I am planning to run /walk /crawl again, this time from John O'Groats down 'South' to St Albans .......... not sure how far i will get but its one heck of a journey!

Monday, 24 May 2010



I had a reasonably good nights sleep and woke bright and early for a nice breakfast of porridge and poached eggs/beans/toast. Mrs MacDonalds lovely Tormore Farm had this amazing ivy loveheart on the end of the wall of her house which has apparently been there since 1904! At 106 years old it only needs trimming a couple of times a year (its a shame most bushes cant make do with trimming that infrequently!!) but it certainly goes to show what you can do with a bit of stray ivy!

My right calf was very tight today and matching my blister for discomfort but a mile or two into the walk it had eased up and i didnt need to reach for the Tiger balm. My pack felt extremely heavy today and i became increasingly weary with each step and wondered when it was going to start getting easier? My dispondency was matched by the drizzly day (yet again! whilst the rest of the country seems to be experiencing a heat wave no less!) and it was very hard trudging along the A9 with hardly any pavements.

I was walking against the traffic as pedestrian rules suggest however at one point traffic from behind me (on the opposite side) whizzed by so fast with one car overtaking a lorry that the gust of the passing car swept me right off my feet into the verge and it took about 10 minutes to feel brave enough to recommence walking. I have also had more than my fair share of hills to climb today, one which went on for over 2.5 miles and seemed to never end. By the time i reached the other side i was very tempted by the signage indicating an Escape Lane but worried that it didnt tell me where i was escaping to..... not that i really cared by that point!

By the time i reached Helmsdale Youth Hostel, i was very tired and rather low in mood ..... :( It was only when i began unpeeling my socks off that i realised i now had blisters on my blisters and even a blister on the compeed covering one blister!!!

I decided there and then that i needed to take action and seperate out the very things i definitely could do without! It is funny how 3 days of carrying something suddenly makes you acutely aware of its level of importance and how vital it is for my everyday existence!!! I therefore laid all my wordly goods out on the bed and made a pile of yes / no / maybe! It was funny to see how my view on items which i had previously described as 'crucial' had now changed to 'completely unnecessary & superflous to manoevres'!!

4.1kg later, i wandered down to the Post office, and with the invaluable help of Elizabeth the Post Mistress, I sent it all in a box to Mike's - the best £9.58 i have spent today! It means that not only am i over 1/2 stone lighter each day, but i wont have a battle of the zips every morning before i have even taken my first step! Hoorah!

I celebrated with a Magnum (!!) and bought my tea from the local Spar to heat up in the hostel kitchen. I am in an 8 bed dorm (thankfully NO BUNKBEDS!) and the only one staying in the girls side tonight! There is no bath here but the shower was nice and hot and i spent about 20 mins just warming up and washing my hair.

I think another early night is in order and i am relishing packing my (relatively) compact rucksack in the morning and seeing if the lightened load will match my mood!

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