The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Week 3 - Random Thoughts

Cumulative distance to Pandy: 322 miles

Another fine week that has seen us sample some lovely green spaces in places that appeared dominated by motorways. We've crossed into Wales (and back to England and back to Wales and repeat), have met another 2 solo end-to-enders and have started along the Offa's Dyke Path.

Not all has been entirely rosy. After a few days with a pain in my left foot, I spent last Friday being crippled by it. I was determined not to fret unduly until such time as it was apparent that my foot was going to become detached from the rest of me, but I was a touch concerned about how painful Saturday's 19 mile day was going to be.

I called for my boots a day early in the hope that a change of footwear would solve the problem. Then the pain completely disappeared over night. My last day in my Roclites was perfectly comfortable, and (touching wood) there has been no hint of a recurrence since.

Mick on the other hand has been suffering a little - and having a bit of a footwear disaster.

His first problem was tendonitis developing in his one lower leg. From my point of view it's an annoyance because when on tarmac it's making his left foot slap down very noisily! From Mick's point of view it's a pain in the leg, but he's applying the ibuprofen gel regularly.

Mick's other problem is his boots, which he switched to on Sunday morning and on Sunday afternoon found had become too small. That's a bit of an issue as having finally found a pair of boots that suit his strange feet, he bought and wore in a spare pair in case of mishap with the first pair on this trip. So, now he has two identical pairs of boots that no longer fit him (although hopefully after this trip his feet will shrink again and they'll get used to their full potential).

Fortunately he suspected the foot-growth issue and had taken the weight penalty of keeping his Salomon XA Pros for a couple of days. Having now carried his boots for 2.5 days, whilst continuing to wear his runners, the boots have been sent home. The XA Pros will be fine for now, but he is now left with a bit of a boot issue for when they wear out (which won't be too far hence).

As for other kit, I think that the Pacerpoles deserve a mention. We have become four footed beings, with our poles in almost constant use. On the couple of days that I was without out them (the ferrules wore out, I had to wait a few days to get replacements and the clicking on roads without ferrules is just too annoying) I felt like something was missing.

They're great for extra power uphill; they're great for helping the knees downhill; and on the flat you can just set up a nice rhythm that keeps you ticking along. Okay, I do trip over one every now and then and I do occasionally hit Mick a glancing blow with a wayward stick, but I also manage to trip over my own feet and flail my arms even without out them.

Ordinary poles I did not get on with, but I wouldn't be without my Pacerpoles.

As an added bonus, if you wave them around your legs when there's a killer dog about it tends to keep the fiend at bay until you've managed to clear its territory. With the killer dogs we've encountered so far there would have been much more squealing-like-a-girl going on in the absence of defensive poles.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, aren't Pacer poles the best!

    Really enjoying your blog, including info on encounters with 'wildlife' each day.