Day In The Life: Kinder Scout

Whilst writing this post I am aching a lot thanks to yesterdays adventure but as it was a pretty fun day, as well as a day where I did A LOT more than I thought I was capable of, I thought it would be nice to do a day in the life post for anyone to read about, but also for myself to look back on in the future. Also I'm pleasantly surprised as although I do ache, I ache a heck of a lot less than I thought I would based on the difficulty I had moving yesterday evening!

We started our walk at 11am and didn't finish until 6pm so first of all, I'm amazed I went that long without wetting myself, especially as I said I was starting to need the toilet at about 1.30pm. Secondly, a 7 hour walk over mountains... what? I don't know how I made myself move for that long and when I did get back home, I could barely move a muscle- everywhere from my hip down, as well as the fact that my shoulders and back hurt like hell.

One of my favourite moments was the moment we were about to set off and all assumed another person knew where to go so just stood waiting until someone actually said, 'right where do we go?' (We did have a map/route plan saved to a phone but hadn't got it out at this point).

I don't normally do many things like this because open air heights scare me but they also make me feel quite ill, kind of a mix between sick, dizzy and headachey but as the walk was kind of over rolling hills for a lot of the main walk it wasn't too bad compared to past experiences. The walk there was mostly fine from this respect and it didn't affect me too much plus, my legs blummin' hurt and my breath was very short so it probably distracted me from looking around and acknowledging the height.

There were a few moments I found particularly difficult, the first being climbing up Jacobs Ladder and the bit after that as it was quite difficult physically just from making your legs move and keeping your breathing under control, but once we got to the top it seemed alright. The next bit was following the stream as the path was difficult to find and follow so if there had been anymore water, I think it would be a really difficult route, luckily it was after a few quite dry days. There was also a bit at the stream with two route options and after heading down one originally, we did turn back and venture down the other probably adding a few miles to the route. This point was the one I think I found hardest mentally and was the scariest just because it was over quite boggy mores that were formed from peat over 7000 years, according to someone we met on the walk, so the ground was uneven and there was the concern of falling into the boggy areas or our foot disappearing beneath us. More than that, the thing that worried me was the lack of anything and everything, all we could see were moors with nothing standing out and no one around us at all. I'm sure that route would eventually have taken us to the right place but it would not have been the safest route so I'm glad we went back on ourselves and tried the other direction. Although the other way was also difficult with the boggy, uneven ground, it was a lot more manageable and we could at least see piles of rocks that were recognisable, plus we passed two people on the way, which was a lot more reassuring.

At this point, we thought we'd be heading down gradually but didn't seem to be descending at all. Luckily we saw a couple further down and managed to get their attention and ask for directions. They kindly lead us back as the route we originally planned to go down was very steep and not a very safe path, we believe, which added more miles onto our walk but at least we knew where we were going and could then go back on ourselves. If we thought Jacob's Ladder was hard going up, it was just as hard going down, especially with sore limbs and the fact that you had to look down more and so this made me feel a lot more dodgy and started to give me a headache.

We made it back down and then had another couple of miles left to go to get back to Edale but at least these were on lower ground- middle to lower ish of the mountains rather than the top- and after a very difficult upwards walk initially, most of the last mile was flat ish or heading back down.

Walking through a field of cows is never something I'm particularly comfortable doing but as the cow fields were the last section more or less, I was ready to just get through and get back to civilisation. The cows had other ideas! A small herd of them thought it was a good idea to stand over and around the path, with one particular cow looking right at us and although they made no move towards us, walking through was not a chance I wanted to take... queue my panic! I was just so frazzled and could not think of a solution or a plan of action if a cow were to run towards us. Luckily the other three were more capable at dealing with the situation straight away and lead us around the back of some trees and back up near the gate, avoiding the cows (who I'm sure some of which were bulls but I didn't dare look to find out).

Once back to the safety of the village, we sat in the pub with a nice big drink and some crisps (I seemed to have skipped hunger and gone straight to stomach pains but the crisps definitely helped- note to self pack a picnic and plan an hours stop next time!) and I finally had the chance to empty my bladder.

That night I had a nice soak in the bath before grabbing some dinner and then heading to bed so that I didn't have to move again that night and although I felt exhausted, I think this was the moment I realised the extent to what we had done and my mind started to go into overdrive, exaggerating the day and thinking about 'what if this had happened' and basically scaring myself. At this point I did also google the walk to read more about it and on the map we had used originally, it described it as an 8 mile, 5 hour, medium walk but other sites had different ideas stating; 10-12 miles, 6-7 hours, challenging walk with some very difficult areas. It also described a few points as the highest in the Dark Peak as well as one rock being the highest point in the Peak District.

Looking back although there were some kind of terrifying moments as well as some very difficult sections, I'm proud of what we achieved and enjoyed it so much more than I initially thought we would, probably largely down to the company who made it a fun outing. If I were to do something similar again, I'd pick a shorter route with more paths and would have a point to get to and then would go back on myself, rather than doing a circular route where everything is new, and I can't see myself repeating this particularly route anytime soon but I'm glad I did it. In the end we actually ended up walking 32km which is just shy of 20 miles and did almost 40,000 steps (according to my mums fitbit), so I really am amazed I stayed on my feet that long especially given the location and the difficulty of it. I'm also very proud of my dog who accompanied us, as she did really well and it was a lot longer and more difficult than anything she's done in the past so she did incredibly well to keep up the energy for as long as she did- she was also extremely well behaved!

Thank you for reading my rambly recount, I hope you've enjoyed it. I think this post will be something I return to a lot in the future to show myself that I can do more than I initially think I can and to show that I can do things despite fears about them. If you liked this post and want to see more, follow my social media links to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x

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