In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.
In fourteen days time, I am heading for Keswick in the Lake District, to hook up with an old friend and her dog, Muffin, for a week’s hiking around the lakes.
A couple of months ago we had six good legs between us and four of them were Muffin’s. A broken toe and more than just one dodgy joint on my part. But since then, the fitness regime has been ongoing and, thanks to social media, the competition has been fierce and it is clear from Muffin’s blog that he has been racking up more miles than I have puffing my way around the potato fields.
As someone who normally chooses holidays that involve easing myself on to a sunbed, I’ve received a certain amount of ribbing from those closest to me, especially after the walking poles were delivered.
I had anticipated that I would be the butt of a certain amount of ridicule having added a pair of poles to my birthday wish list and didn’t get them. So I ordered them online and hid them when they arrived, but the thing is, I haven’t practiced with them yet. In predominately flat Jersey, I feel a bit pretentious pounding my way along the waterfront with a pair of poles. Hopefully, I won’t feel quite so self-conscious once I get to Keswick.
I bought myself a pair of hiking boots back in January and have broken them in so well they feel more comfortable than my slippers, so I have great faith in them to get me up Scafell Pike.
I know it will not be a walk in the park and Scafell Pike for me would be a peak too far. More realistically, my very lightweight backpack will contain my own Hiker’s Guide to the Lake District, which features short, flat walks and frequent sightings of quaint, pretty little pubs dotted along the path.
For the glory of saying you’ve climbed the highest peak in the country, Scafell Pike beckons. Like Helvellyn, this is doable for anyone with reasonable fitness but should be approached with common sense and waterproofs, not flip flops and a vest. If the weather is kind, you’ll catch a glimpse of Wastwater from the top – a mere puddle on the landscape when viewed from the 978m summit. www.lonelyplanet.com
Can I only dream? Who knows what might happen, once I perfect using my poles.