Thursday, 11 July 2013

Day 3; Puddles.

We woke at 7:45 and were greeted by puddles on our porch. Neither of us had heard rain through the night, so I wriggled my way outside to find we were in a rain cloud - that's quite typical it turns out, if you're in the Scottish Highlands. I used my walking socks that I had washed the night before to de-soak the inside of our tent, and then hung them on our portable washing line (kindly gifted by Cheryl - turns out it's very handy indeed!). Waterproofs it was then. We hobbled our way to the ladies, wrapped up, arranged our bags for the day and we were off. Just as we were leaving, three elders; two female, one male, donated to our charities and wished us luck. What sweethearts!

Today was going to be brain numbing, we knew that from the start; a marathon along one very long road, it had to get boring! To make things even more exciting, we couldn't see anything. I mean anything - we were in the thick of the clouds, I had my head torch at the ready had things got worse ("I was well prepared" I suggested to Kate as she was grinning at me).

The first 12 miles went smoothly, Kate then shouted that lunch was waiting at the top of the hill - which we couldn't see! By this time it was 2.20, and we were feeling optimistic. The afternoon brought some sunshine with it and as the hills got steeper and the declines went on longer both Kate and I couldn't help but feel like these miles wern't fading - unlike our motivation. Today I learnt that downhill really isn't my forte - however it was Kate's. As the approaching sign said 13% decline for 1 mile "test your breaks", my heart sunk. My left knee was burning and as I was already limping on the downwards slopes I had a feeling this one would be no different, only harder. The pain was like no other, so I resorted to walking backwards (I knew you were all waiting for it) a good friend had joked about it the night before, and what a genius idea, it was pain free - even if I did look a little silly. After a while I tried taking the crouched position as if I was entering a slalom race, this helped a little.

As the upwards stretch was nearing, with 10 miles to go I was pleading it would start sooner. And I was off! 22 miles came and went and the road never seemed to end. By this point both Kate and I were in 'one step in front of the other' mode. We just wanted to finish. Once we had made it, we once again hitch hiked back to our camp site in Brora, this time by an older but friendly chap, Bill. He was very knowledgeable on local antics and he was on a mission to put the world to rights - all within our 30 mile car journey with him. Unfortunatly, neither Kate nor I could understand him all that clearly. He kindly dropped us at the local shop where we enjoyed the small pleasures of Lucozade and a Freddo. We then walked another 2 miles or so to our site. We were exhausted. I slumped on to my rucksack to eat my dinner and then went off to shower.

After trying to call loved ones at home and not being able to, I learnt how much we take things for grated in every day life. The small things that we expect to be there, i.e. phone signal, and when they're not, it's harder to deal with when mentally exhausted already. I went on to write my journal outside in the cold fresh air, (we won't speak of the tears on the steps outside the bathroom). And now shivering, I made my way back to the tent. I'm back in my sleeping bag, Kate is snoring, and my toes are now numb. It's finally bed time.

No comments:

Post a Comment