Saturday, 30 July 2011


The one constant source of comment, complaint and conversation at anywhere I stopped was feet. How many blisters, how sore, how achy, how many bits were festering.....

I have never really had much of a problem with blisters or my feet and I was determined that I wasn't going to start now so I formulated a plan:
  1. Clean socks every day which meant washing them each night as soon as I arrived at my accommodation. I took two pairs of Merino wool thick socks with me.
  2. No matter how tired I was, I took the time to wash and dry my feet carefully each night and paid special attention to keeping the nails trimmed.
  3. Gehwol extra foot cream from Bob and Rose at This is a fantastic product. Every night I took time to really massage it into my sore and aching feet. It has quite a nice smell and it's cooling and refreshing so really soothes your feet.

The tube was quite heavy to carry but it was worth every gram and every penny it cost.

I don't know if I was just lucky or if my plan worked, but I didn't get a single blister, hotspot or sore bit anywhere on my feet. Yes they ached at the end of a long day but apart from that I had no issues with them at all. If you are planning a long walk I suggest you invest some money in a tube and be thorough with your footcare every day no matter how tired you are - you won't regret it and it might make the difference between giving up and finishing.

Pennine Way musings

Now that my adventure is over, I've struggled a bit to get back into the swing of real life. It really is much simpler when all you have to think about is putting one foot in front of the other and getting from A to B under your own steam.

The gear that I took with me all performed faultlessly. My absolute favourite was without doubt the Satmap GPS.

It got charged every night and sat on my belt each and every day. It was a matter of a second to get it out and check my position - no wondering whether I was at one field boundary or the next, no trying to figure out which bit of hill or forest I was looking at, the Satmap plotted my exact track and told me exactly where I was. The fact that it has OS maps on it meant that it was a familiar format for me and I had spent several months learning to use it. The only time I missed a turn it was completely my own fault for not paying attention and being seduced by a house that was for sale at Sleightholme farm. I had paper maps and compass with me of course for back up - and I know how to use them and I'm not saying that I couldn't have done it without the Satmap - but for me it made it a whole lot easier and a lot more fun. I met lots of people along the way and some were intrigued by it and some were downright dismissive of it but for me it was brilliant and I would have no hesitation in recommending one to anyone who could afford it. I think that because I was walking alone, it just gave me that extra level of confidence that was important for my own peace of mind.

The other fantastic piece of kit was my boots. I have always been a bit suspicious of Goretex in boots and never really believed in it until now. Zamberlan have certainly got it right. Despite all the rain, bogs and ceaseless mud, my feet were always bone dry. Companions would end the day by literally pouring the water out of their boots and wringing out their socks and would express astonishment when gently encouraged to touch my toasty dry feet. It's a great magic trick and I don't know how long the Goretex will work but it has converted me for sure.

Byrness to Cocklawfoot

It was lashing rain when we arrived at Forest View and it lashed all night and into the morning. I started late because I lost a buckle off my rucksack and spent some time scouring the place before I found it on the floor of the drying room.

The first bit of the PW from Byrness to the top of the hill is a killer - 45 degrees, wet, slippery and some of it is on your hands and knees. Having said that, once you get to the top, it's a lovely walk over hill and dale. The guys caught me up and we passed each other on and off all day. They stopped often to consult their map and guide book and then waited for me to catch up to ask me what the Satmap said!!

Paul assuming his usual position with the map
All around us we could hear booms and bangs from the army manoeuvres at Byrness range and we were in no doubt as to where we were:

A brew in the first hut

The guys were going back to Forest View for the night and had arranged to meet Joyce at 5pm so she could drive them back. I had arranged to be met at Cocklawfoot by Marilyn from the Farmhouse at Kirk Yetholm Mill B&B and I said I would call her when I got to the turn off. Every time I mentioned Cocklawfoot at Forest View, Joyce would laugh and there would be a sharp intake of breath so I didn't know quite what to expect. It was actually a 2.3 mile track downhill and it took me exactly 51 minutes to walk it down to the bottom. It was quite a nice end to the day. What was even nicer was that instead of Marilyn coming to meet me, it was my darling Roy and it was so good to see him after nearly three weeks apart. We drove to Kirk Yetholm and had a fantastic meal cooked by Marilyn. Our room had a jacuzzi which was a fantastic treatment for those aching bones.

