I had a bad night’s sleep last night. The bed wasn’t the most comfortable but after the late finish with yesterday’s blog update, my own fault for spending too much time chatting in the pub last night, I just couldn’t drop off to sleep. I definitely remember seeing 1:30am and then after dropping off up some point I then promptly woke up at 5am. Maybe today’s walk was playing on my mind, knowing that there was going to be some tough terrain after a hard, hot day yesterday, and the fact that my right foot and left leg had been playing up too. I don’t know. Not a great way to start the day though that’s for sure. Beggars can’t be choosers though and there wasn’t a great deal more I could do about it.
After having a soak in the bath last night I realised the new blister on my right foot was right where I’ve had one before, many times! It was quite painful and that, along with the general pain in my feet kept me awake most of the night last night. I don’t know why it hurt so much as my feet/blisters have never affected me that badly over night. Talk about it being a good thing I wasn’t walking today. We had a pretty slow morning talking a lot and generally chilling out, which was lovely and just what I needed. Rachel washed all my stuff bless her – thank you! It was at this point though, as I was getting all my clothes out of my pack, that it dawned on me that I was a pair of boxer shorts short. I have absolutely no idea where they’ve gone to and I had horrible visions of someone cleaning one of the rooms I’d stayed in recently to find them hanging somewhere, drying after I’d washed them. Oops!
I did sleep better last night compared to the night before but, as has been the case for this entire walk so far, I still didn’t manage to get a great night’s sleep. Better yes, great no. Still, the day ahead didn’t involve a great deal of effort or energy so that was ok. Russ drove us to Croft racing circuit near Darlington to go and watch the Touring Cars, along with a load of other classes of cars to fill the racing day. We set off around 9:30am and drove through some lovely lanes to get to the A1 just to then sit at 50mph in the roadworks which will be there until 2012! It’s a good job Russ doesn’t go that way very often as that’s quite a long time for road widening to be taking place.
Final day off before starting the second half of the walk and I didn’t have a great deal planned. First order of the day, after I’d dragged myself out of bed, was to head in to Harrogate with Russ to get the last few bits I couldn’t find on Saturday. We got the bus in and first things first, seeing as I’d not had breakfast yet, I needed something to eat. Russ took me to a little deli/cafe where I got a sausage buster: a rather large roll with four sausages in…just what the doctor ordered.
Feeling better for having some food we shot round the town to get the bits I needed and then headed to the Old Bell pub for a well deserved pint.
As expected after last night’s hassle with my phone, I didn’t sleep very well. I awoke around 5:40am exhausted and lied in bed waiting for the alarm to go off. Even then I couldn’t get myself moving straight away, finally dragging myself out of bed at 7:15am. I couldn’t hang around as we had over an hour in the car before the day’s walk could start so the aim was to be on the road for around 8:30am. After we all got up and breakfast eaten we eventually got on the road a little late but I wasn’t too worried at that point as we were on schedule to start walking for around 9:45am. I only had fourteen miles to do today so I wasn’t too concerned.
After yesterday’s great day’s walking, putting me in a very happy mood, the Fountain Hotel in Hawes (i.e. a pub that does accommodation) did a great job in robbing me of that mood last night. The room was tired, stuffy and in need of decorating and the bed was awful, meaning I ended up with one of the worst night’s sleep since I started this walk. If that wasn’t bad enough the breakfast this morning was quite possibly the worst breakfast I’ve had so far. Poor quality produce, and not a lot of them on the plate, all swimming in a nice layer of grease…yummy, er, not! I ate as much of it as I could along with a slice of cold toast and got the hell out of Dodge, hoping that the day’s walking would cheer me up a bit. Using the word “Hotel” in their title is stretching it somewhat I would say.
Even after the hike up Great Shunner Fell I still found it hard to switch off and get off to sleep last night. In the end I resorted to putting some music on on my iPod and hoped for the best. Clearly I dropped off at some point as I awoke at the usual 5:20am…doh! Knowing that there was a tough walk ahead I tried to get a bit more sleep but I only managed to doze a little bit more as I was keen to get myself sorted and down for breakfast at 8am sharp. When I went down for breakfast there was already a bit of a queue forming but as it was a buffet breakfast I wasn’t too worried; no waiting around for orders of cooked breakfasts to be made in sequence. So, I ate up, picked up my packed lunch and went and got the gear on for the day and checked out.