If you had told me 10 years ago that I would spend a chunk of my weekend climbing a hill (and actually enjoying it) I’d have laughed in your face and, most probably, judged you heavily for not knowing me at all. Yet last Saturday I found myself scaling Clougha Pike with Jonny. The whole expedition only took us 2 1/2 hours but I definitely felt the burn the next day!
The weather managed to stay fine for us, which was lucky considering the incredibly boggy nature of a stretch of the ascent! We drove to Jubilee Tower, parked up and started our trek. Aside from a few disinterested sheep, we had the hillside to ourselves. During the course of the ascent I learnt two things; 1 – ALWAYS pack tissues on a walk (the prospect of a one-finger-to-the-side-of-the-nose nose blow just wasn’t cutting it for me!) and 2 – I am nowhere near as fit as I thought I was! Jonny assures me that my ‘walking fitness’ will improve with more practise, but I’m not sure if that’s a ruse to make me walk more or not!
We saw a range of wildlife, ranging from ringed plovers and partridges to caterpillars that resembled huge bushy eyebrows. I need some serious photography practise to get some good shots in future though, that or stick my gorilla pod in the rucksack to avoid wind-swept shaking attempts at capturing wandering birds.
Just the thought of spending time walking, for pleasure, is something I seriously used to scoff at. Now I’m the proud (not so sure if I am proud of this yet) owner of an actual grown up waterproof, a wind proof padded jacket and walking boots. Not to mention the waterproof socks and buff I purchased after the walk. I am now one of those people I used to mock heavily. Part of me (and it’s a growing part) thinks this might not actually be a bad thing!