OK we were in Richmond – a pretty decent sized town which pretty much has everything we need. So we destroyed our friend breakfast, thanked Jenifer for her kind and fantastic hospitality and headed off towards Richmond town centre… slowly. One of the things I knew I needed to purchase, before pain killers and blister plasters – was a decent pair of shoes/boots.
We went into a Mountain Warehouse store which sold proper walking shoes and equipment and as soon as I hobbled in slowly the lady behind the desk smiled as if she knew exactly what was wrong and how it happened. I explained/confirmed what had gone wrong and she pointed out the obvious that my running shoes were so battered that they were not providing any kind of support to my feet and hence why I was covered in blisters and injured. She also said that I was wearing cheap running socks and was a main factor for my blisters. She said that the moisture in my socks and feet had nowhere to go hence the blisters. She first of all gave me some different boots to try – BOOM what a difference!!! Straight away I felt my legs were supported and the pains were nowhere near as bad. I told her that a particular pair felt the best – some Grisdale boots. She said that she was not surprised as the insoles inside them are state of the art which provides better support. She said she normally sells them for £130 but will sell them to me for £70 which is pretty much cost price since I was doing the event for charity. What a diamond – plus Aidy was sweet talking her about when she went to Germany and Aidy has been all around the world and was able to hold a good conversation with her. She also threw in a pair of tall woolen socks – she said that these would help air out my feet and prevent any further blisters.
I paid the lady and we went to Boots to get the strongest painkillers they sold, some ibruprofen and three packs of Compeed blister plasters. Before we set off we decided to have a quick brew in a coffee shop nearby and as I sat down the sceptical part of me couldn’t help but think that perhaps these walking boots were not what I needed. I have never purchased a pair of walking boots before – I never pay for any shoes over £40 normally – plus Angela will kill me when she sees that transaction on online banking. Was £70 too much? – They certainly felt pretty good on my feet so whatever I’m pretty happy. As we finished our brews we got chatting to two walking couples who were sat chatting about a particular European city they’ve visited frequently (I forgot – again it was Aidy talking to them) and then suddenly the guy pointed at my boots and said “Hey that’s those new Grisdale walking boots with the state of the art insoles.” I said I paid £70 for them and explained why and he laughed saying “They’re worth around £150”. BOOM HAPPY DAYS!
We set off and walking is OK – the boots and strappage was doing its job. At mile 5 we hit the A66 which we knew we would be following for half of today. Most of the road was horrible to walk on with no footpaths, walking on the right side of the road so that we could see oncoming traffic. I felt a little down and especially for Aidy as his legs were fine, the road and views were rubbish, we SHOULD have been taking the huge scenic route but my legs just couldn’t take it. Aidy, however, was still being a rock and cheering me up – playing his comedy podcasts as usual.
At mile 26 we were back on the country paths which was a huge relief. The legs were still sore but manageable – the new boots were doing their job – GOD what I would have done if I had could have gone back in time and given myself these beauties before I set off!
Up towards mile 30 we were really chirpy surprisingly and the feet were sore but OK. We passed Winton at mile 32 knowing soon we would be arriving at Kirkby Stephen which we already knew so well. When we got to Kirkby Stephen we were both relieved that we had simply made it so far today – surprised also that my feet made it.
We went to the shop and got some supplies and headed off towards our B&B, duplicating the route we took on our bikes but this time in clear daylight and not at night time in streetlight with no bike lights.
At this point the weather got a little windy but it was OK – we were in the absolute middle of nowhere – again. I made a funny video of me and Aidy shouting at the camera because the wind was that loud you couldn’t hear us. I then found a patch of grassland amongst some trees which looked very much like something out of In The Night Garden…. randoms!
We arrived at The Fat Lamb B&B (this time not at 1am) at 7:30pm. We got our supplies from reception, went upstairs to get changed and went downstairs for some tea and real ales. I sunk about four pints since I was in a celebratory mood haha. I then started getting a bit daft and competitive when some guys turned up who had cycled from Whitehaven… on road bikes?? Pah only fools would ride normal bikes – unlike us two idiots who had to do it on mountain bikes. I later learned that they didn’t even go via Whinlatter Pass! BOOM but I didn’t say anything. The four pints of Dutch courage would probably get me knocked out! HA!
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