75: 18 miles in a day

In September, FF and I are going to walk the Camino de Santiago from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. We have to average 25 kilometres a day, so to get some miles in my legs I planned an epic 18 mile/30 kilometre yomp across the Norfolk countryside.
The hostel has a full cooked breakfast inclusive of the bargain accommodation price so I stuffed myself senseless and set off.
My family visited Norfolk every year on holiday to visit my grandparents from when I was about eight years old and onwards, so I know the area fairly well. I also don’t ever recall it raining, so in a moment of idiocy, I didn’t pack any waterproofs. I set out walking in shorts and a t-shirt with nothing for rain except a small, handbag sized umbrella. Lo and behold, it rained. Largely constantly, although with some variation in the heaviness of the droplets, the whole time I was walking. I put up my umbrella and thought about how silly I looked walking in boots along public footpaths with an umbrella and no cagoule. But it didn’t matter, because I met hardly a soul along the route. The only places I met people were at Felbrigg Hall, where damp families congregated for something to do in wet weather (and I stopped for a cup of tea) and at Cromer, where damp families were playing on the beach in spite of the weather.
The rest of the walk I was gloriously alone, wandering along green lanes, past farms, and hedgerows and seeing all kinds of butterflies and birds that I’ve not seen for years. And including two long stops it only took me eight hours, which I was immensely proud of and it didn’t hurt, making the Camino a little less of a daunting prospect.

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One response to “75: 18 miles in a day

  1. Pingback: Best of 2009 – the shortlist « Me and the Girl from Clapham·

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