With just a week to go to the Camino, this weekend was the last opportunity to clock up some miles before following the yellow arrows through the French-Spanish border. Leaving the house before most people even roll over on a Sunday morning used to be a weekly occurence for me in my football-playing days. However it’s rare these days and I struggled to get out of the door in time to meet our friends for the long drive ahead.
By midday we arrived in Crowhurst, East Sussex, bursting for the loo and with nothing but a church and a closed train station in sight. Thankfully a kind minister/priest/vicar let us use the facilities (I would highly recommend if you’re in the area). Much relieved, we set out on our 20/21/22km trek (depending on what book/app you use). With the sun warming our faces, many striking panoramas and a reasonably flat gradient, the first 10km flew by and before we knew it we found a seat in the sun and were tucking into Westfield’s finest fare, and cider, at the New Inn.
After hearty lunches, the second half was a bit trickier. Thankfully the views were even more striking as we carefully manoeuvred our way through bluebell meadows, burrowed through enchanted woods (at one point expecting a wicked witch to jump out), gazed at thatched mansions and then had to battle our way through thick nettles for hundreds of metres.
Despite our more adventurous second half, my knee and the myasthenia behaved well. By the time we reached the last climb, I still had plenty of energy, my muscles felt strong and my feet showed no signs of blisters. Time to celebrate with a pint!
As I supped my celebratory cider, in Battle (of Battle of Hastings fame), a smug smile spread across my face. My cross training has paid off, I am strong and I am ready – Pyrenees, come at me.