Today was a tough day. 18 miles, hundreds of stiles and a bloody great hill to drag oneself up as a piece die resistance. And then you realise the Bunkhouse is still a mile away.
I’ll mention that the scenery was surprizingly lovely, that I bravely faced down a prone cow who looked a bit tasty and that we saw our first bit of real, authentic wall.
I tramped through the afternoon with Ed Lamaze. We were both in pain from different uncooperative body parts but having Ed – a laidback fellow blogger formerly of Louisana – certainly made a tricky part of the walk for me a positive pleasure. I’m afraid I interrogated him in great depth about his home and adoptive state and he was goodhumouredly patient for the three hours we spent trekking towards the farm we were staying at.
Now on to the trivial stuff. Injuries spotted today included:
A nasty bit of tendonitis in Rajov’s foot. He also asked Dan if he had a piece of snot in his moustache.
Ed’s cracked skin on his feet. They held up but he hobbled the last few yards and fell asleep as soon as he’d claimed a bunk. He can’t stand the National either but I’ve decided to forgive him.
Justin’s blisters. The Americans are suffering.
Craig’s strained glute which migrated to his calf over the course of the day.
My own dodgy knee which kicked off at the site of the first of an insane number stiles. It was like an obstacle course for a couple of miles.
More blisters for Virginia’s Stephen and Sherry*.
Bad knees for Oya, the mysteriously named Dutch women.
A bad back for Mushy (I have no idea who Mushy is. Sorry, Mushy.)
Devastated dignity for Phil. I’ve never seen chair legs go flying in four different directions before, leaving Phil dumped square on the floor looking bemused at the injustice of the universe. Bet the chair felt worse, though.
The accomodation today is a kind of dress rehearsal for the night under canvas tomorrow.(“It’ll be nice when it’s finished!”). Ed and I got here just in time to claim the last two bottom bunks. The last arrivals are making do with a motley collection of fold-down camp beds. There is, however, a television and the Netherlands versus Uraguay. I am hiding at the other end of the room. The French flag is still a bit puzzling, though. The electricity cuts out periodically but the food (chili con carne, rice and chips with am array of cold salads) was very welcome. I’m going to keep my headphones on and read Rudyard Kipling’s Kim untill the batteries go flat then try and go to sleep.**
*You’re probably wondering how come I’m suddenly remembering all these names. Well, Les has given me a list with everyone’s emergency contacts, just in case. And where I can’t work it out, I’m making it up.
**And I slept. Ish. Now writing, tweeting and updating post in the Posh kitchen so as not to wake any of 15 sleeping, snoring, farting men in the POW style bunk room. The crew in the shared B’nB rooms at the farm have even got am indoor toilet! Wussy bastards.