitation care, help finding jobs – the list goes on.
It all makes me feel more determined and take on whatever is thrown at me, cos in the reality of it all, nothing i face can possibly be anywhere near as terrible as the conditions have, and still do face.
That in mind, the Bean and i have gone through the entire route and finalised all the places i can stock up with food so Ian knows i will be ok! I now just need to get there and set off! I guess this week will soon go by!
Have to go now. Night night! Xxx

And yet more donations!

Well a huge thankyou to Jean and Allen for their kind sponsorship! Also for their very kind offer of emergency support! Thanks for being fantastic friends! Xxx

Am starting to run out of time now. Unpacked Bernie to do equipment check and Ian reckons i should rename him Mary Poppins as things just kept on emerging! Have everything i need now. Just need to confirm top up places for food and water. Was going to do this Saturday and relax Sunday, this being my last weekend before THE trip! However, i have been invited to a garden party at a Poppy Break Hotel in Bridlington, a charitable organisation who provides breaks for ex-service personel and their dependents. Being the 90th anniversary of the charity, they are holding a garden party. They are brilliant and are offering me a lot of help and support! (it has nothing to do with the possibility of there being tea and cake!!!!!)
Have to go now, feeling quite sleepy!
Ttfn xxx