Bellingham to Byrness

I left Bellingham relatively late after waiting for the pharmacy to open. My sinuses were playing up so I wanted to get some decongestants for the final few days. The walking was lovely - through farms and over rolling hills. Bellingham was a lovely little town with a fantastic bakery. If you're there, don't miss it. I stocked up with sausage rolls and flapjacks and they made a very nice lunch a bit later on.

Exmoor ponies graze peacefully on Padon Hill

There weren't many pictures taken today due to the awfulness that characterised the rest of the day. After following the path to Whitley Pike (very nice - fine views) we descended and crossed the road and started the climb up to Padon Hill and the first bit of forest walking on the way. Well, what can I say....the path in non existent when it comes up along the forestry section. It may have been there once but it certainly isn't there any more. It's either disappeared under bog or the encroaching forest has covered it up. There are trees down over the path which results in some very undignified limboing or clambering which is not fun at all. If you decide to break out from the edge of the forest as we did, there is knee deep heather and alternate bogs and reeds. Add to all of this the clouds of flies and midges and you have just about the most miserable combination imaginable. We ended up bushwhacking across the heather and following tracks through the forest to get away from the flies. Thankfully the Satmap earned its keep as it's really easy to get lost in the forest and the OS maps don't always show all of the firebreaks and tracks. We finally made it on to a track and back onto the PW but it probably cost us about an extra hour of tiddling about. Looking at the maps later, what we should have done was to turn left and follow the road instead of crossing it to tackle Padon Hill. If you follow the road to the left, it eventually takes you onto forest track which intersects with the PW at the corner of the forest. How we wish we had known that at the time.

After regaining the PW it was just a case of following the forest tracks out of Kielder Forest all the way to Byrness and Forest View.

Friday, 22 July 2011

The latest wind power station proposal - for the hill opposite my house!

Whilst I was away, a letter arrived outlining the proposal to build up to twenty two 126 metre high wind turbines on the hill directly opposite my house. Those of you who have read my blog before will know of my opposition to the numerous wind power stations which are popping up all over the highlands and desecrating our landscape so this is definitely not a case of 'not in my back yard'. The truth is that I don't want it in anyones back yard.

This is the view from my living room window with Brown Muir directly opposite

The scheme is apparently at the outline stages and so the website for the project is pretty pathetic in that it provides very little information on which to base an opinion. See it here: It does say that the company wants our opinion in order to involve the local community so they will be given the benefit of my thoughts in no uncertain terms. The neighbours think pretty much the same as us so we have the nucleus of a campaign forming. Watch this space!!

Home at last

I am now home after my adventure and I have to say that I enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. It feels slightly surreal having done it all and once I've got unpacked and sorted out I'll write about the final few days and muse about the whole fabulous experience.

My initial feeling is that it has been one of the best experiences of my life but there's no place like home and your own bed and your creature comforts.

The people that I met along the way and the courtesy, generosity and respect with which I was greeted at every turn really confirmed for me what a wonderful country we live in and what fantastic and sometimes slightly eccentric people inhabit it.

Signing the book at The Border Arms - slightly squiffy after several G&T's

More later

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Made it

I've been too tired to blog these past few nights but suffice to say that I made it at 5.10 today.
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Sorry that was a pretty pathetic post wasn't it....I strolled down the road towards the village green in Kirk Yetholm and plonked myself on a bench at the Border Arms just after 5pm after one of the best days walking I've ever had. The weather co-operated, my darling Roy was with me and I just had a daypack on. The views were breathtaking and the walking just challenging enough to make me feel like I had accomplished something on the last day. Did I 'pop' up to the top of The Cheviot? No I didn't....Did I take the high or the low level route at the end? I took the low level route and enjoyed every minute.

Whilst at Clove Lodge I started to flick through Wainwrights Pennine Way companion written in 1968 and in it he said words to this effect (I'm paraphrasing here)

When you get to Kirk Yetholm, nobody will be there to greet you, there won't be a fanfare or a tape to break at the finishing line and in reality, life will go on for everybody else much as it did before. Nobody will care that you've just walked 268 miles in the pouring rain/scorching sunshine/knee deep bogs but don't worry about it. The achievement is yours and yours alone and nobody can take it away from you. Have a pint, enjoy it and pat yourself on the back.

Well I did all three and Wainwright got it exactly right - I don't mind admitting that I shed a few tears at what I'd achieved and at why I decided to do it in the first place - I hope that Jane would have been proud of me.

