LEJOG26: Penkridge to Abbots Bromley

I fully intend this post to be briefier than the last. Let’s see how well I do…

Thursday was another day of frequent showers. By now the ground was soaked, which meant that my boots were being constantly assualted by grass and plants whose solely purpose was to rub water into my boots. And into my boots it went, for today was the day the waterproofing on my boots truly packed in. It had been coming for a while, but after I took a wrong turn and stupidly decided to try and walk through a field of wet hip-high corn it truly gave up the ghost. It was horrible and exhausting, I could feel the water squishing between my toes with every step. It was also worrying as the rain was due to continue for a few days, and a few more days of this would be intollerable. It was this type of situation which i thought could jeapardise my trip the most-a mundane hardship that can sap the spirit and make continuing seem pointless.

I changed my socks but after an hour or so they appeared to fill up again as soon as I passed through more interchangeable fields with long grass. The landscape didn’t even seem to justify the hardship-if I had been surrounded by mountains it would have seemed appropriate, as it was it was an irritation.

This was the downside to the day, while an upside was quite a bit of canalside walking which was easy and pleasant. At one point i even overtook a canal boat, which took quite a while to achieve but was quite satisfying.

I finally reached my destination via a bleak looking reservoir which was made even bleaker by the slate grey sky. I was far more tired and drained than the 16 miles I had walked seemed to justify. Then I realized I had at least another mile of road walking to do to get to my accomodation, a mile away from my route that would be an added burden the next day when I had around 21 miles already to do.

Two things sustained me. One was the fact I was looking to arrive at 4pm, giving me the whole evening to relax. The second was that I was staying in a B&B cos there were no campsites in the area. When I got there (and after the inevitable comments about how tired i looked) I wasnt disappointed. The rooms were in a lovely big barn with a communal kitchen and lounge, and in the absence of other guests I had the whole place to myself. Luxury.

Even better, my mum popped in at around 6pm because she was working in the area and she gave drove us to and from the local pub for dinner. She also repaired my ripped-shirt while I did a bit of hand washing of the old pants. The company was welcome, as was the fact she had to get off early to drive back to London, because it resulted in me falling asleep in a lovely soft fresh bed by 9pm, which was really the thing I probably needed the most after such a draining day. Especially as tomorrow was a 21 mile trek whose only upside was it it would finally get me into the peak district and real walking country. Actually that’s quite a big upside, but I had to get there first!

Sent from my iPhone

4 Responses to “LEJOG26: Penkridge to Abbots Bromley”

  1. 1 Bill Mattinson May 18, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Hi Brendan
    You must now be well a truly into the Pennines, hope the weather is a bit kinder to you than last week. The forecast is an improving situation and by the time you get to Earby for the weekend the sun will be shining. Kath and I are looking forward to picking you up from Hebdon Bridge on Thursday. Enjoy the walk for the next 250 miles the countryside is wonderful.


  2. 2 paul May 21, 2009 at 8:00 am

    hope you are well mate paul met u at penkridge

  3. 3 Gayle May 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    The thing about wading through wet crops/grass is that it tends to soak the bottom of your trousers and socks and the water then wicks into your boots. Hopefully that was the explanation for your wet feet, rather than leaking boots (I guess that being 2 weeks later now, you’ll now know one way or the other).

    If the boots are leaking and you like dry feet then think about some Sealskinz (incredibly bad reputation for durability; my pair have been fine but most people report leaks after a few outings) or some Goretex Oversocks (not tried them myself because my Sealskinz still work, but people I’ve spoken to seem to rate them).

  4. 4 Gayle May 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Should have read on before I left that comment above. Just seen that you have invested in some Sealskinz. Hope yours are a pair of the good ones!

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