Now that we are nearly set, with just under a month to go I’m able finally update this blog. I can’t remember the last blog I did, let alone the things that have happened since then. Yes, I can see that I did one on Monday night/Tuesday morning inserting a portion of a song lyric by Joni Mitchell, just to strengthen my resolve. I think the enormity of what I will be doing in April has just hit me, has just sunk in. Let’s face it, copypasting a song lyric does not a blog make. These blogs may not be chronological.
At the end of Feb, Brooksie, VixNix, VickStaveley, Hely, Foody, Coxy (as I have just now named her, she probably needs some sort of outdoorsy army-style name), Agnes (Brooksie’s running friend) and I went to Gomshall in Surrey to wear in our boots.
Not one for nambying it while walking I thought I’d pack my rucksack with heavy things to weight it. 2 pairs of shoes, a change of clothes, a 2l bottle of water, a compendium of hit songs from the 80’s (for guitar and piano) and a bag of uncooked rice. Yeah, Zooby knows how to pack for harsh conditions.
I got to Gomshall earlier than the other London-based ladies (Isla coming up from Brighton and VixNix driving from Hampshire) and was greeted off the really unsecure railway crossing (basically, just walk on the tracks to cross to the other platform, how very 1950’s) to be greeted by VixNix with flasks of hot drinks and biscuits in the back of her car. The girl knows how to make a tired man welcome, I tell you! Isla is there too, tea in hand and warming herself by her car. Within minutes the rest of the ladies arrive – we took different trains from civilisation – they having left from Clapham and me from Charing Cross. After making a pitstop in the café of the caravan salesroom we set out.
Now, Brooksie has apparently made this trip before and wanted to ‘go another way round the hill’. Her words.
From the railway station, we wandered into a village called ‘Shere’ which, according to the Shere Tourist Board, is the prettiest village in Surrey. It certainly has a well-clipped cemetery and several country pubs. However, it was once we were out of the village that things started to go wrong…
I am being unfair. Brooksie didn’t actually get us lost, we didn’t really get lost, we just took longer than we thought we would to get to the path that she had planned.
Right, according to my blackberry, our lowest elevation was 327ft and our highest was 993ft which is a difference of 666 ft. I’ve just worked that out by the way but something tells me it was something to do with the incline – the fact that it was such a b*stard to ascend. Somewhat worrying. How high are we climbing up to - 16,945 ft? Yeah. That b!tch is gonna be some work. Altitude sickness, the headaches, the foot aches (our journey was about 4 hours and we covered 9.98 miles) the shoes fared well, no chafing, no blisters, great, in fact. We must remember to wear comfy shoes for as long as possible while we’re camped (or teahoused).
When we got back to Shere, we headed straight to the pub and a welcome lunch (which had an extraordinarily wide selection of food on the menu, VixNix noted). You can see the trail here : Gomshall, Gomzle, Goms-hall
Now it must’ve been the altitude (see my spoof video) as my ears hadn’t popped when we got down, but I thought I went slightly deaf. Apparently, on the train home, Brooksie commented on the fleece that I was wearing – ‘I really like your Berghaus’. It's not what I heard.