Jane, my dad and me - October 2009

Monday, 18 July 2011

Goodbye Hadrians Wall, hello mud and bog

I got an early start today and was on the PW by 0815. There was a bit more up and down on the wall before turning north and heading for the trees and the bogs. The guys joined me today for a lot of the time and they were welcome company.
The weather was showery and the jacket was on and off a lot. Pretty early on I managed to go ankle deep in thick mud which stuck like glue and made my left foot feel pounds heavier than the right. The ground was so soft that it sucked you in and made the going very slow and there were several groups of DoE teenagers on the way whose backpacks looked bigger than they were!

There was a sign on a fence saying 'tea pop 1 mile' and I had visions of a tea room with earl grey and cream teas. What I found was a farm shed with a kettle plugged into a really long extension lead, an outside water tap, a fridge full of cans of pop, a box of home made scones and an honesty box.

Mark enjoying the delights of the 'tea shop' at Horneystead farm

It was brilliant and very welcome - if a little lacking in creature comforts like any sort of hygiene but I would advise anyone who is passing to call in to the tea shed at Horneysteads Farm and make themselves a brew.
The rest of the day was spent trudging on indistinct paths through knee deep bogs until we arrived in Bellingham at about 1715 for an enormous bed and a hot bath at the Cheviot Hotel. I managed to hose the mud off my boots at the back of the hotel and fall into bed exhausted.
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Sunday, 17 July 2011

A lot of uppy and downy on Hadrians wall

Yesterdays rain continued through the night but the sun was trying to peek through when I left Greenhead. The ground was waterlogged but it was nice to know that I only had 8 miles to go. Hadrians wall goes up and down ..... a lot which makes for slow going but it was pleasant enough with great views. I stopped for lunch along the way and my walking companions from yesterday caught me up. Paul, Bruce, Mark and Rob meet up for a weeks walking every year and this year is their fifth and final chunk of the PW. Yesterday we walked together on and off and today we did the same. They are good company and we are all happy to walk at our own pace so there's no feeling that you have to wait for anyone or walk at an awkward pace. Soon after I met in with them today it started raining yet again and we got just as wet as yesterday. After much more up and down on the wall we arrived at Once Brewed and dripped in the pub until the YHA opened. The forecast tomorrow is better. Let's hope so!
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Once Brewed YHA was quite modern and once again, after some sweet talking I managed to get a room to myself but it was freezing.

The drying room was not particularly warm and there was a definite lack of hangers so it was a bit of a bunfight to get all of your stuff hanging up to dry. I managed just about and thought that it was about time that my fluffy piglet which had been given to me by my good friend Emma as a mascot, got hung up to dry:

Piglet on his perch on the drying room
That evening we returned to the pub at Twice Brewed for a feed and some beer!

Mark, Paul, Bruce and Rob showing me how to drink beer at Twice Brewed

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Alston to Greenhead

Today it rained. Sometimes it drizzled, sometimes it lashed, other times it was merely torrential but for every single minute of the day it rained. Rab drilium jacket - excellent. Zamberlan goretex boots - excellent. Greenhead hotel beer, accommadation and food - all excellent. All in all an excellent day if you can call 16.5 miles in the pissing rain excellent. More about my walking companions later :-)

I knew when I arrived at The Greenhead Hotel that they would be putting me in a nearby B&B because they were full but what I actually got was a whole flat to myself with a sitting room, two bedrooms and a bathroom - very nice!

My room in the flat at The Greenhead Hotel

The Greenhead Hotel
Like many PW walkers I took the easy route along the old railway trackbed from Alston to make easy and swift progress and rejoined the PW later on that morning. It was definitely the right move after 20 miles the day before. The thunder and lightning were a bit scary since I was on top of the moor at the time but just added to the drama of the day and the landscape. The Pennine Way has an endearing way of going exactly where it wants and at one point it literally went through a guys garden between his house and his garage. There isn't a sign to tell you this but I was lucky enough to meet the owner at the bottom of his drive and he pointed me in the right direction. It felt a bit strange but sure enough there was a ladder stile out of his garden on to the moor behind!
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Dufton to Alston over Cross Fell

Dufton YHA was a delight and the food at the Stag Inn was great but after sleeping like a proverbial log I got an early start as I knew it was going to be a long day. This was the day I'd looked forward to and dreaded in equal measures - the longest and the highest on the 'way'. There was a lot of low cloud and as I climbed it came and went so that I caught occasional glimpses of the tops. The climb up was a hard slog but when I reached the summit of Knock Old Man I realised that I had gained the majority of the days elevation and after that it was just a case of dipping down a bit and them back up again.

The radar domes on Great Dun Fell appearing out of the mist

I reached the summit of Cross Fell (which was cloud free by then) at 1315 - 5 hours after leaving Dufton.

