IT WAS my intention to awake bright and early on the last day of my early August walking trip. And technically, I succeeded. I awoke bright and early, turned off my alarm and promptly went back to sleep. As you do.
It was a couple of hours later that I actually surfaced, roused by the persistent sunshine that was streaming in through my hotel room window. I decided to take the sun’s subtle hint — one ignores a thermonuclear fireball at one’s peril — and was soon kitted up, checked out and ready to perambulate. I would be starting my day with north-west England’s one and only proper set of sea cliffs: St Bees Head.
MY MOST recent walk was neither particularly long nor particularly coastal, involving as it did an amble alongside the River Dee as far as Chester, which is not on the coast. But what Chester lacks in coast it makes up for in being absolutely lovely and that was justification enough.
I WOKE up early on Sunday morning, stretched, yawned, turned off my alarm and got out of bed, ready to do some more walking. As I stood up, I almost swore under my breath but I didn’t, mostly because that breath had just exhaled itself involuntarily. I had, it turned out, most definitely got blisters on the balls of my feet.
Clearly I wasn’t going to be walking all day. Or if I was, it was going to be with pain accompanying every single step. And that would just be silly. Right?