Walking Holidays UK
Walking Holidays UK: If you enjoy walking, then the UK is a land of plenty. I have spent many wonderful walking holidays in England, Scotland and Wales and each place has very special memories.
But here’s a short tale of one time when things went wrong and the soles fell off my monkeys!
Walking Holidays UK :
I went fell walking in England’s beautiful Lake District. My destination was not fixed, but it certainly involved going up high. I was young and fit and strong, and I had been up there before, so I suppose I was just experienced enough to be over-confident, but not enough to realize that a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing on the fells!
I was alone, well not entirely; I had Wainwright with me, safely tucked in my rucksack. I wasn’t on a long trip; just a short weekend break to get away from urban life – I needed air and exercise so off I set.
I can’t remember where I was when I set off so I don’t know the route I took or even what precise lake I looked down on, but I can remember and can fully recount the horror of not having the correct boots!
Do you remember Monkey Boots? Those shiny ‘fashionable’ things that people wore in the 80s – cool looking, lace ups, thin leather, quite a lot of grip, and some ankle support too… That’s what I decided to wear on the fells! My real walking boots were in London. I’d forgotten them. No matter, the monkeys would be fine. I knew it would be a bit wet up there so I put each foot in a plastic bag before donning the said ‘boots’.
I set off early, I recall the walk started with a steep ascent, and I ignored the fact that both plastic bags had burst and climbed up my shins after about half an hour. I tore them off and stuffed them in my pocket – that was probably the smartest thing I did that entire weekend.
The walk lasted 14 hours. I went up and came down. Nothing else. I was relatively OK until the dry grass turned into wet moss and then quickly into squelchy bog. However, the real problem started when the grass totally disappeared, replaced by crags and scree.
Too soon my boots, already sodden, stiffened in the cold. I was cold, and my pace was slow. But why turn back? It was still early and I’d made it thus far.
The rain and sleet started soon after I’d made the stupid decision not to turn back. The weather always turns quickly up high – I knew this, but I didn’t turn back. Why, what was it that kept me going? Pride, stupidity, stubbornness – all these things – I didn’t want to be defeated. I’d made a plan and had to see it through to the end!
I was in trouble – in danger – it was getting dark and I had no torch so I couldn’t see; I did have visions however, of helicopter rescues or spending the night walking round and round in circles. Or falling to my death! I panicked and I cried, and yes I completely lost it!
My monkeys were next to useless. I slipped and fell over and over again and with no support for my very tired ankles, my knees burnt with pain. The black leather died my socks and feet and the soles very nearly fell off!
I arrived down in almost complete darkness. My legs were shaking with so much pain that I couldn’t drive my car!
Three monkeys went on for a hike that day – two boots and me! ‘ See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’. They wouldn’t be going on any more walking holidays that’s for sure!
Back in London I told nobody my story, not even my husband! My pride was hurt, but fortunately only my pride. Be prepared – always! If you’d like to read more about this ‘adventure’ and tips for making sure that you’re safe when you go fell walking then click here.
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