The cloud free summit of cross fell

Coming down off Cross Fell was easy enough because I had good visibility but I can easily see why some people could get lost if the mist was down. The way down is mostly on tracks and I passed Greg's Hut which would be a very welcome site in bad weather.

Greg's Hut

5 hours after that I arrived at Alston YHA which is superbly situated right on the PW as you approach the village. I have never been so glad to see a YHA. The 2 or 3 miles coming down into Garrigill along a gravelly farm track are hell and then you've got another 5 miles to go to Alston!

A very welcome bench as you enter Garrigill!

The final 5 miles seem to be just one stile after another - as if you need that after 15  miles! Anyway I made it in one bit and lived to tell the tale.
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Clove Lodge to Langdon Beck YHA

Leaving Clove Lodge this morning was quite a wrench. It really is a very special place and when I get home I'll be able to write more about it.
The days walk was pleasant for the most part - especially the first half as far as Middleton in Teesdale. I had hoped to get some wax for my boots (which are looking very sorry for themselves) but it was half day closing so I was out of luck. After that the PW followed the River Tees as far as Langdon Beck. The sun was shining and the going was easy if a little hard underfoot. I passed low and high force waterfalls which were quite impressive and trudged onwards.

Waterfalls on the river Tees

For the first time in days my feet were sore and tired but I put it down to the hard compacted footpath along the river. I was really glad to see the YHA come into view and what a lovely hostel it was - small and friendly and very modern.

Langdon Beck YHA

There were 2 fishermen staying who were good fun. For a while I thought I would have a room to myself but another lady arrived late on. She snored like a foghorn so I didn't sleep a wink and I swear that at one point I nearly put a pillow over her face to shut her up. This morning came all too soon - hot and sunny and not a cloud in the sky so it was on with the pack and off back to the river. Clambering on my hands and knees up Cauldron Snout was great fun

Cauldron Snout

and then a long cross country moorland stretch to High Cup Nick which was breathtaking.

It's difficult to do justice to High Cup Nick in a photo

Then a path which was a little too close to the edge of the cliff for my taste and a descent into the pretty little village of Dufton and another night at the YHA. The tea room on the green was open when I arrived so I made the most of it with a lovely cuppa and a huge cupcake to reward myself. I also bought some delicious fruitcake for the following days toil over Cross Fell. Thankfully a single room at the YHA for me and a good rest before Cross Fell tomorrow and a 20 mile stroll.

I ate that night at The Stag's Head on the village green and was very impressed. The food was great as was the beer.
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A tale of two contrasting days

Yesterday was a glorious day, marred only by the service at breakfast at Hawes youth hostel. It was cool and overcast when I left and started the long ascent of Great Shunner Fell. What a wonderful walk it was - I enjoyed every minute. It was exactly what I needed to get me back on track after a day off. The sun came out and I had lunch at the excellently situated cross shaped shelter at the top. The descent into Thwaite was steady and I took advantage of a conveniently sited bench in the centre of the village to have a wee sit down and think to myself what a lucky girl I am. The tea shop beckoned but I resisted and set off up the hill for Keld. The going was slow on the rocky path around the hill but it was a lovely walk - all the time looking down on the river to my right.

Looking back towards Thwaite from the PW

The pretty village of Keld eventually came into view and I arrived at Keld Lodge at around half past three. Beer was drunk in the sunshine before I got round to checking in and later on lots of coast to coast walkers arrived. Keld lodge was very comfy and there was a great sense of camararderie because we were all there for the same reason. It's the only place I've ever been where conversation over breakfast about how many of your toenails have fallen of and which bits of your feet are festering most is not only acceptable, it's obligatory! I loved Keld Lodge and was sorry to say goodbye to it this morning.

Today was a different story.

The famous Tan Hill Inn - too early in the day to stop though!

Wet, boggy, unexciting uninspiring terrain and I missed a turning which added 2 miles to my day.

