Take a long hard look at this photo here because this is what real life Good Samaritans look like! And yes they really do turn up in the most unlikely of guises when you are least expecting them! The Lord was shining on me today and manifested my greatest wish (just of today!)which was to have someone appear out of the mist and say 'Caroline, would you like us to take your very heavy pack all the way to your next B & B so you wont have to carry it 20 miles today?!!' And so the Lord provided today on this Sabbath day, 2 Samaritans in the form of Jane and her good husband Piers!
I dont think there was anyone else in Scotland right now that i would have entrusted all my wordly goods to at this stage but i met Jane yesterday just on the last leg of her own LEJOG route and knew that as a fellow walker she was definitely A-OK! I must have only gone around 1/2 a mile before they appeared out of the mist and as they drove off leaving me probably 12kg lighter, i just couldnt believe my luck!
I had woken at 7am to be sure i was on the road by 8am for my first long day and after the largest bowl of Scottish porridge i have ever seen, i was too overwhelmed to manage my cooked breakfast! My hostess at the Brown Trout was good enough to package it up in foil for me later on my walk and thankfully she did as it turned into my lunch as there was nowhere enroute available for this meal! (note to myself: next walk, plan around Pubs for lunch!)
Proud to be off on time, and after my very good fortune with my rucksack, i felt on another high as i strode boldly into the depths of the forest and along an extremely long and straight road yet again .... (deja vue!) It seemed odd that the rest of the UK seems to be basking in another of the hottest days this year as i was muddling along in the dense fog and drizzle but i thanked my lucky stars that it wasnt a scorcher as my face was still burnt from the hidden sun from yesterday!
My journey today was mainly forest and country fields with yet more sheep, a few deer, rabbits, cows and one very large bull!
I began to feel grateful for the fog after a while as the upside meant i couldnt see how long each hill was!! By the time i reached the very main fast road, i was another endorphin high as my Garmin was telling me i was over 15 miles and not much further to go!
I began to feel a few blisters on my feet over the last mile or two but it wasnt until i reached my last B & B at Tormore Farm that i realised they were whoppers! Jane has advised Compeed as the remedy and so i will go with that experienced opinion and hope i get tougher as the week progresses!
I arrived at Tromore Farm around 3pm, wet, bedragled but very pleased with myself at managing my longest walk ever. I thanked G*D again that it was blessed without my rucksack and settled into a very hot bubblebath to celebrate my Day 2 achievement taking me to 5% of my journey completed!
I have a dinner date with my Good Samaritans this evening to celebrate Jane's wonderful achievement and when she said she felt a bid sad that it had all come to an end, i began to wonder if i would have any of those same sentiments in 36 days time?!!!
I am beginning to decide how i can rate each place i stay and have worked out that the fundamental things that are important to me are whether there is sufficient hot water for a bubble bath or good shower, the quality of the porridge and the comfiness of the pillows! So far i have been very lucky with my accommodation choices and hope this is a continuing trend!