St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. It’s settled – my backpacking aim this year is to walk the Coast to Coast during two weeks in August.
I feel as if it is settled because Bernice & Arthur (Sister & Brother-in-Law) will look after Holly, my dog, whilst I am away. Holly wouldn’t be able to manage the daily distances that I aim to cover so, already, it gives me great peace of mind to know that she’ll be so very well looked after during my absence.
If settled means that the soul is ready then there is still the matter of the body. That needs some work on it. I’ve put on some of the weight that I shed last year and I’m just not ready yet to make the sacrifices necessary to lose it again. It has been and remains an exceptionally cold winter so I’ve made up my mind that I need the blubber to help keep me warm. [Prodnose: “Excuses! Excuses!” “You’re greed ...” I interrupt: “Enough!”] Porridge, hearty casseroles and hot pots, thick winter soups, seconds of roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and steaming gravy, rhubarb crumble with custard and cream are the order of the day. Salads and smaller portions? Laters!
There’s some kit to sort out too. My plan is to camp out for 11 nights of the 14/15 day trek so I’ve decided upon a new tent - the Terra Nova Laser Competition – 2009 version. Terra Nova has confirmed by e-mail that the “2009 model is the latest version of the Laser Competition which has the reflective guys and cordlocks. There are no major plans to amend this tent design in the near future.”
August is good; it’s a holiday period that fits in with work and it leaves plenty of time for preparations which will include some shorter walks when the milder weather returns. Time too for a few more proper dinners.