Bowes Moor is the bit after Tan Hill and it's a bit of an endurance test. There is no path to speak of because it's so wet and boggy. What you end up doing is vaguely aiming between two white posts and picking your way through. The bogs are knee deep and a careless step could mean getting seriously stuck. It was no fun at all and I (like Wainwright who called the bogs glutinous) was glad to see the back of them. The saving grace for today has been arriving at Clove Lodge. If you are doing the PW then Clove Lodge has to be one of the highlights. Don't miss it! Caroline is a wonderful hostess and to be faced with a pot of tea and a plate of cakes and biscuits on arrival was just what I needed. My room was fantastic with a big deep bath that I made the most of then it was down for drinks and dinner. There were three Dutch walkers staying as well as a father and son who I hade been passing on and off since Hawes and we all sat around one big round table. The meal and the chat was lovely - very civilised at the end of a not so civilised day. Even if you don't want B&B, there is a camping barn and space for tents so everyone is welcome whatever their budget.
It's time for bed now - an easy (hopefully) 14 miles tomorrow.
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Ready to get going again

Well, I'm in Hawes waiting for the youth hostel to open at 5. It's been a lovely weekend with my family but I'm itching to get back to my walk now. Hawes is a lovely little town with lots of cheese related activities but oh so busy on a sunny July weekend!
And now to the story of the three Janets. There's me of course....there's the lovely lady pharmacist in Gargrave (called Janet) who donated £5 when she found out why I was walking and finally there's Janet who runs the Old Joinery b&b at Garsdale. She was so generous and welcoming that I was bowled over. She gave me a lift to and from the pub, let my nephew and his family camp in her field and treated me like an old friend. I can't thank her enough for everything she did for me. There are some wonderful people in the world and she's one of them.
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Friday, 8 July 2011

Day 5 and a planned detour

Tonight I find myself in a fantastic b&b at Garsdale which is nowhere near the pennine way. The reason I'm here is that there is not a bed to be had for love nor money tomorrow night in Horton in Ribblesdale so I've had to miss it out along with Malham. Today I walked 11 miles from Cowling to Gargrave and then got on the train to Garsdale which is 7 miles from Hawes. Tomorrow I'll have a day off and walk to Hawes on Sunday.
I know that this means that I won't have walked the whole Pennine way but I had no choice. I even thought about posting my camping gear ahead to Horton so I could camp one night but wouldn't have been able to post it home on the Sunday because the PO will be closed.
So I'm coming clean now - yes I've missed a bit out and it was the bit I was most looking forward to :-. It's turned out well though, today was the day of the three Janets - more about us all tomorrow.
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Poppy bedroom at The Old Joinery B&B Garsdale
Janet at the Old Joinery B&B couldn't have been more welcoming, she met me off the train and took me back to her place where a clotted cream tea was waiting for me. Janet has that real eye for detail that makes all the difference at a B&B like having fresh milk for in a little fridge in your room for yout tea instead of those vile UHT pots of milk. Later on she drove me up to The Moorcock Inn for an evening meal and stayed for a drink with me. The Moorcock was fantastic - great beer and great food with a warm welcome. I would have no hesitation in recommending The Old Joinery or The Moorcock to anyone who was in the area.

Thinking about my enforced diversion, I've realised that I have actually walked much of the bit that I've missed out. About 20 years ago I spent a lot of time walking in the dales and walked from Horton over Pen Y Ghent and from Horton to Malham so I've not really missed out too much. I've decided though that next spring, Roy and I will go back to Gargrave and walked the missed out miles up to Hawes just for my own conscience sake.

Day 4 - Hebden Bridge to Cowling

It was hard to get into any kind of rhythm yesterday with a lot of ups and downs and stops to put on and take off my jacket. I slept like a log and then got a lift back to the pennine way from the centre of hebden bridge from the owner of the b&b. That saved me a 1.5 mile walk along the canal towpath and was very welcome:-). The initial pull up the hill was hard work but once on the moors the scenery opened out on rolling moors and the going was easier. The weather was showery and very changeable but not unpleasant. I stopped & had lunch at Top Withins in the sunshine and discovered that I had lost my sunspecs on the way - bah! The rest of the day was spent passing and repassing another solo lady walker who was faster than me but I didn't see her after she stopped with a blister. There was a long downhill walk to the road at Cowling and the Winterburn Barn b&b. Olwyn relieved me of my soggy boots and kindly put them in front of the Aga for me. There was a massive thunderstorm just after I arrived and I was very glad I wasn't out in it. A long hot bath beckoned and I was so tired that I didn't even go out for something to eat - just munched on some stuff I had in my pack. The route finding had been a challenge at times but the guide book had warned about it so I was prepared. The Satmap GPS has been brilliant so far - I'm so glad I brought it :-)
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Thursday, 7 July 2011

End of a long day 3

After the first of many many full English breakfasts I set off on my first real day of walking on my own. Well the weather threw everything at me today. Lashing horizontal rain, cold wind, mist and sunshine as well. I put all my waterproofs on about 15 minutes after starting out and they stayed on most of the day. The mist came down and visibilty was pretty poor but I'm sure that the views over Blackstone Edge would have been nice if I could see them!

