“I know lets have a couple of days away just us girls, fresh air, plenty of time to chat and great exercise to boot.” And that’s how it started …. two days walking on The Ridgeway – 33 miles and overnight stay in a pub, wine, chocolate … perfect.
On Sunday when it poured with rain all day there was a thought that we were slightly crazy but the forecast for Monday was to clear up and Tuesday to be glorious. We decided to carry a change of clothes in our rucksacks so that we were totally independent. This was a decision we were going to live to regret – the extra pounds might have been great for calorie burning but the pressure on our shoulders became really uncomfortable pretty early on day 1! And with hindsight, we really didn’t need to change when we arrived. Next time a change of underwear and a clean t-shirt and that will be it. When you stay close to a national trail you meet other walkers and it’s pretty relaxed and there really is no need to dress for dinner. The key is to wear lightweight layers, waterproof jacket and walking socks and well broken in boots, Sunglasses, compeed and a cap or sunhat.
The first day we walked 23 miles most planned some not – the detour down the valley for a superb lunch at The Village Inn, Liddington was longer than expected but we laughed all the way there and back. In fact that really is the key; go with someone you really relish spending time with and the miles will fly by in the laughter, sharing of secret fears and hopes and seeking and giving advice.
At the end of day one the muscles were sore but we were amazed how well we had fared, little did we know that the 11 miles we planned for day two would be so challenging. Blisters and fatigue from day one took their toll. Third piece of advice pack Compeed – this blister relief was the thing that got us through the day. Walking on blistered feet is no joke but at least we could once they were covered in compeed.
Highlights of the trip: spending “quality” time with a dear friend a cliché maybe,but this was a delight. Being told to put my t shirt on my head to stop sun stoke on day 2.
I thought she was joking….. I looked ridiculous but I was glad I did – it was even worth the strange looks from other walkers. Realizing we were both scared of cows but that she was braver than me. Encouraging each other to keep going when it got really tough and we wanted to stop ..we reached our destination and we were proud of ourselves. Maybe we’ll take some time out before we plan our next one, but there will be a next one.