Saturday, 6 June 2015

The second time around

I woke up this morning with mosquito bites on my hands – and not much else. As oppose to the previous time, when I didn’t wake up at all or moving, alongside of blinking and breathing, posed such a strain, I nigh wept for most of the Monday.
Here’s what I did different.
-          Left the dog behind. I met with at least 6 off-leash farm dogs which came to sniff me or just to bark at me and that was that. If I had Lyra with me, that would have been either nothing, or a rape attempt or a fight. That said, I don’t think walking 28 km in a scorching sun would have her appreciate me. She spent the time at my parents, a.k.a. heaven.
-          Had with me only a plushie beagle substitute, a notebook and reading book I never opened once, small map, extra socks, tiny first aid kit, Kleenex’, the camera and the phone. Along with water it wasn’t more than 5 kg.
-          I studied the map really intensely. Not only did I have the printed-out topography pages, but I also took photos of the GoogleMaps aerial footage of the route, so that really saw which route leads where and what size it is. It STILL puzzled me from time to time, especially crossing that mount, but I didn’t get lost a single time. Didn’t lose morale once.
-          The General was a lot more supportive this time. I mean, he was TOO supportive the last time and I caved in, crying. This time he just encouraged me and gave me instructions. I thought about quitting pretty much most of the second half, but I didn’t. Haha, he also failed to meet me at the station and I think he was embarrassed by it. Bought me refrigerated dessert, though. Yay.
-          I ate a little in the morning and snatched a piece of pie during the walk and bought a yoghurt at the end, other than that I carried no food at all. And just one flack of water, which I kept refilling at the local farms.  (Which were plentiful all the way.)
-          At some point, blisters notwithstanding, I realized that I am perfectly fine with everything about the walk, except the excruciating pain in my feet, especially the soles. Walking on grass and graves as much as possible helped, but there is a LOT of asphalt in the world. So, around 2pm, which seems to be my crisis hour, and where I quit the other time and now could barely move, I did what any sensible person who’s been reading too much Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas would do, and downed two horse-sized painkillers, then marched on. I daresay that was the only reason I succeeded. In fact I literally jogged the 5 km off the mountain and back to the asphalt valley road. I was full of adrenaline, endorphins, my muscles were warm and stretchy, I wasn’t tired in a regular sense, and I made it thus far.

All in all I walked 28 km, made it to the train station red in the face, soaked, smelly, looking like something a large animal might chew and regurgitate … But no tears this time, no feeling of despair. And a lot wiser. I have one more test, I think, and then I should be ready to do the route…

I talked to some people on the way and I got that 'what a cool older person' feeling from some. Like I am the cool old hussie now. Minus the slutty bit. Really. Nothing at all slutty about the way I looked. 

The weather was hazy, so most of the photos looked watered down - I made the BWs instead and continued the trend of patching together individual shots in an accentuated fashion :) 

... I wonder if the next time, I should try walking in sneakers? Or is it simply that my feet are too soft thing? Ah. We'll see. Practice, practice. It's only been the second day, out of sixty. 

God is everywhere ... No, but seriously. You can't pass a crossroads without that poor person, what's his name,
being crucified on it. This certainly is a very devout country. Best part is, the churches are heavy and old
and very cool to sit in the shade of and it is easy to navigate by them. I would see the belfry in the distance
and know I'm going the right way.