Dove Step 2 – day eleven 

Daily distance: 18 miles 
Duration: 07:13:34
Cumulative walking distance: 73.9 miles 
Cumulative Dove Step 2 distance: 668.82miles
Weather: 17 degrees, 5mph North Westerlies, blue skies and unrelenting sun! 
Best birds: Yellow-legged Gull, Short-toed Treecreeper, the ubiquitous Black Redstarts and Kites.

Sir Robert Yaxley, walking team leader, summarises today’s proceedings:

Today was a slightly easier day, after the monumental effort of the first two days. Jonny got into his stride, and put behind him the serious muscle fatigue of days 1 and 2. The terrain was pleasant, through the popular lake area of Parentis, Gastes and eventually to Mimazan. Gearing up for a big day tomorrow, which might be around 30 miles down to Leon. Feet as good as can be expected, but still some unpleasant blistering. 3 more days!’

A comparatively leisurely day of just 18 miles today. We were keen to get to Mimizan and make the most of facilities after last nights bivvy. We’ve washed and dried as much kit as possible and will make a big push for Leon tomorrow – this means a distance in excess of 30 miles – which would be the furthest I’ve ever walked. 

This afternoon I finally got my walking legs after 2.5 days of brutality. My little toe looks like a squashed grape and the clearly dead toenail hangs on by tissue and sinew which still has a blood supply. 

Yesterday I got to the point of swaying and side-stepping like a Friday night drunk before Sir Rob stopped me for an enforced break. 

Today started poorly with spells whereby I nearly fell asleep whilst walking and continued muscle fatigue. However, by this afternoon my persistence paid off and my body started to follow the mind. Broadening strides and upping pace, much to Sir Rob’s delight, who has dutifully stalled himself for me up until now. 

I cannot describe the cumulative effect of huge output over eleven days and 668 miles but I’ve never felt like this before! 

We are currently eating a hearty meal ahead of tomorrow’s big push. Spain may not be in our grasp but we will definitely break the primary goal of ‘A 700 mile journey for Turtle Doves‘ over the next 48 hours. Thereafter we will seek to walk as far as possible towards the Spanish border. 

The following quote from Bill Bryson via my Mum sums up our predicament:

Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot. A mile becomes a long way, two miles literally considerable, ten miles whopping, fifty miles at the limits of conception.’

We will endure as hard as we can and for as long as we can. For Turtle Doves and those who have so generously given to our JustGiving fundraising page. 


1 Comment

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One response to “Dove Step 2 – day eleven 

  1. Hilary Milburn

    Another Bryson quote from his book detailing his walk of the Appalachian Trail – we walked; it’s what we do. Good luck with the remaining miles.

    Liked by 1 person

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