Saturday 30 September 2017

Continuing with walkies

I promised I would tell you more about my friend, Sue's momentous walk and also my most uncomfortable moments of 2017. Some might call them challenges that just happened to occur whilst I embraced "walkies". So here goes the saga ... and the happy ending of course.

As you know Sue had committed to walking Land's End to John O'Groats and I had agreed to accompany her on the Clyde Walkway portion of her walk. I had been getting fitter by walking around the 5 miles every second day and a long walk every weekend, which ranged from 10 to 14 miles. However all of my walks were on the flat.

I intended to keep up my walking schedule while in Canada and I even took my walking boots with me. Then of course bought some fabulous walking shoes when visiting relatives in Kincardine, Ontario. They were a must, a bargain and so comfortable...

My continued walking commitment was much supported by Andy, Lianne and Gordon, who looked for walks that would fit in with my mileage requirements. As I needed to get fit for the stupendous 32 mile trek across Lanarkshire on my return to Scotland. However very few of them were on the flat and all seemed to meander through woods, up and more importantly down forest paths.

peek a boo
All is going according to plan but this is when the story changes.  I tripped in the apartment, fell backwards... I know, not easy. Landed on my bottom and bounced my head off the bedside cabinet and thanked my lucky stars that I hadn't hurt my knees.

Fast forward to two days later while searching for a famous elusive train wreck in the woods, I slid on some scree as I manoeuvred downhill. Continued on the walk, as you do, with jelly legs, sore right knee and elbow and feeling a tad sorry for myself until we found the train wreck

and then the suspension bridge!
Yes, I am holding on to the railing. It was moving and my legs were having difficulty holding me upright.

So two falls down, thinking my bruised knee and elbow will recover soon when I took a mammoth fall down the stairs in our apartment and injured my left side including knee and elbow. I know, I know, I hear you asking "was alcohol involved?" and the answer is sadly, no. Perhaps I would have fallen better if it had. Although I doubt it, as I landed on a tiled floor and it was not what you would call a soft landing.

Now I am thinking, three down... that is enough and off we went on a family trip... sorry... change that word... family jaunt to the Sunshine Coast and although we did walk up hill and down dale, I didn't fall. Phew!

I saved my fall for on the return ferry journey when I tripped over a stanchion and rolled! Andy said that I was like a paratrooper. The only injury I was left with on that occasion were two tiny bruises where my hips hit some rivets.

Now picture this, and no I won't share the photos, I am hobbling around with two gammy legs and my two injured elbows would hinder me using walking poles, so I have to accept that I won't be walking the 32 miles with Sue on my return to Bonnie Scotland.

Now that isn't the end of the story, I promised you a happy ending, remember.

After many emails back and forth, Sue and I agree that I can join her on the 11 miles of the Kelvin Walkway, with the proviso if it gets too much, too painful etc I can phone Andy and get picked up. Perfect...
Here we are at the start of our walk, enthusiastic and delighted to be with each other and catch up on all our news.

We walk initially with Kenneth, our eldest son, who leaves us enjoying our walk through the hidden wooded glades bordering Glasgow's River Kelvin.

The river meanders and so do we. The terrain gets muddier and we try to avoid the muddy puddles but to no avail. The rain comes on which makes the path we are walking on treacherous as the walkway edges very near the river bank. Onwards we travel, through heavy undergrowth and I have to say, "over the head" growth and "coming in from the sides" growth. I was expecting Dr. Livingston to appear at any moment.

Over stiles, dreeping down walls until eventually I fell. Yes.. you could see it coming. I fell into a patch of nettles, lost all dignity and couldn't get up for laughing. You see I hadn't fallen in the river, I hadn't injured knees, hips or elbows. I had just slowly and softly landed on a welcome patch of earth, albeit a bit stingy.

Sue says that the Kelvin Walkway was the worst terrain she encountered in her 650 mile journey, so far. However we have lived to tell the tale. We laughed, we cried, we chatted, we put the world to rights and we reconnected, remembering why it is that we are friends.

Thank you Sue for a most memorable day and a wonderful friendship.
Grazie mille, mia amica Sue.
baci e abbraccio

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