There were some interesting wee things along the way like this ancient marker stone

The walking was easy - mostly level with rolling pennine views. First view of pennine wind turbines and although they blend better with the more industrialised landscape down here I still loathe them. I discovered today that weird Pennine phenomenon called Stoodley Pike. You can see if for miles and miles on the horizon but no matter how far you walk, it never gets any closer or any bigger.

A rather phallic Stoodley Pike when at last I got close to it

When you do actually get there it's a bit of a let down - covered in graffiti and a bit sad but it marks the home stretch towards Hebden Bridge.

I arrive in Hebden Bridge in sunshine having walked through a torrential downpour and trudged the 1.5 miles into town along the canal towpath. It was a lovely walk but I just wanted to get to the B&B so probably wasn't in a place where I could appreciate it. I'd forgotten how nice Hebden Bridge was since I'd been there a lot in my teens and early twenties. The B&B I stayed at was Kersal House in the centre of town and I was made very welcome. The room had a little balcony on which I enjoyed a cold beer courtesy of Maggie - the owner and then after fish and chips in town I crashed out fast asleep. It was such a comfy bed and I was so tired......

There were a a few new aches and niggles today but a longish day to Cowling tomorrow so off to sleep as I'm knackered. Can't say I'm looking forward to tomorrow as the forecast is crap weather:-(  but heigh ho
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Day 2 - a great days walking

Today started out warm and breezy - in fact near perfect weather for walking. My nephew Pete walked with me today and we chatted as we walked (dawdled) but as it was only 12 miles I wasn't in any hurry.

Looking back towards Crowden - Day 2

The trail was quiet and the walking was glorious - much more like I was expecting. The sunshine didn't last though and we put on jackets at soldiers lump. We had lunch just before we crossed the main road and them headed down past the reservoirs.

Pete at our rather soggy lunch stop

The sun alternated with showers for the rest of the day and the going was easy and level except for one sharp descent and ascent to cross a stream. Before we knew it we had reached the main road and a rendezvous with Pete's wife Nic and their 2 kids Thomas and Sam. Then to a lovely b&b called Wellcroft House and a hot shower and a cuppa. All in all a brilliant day. From tomorrow I'll be on my own but it looks like a nice 16 miles to Hebden Bridge.
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

Monday, 4 July 2011

First day

Just having coffee at edale yha. Overcast this morning after yesterdays scorcher which suits me fine. Off 2 meet my brother in law in
Edale then onward and upward.

On my way at last

18.5 miles later...Jacobs ladder should be renamed Jacobs torture, kinder downfall should be renamed kinder dribble and Bleaklow should just keep on being called Bleaklow cos I can't imagine a name that describes it better - bleak. Incredibly hot and humid today. I sweated buckets and despite drinking 3 ltrs water - never peed once:-( easier day 2morrow, walking with my nephew. Time 4 bed xx
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

30th July 2011 Looking back now on that first day, everyone was right - the first day was indeed the worst. I'm not sure if it was a purely physical thing or whether it was more of a mental one. I was dying to get on my way and it was brilliant to have my brother in law Dave along for company but the heat and humidity just about did for me. I've never been good in the heat and usually do my best to stay out of the sun at all costs. No avoiding it the first day though and it was just a case of stopping often to drink and just going at my own pace. The views from the top of Kinder were fantastic and there was a steady stream of other walkers going in both directions. I was very glad to reach Crowden at the end of the day and get an ice lolly from the shop at the campsite. It felt good to get that first day out of the way, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more if it had just been a one off walk but I couldn't get away from the feeling that it was just day one of many more. I hadn't yet got into a rhythm or a routine and I still felt the nervousness of embarking on a big adventure but on the whole it WAS a good day.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Deciding what to take!

I'm in the process of sorting out exactly what to take with me on Sunday and as I thought, it's a case of putting it all in a big pile and then taking at least a third of it away. It's exciting to actually be getting to this stage. The kitchen sink syndrome is still there though and I'm sure that I will still ditch stuff along the way. The weather is looking positive so it's all systems go.

Today there was an article in my local paper about my walk. I was expecting a picture and a wee write up and what I got was so much better. It told the whole story of why I'm walking and the tears rolled down my face when I read it. I'm really grateful to Craig Christie at the Northern Scot for his time and effort.

Oh well - time to go and shove all my stuff in my pack and see if I can lift it