The first week
Everything settling into place, muscles and minds, feelings and the reality…
kit finding its corner in a pannier, breakage, failing, the threat of loss at each stop…
It’s a set of uphill switch backs the first week. Can’t see the next challenge let alone see the line through the curves, just reactive, it’s constant, the newness, the change from static to rolling… settling in.
The long haul… it feels like a haul just getting moving from camp in the morning, finding food, water, washing, drying, a place to stay, it’ll get easier, it will, it will.
Starting off in march, frost on the tent, campsites still boarded up, people double take when we pass, and ask for basics… water please, food, quickly… keep moving or freeze.
Spring is coming, crocus and daffs fading, arrum Lillie’s pushing up dark green from the dirty tan of winters slow moulding leaves. The stark bright green of willow leaf in the marsh thicket, the first hawthorn unfurling between blackthorns dazzling cascade of white light in the spiney branches of the hedgerow.
The birds bring sounds to the trees silence, there’s no blanket of green to cover for them… we saw a sparrow hawk take a blackbird which was distracted by us passing below, prone on a branch with vantage but no hiding.
Wild camping feels like this before the leaves, our little tent too green, conspicuous in the shaded colours of winter.
But we push on, knees grumble, spines ache as they adjust to life at ground level, bums a bit sore.
Life’s complicated by the rain that forces us into moving faster than we’d like as soon as the bags are opened.
The sunshine in its fleeting glimpses, takes the sting out of the wind for a moment. Come on spring!