This time last year, 10 days into my Easter break, I was 10 days into my Southern Upland Way trek (vidclip). I bumped into Jo and Alan a couple of times on the journey, and they now have their trip journal completed at: www.adventurejournal.com/Southern_Upland_Way They also have other trip journals, and scary photos of ticks on the West Highland Way.
That was me arriving late.
Hmm - I plod along, but did the same journey in a day-and-a-half as they have done in 2 days. Not sure about the lack of motivation, as I have plenty of time to walk across Scotland. Later there was a day when I only walked 10 km, not miles. Hmm again - if I decide to do something, then I do it. I don't think that is motivation, but stubbornness.
morning Day 5
That's me. Moving slowly, though not spending lots of time to take amazing photographs and panoramas. I get up late, bimble along, and keep on going until I stop or until I reach a place that'll do for the night. On my Day 4, I did fail to get to St John's of Dalry and camped out on the hills.
I'd spent the night in the Chalk Memorial Bothy, arriving before nightfall and deciding not to bother pushing on.
And the catch-up at Brattleburn Bothy - the comments about kit are right, as I have spare kit that I don't use much or at all. And I babble too much about kit. But I'm also carrying enough food for the journey as I don't want to be tied to heading in to towns for the shop opening hours. If I was a fastest (i.e. fitter) walker of better planner (i.e. smarter), then I would have taken less food. But I saw how few villages there were on the crossing, and knew what village shops are like for opening hours, so took the lazy option.
Over Phawhope Bothy - they rest there the night. I had done a small amount of tidying up after lunching there.
My slowest day had been the one ending at the 'Airborne Bothy' (outside Traquair) - starting late and finishing early. I picked up the pace after that, my blisters were healing and pack weight more manageable. I think, psychologically, it was also nearing the end of the trek, which was now perfectly "do-able". If I timed it right, I'd even have a spare day before starting back at work.
As I read the last few days, I grow envious of the time Alan and Jo had to enjoy them. But then, when try pacing my trips to meet a schedule, I end up getting concerned and fretful. Just the sort of person I am. I lightened up my kit more when I got back, and had found out what was causing my blisters (heat and boots too tight) and had no new blisters for the second half of trip. I came back with less body-weight and an edge that I hadn't had in ages. Confidence in myself, I suppose, rather than the worry that some form or other hadn't been filled in correctly - the sort of knocks that day-to-day life throws up. I never got that out of going to the gym. Confidence that I can do something like walk across Scotland with just the kit on my back and get to my destination without major incident. It is, after all, just a walk, and not a major expedition in a dangerous country filled with weapons-toting insurgents and wild animals.
A year later, and I'm in need of another long distance trek.
And the motivation to walk to the post office.
Best wishes for the next adventure, and I look forward to reading the journal.