Thursday, June 01, 2006

Day 8 - Bleaklow Hill

The major topic of conversation tonight was saddle soreness! Joking apart, it is causing Martin such discomfort that it is severely eating into his mental and physical reserves. He has asked me to seek out some spare saddles from the loft, which his mining friends can hopefully pass on when they meet up with him in a couple of days. If he hadn’t raised his saddle to alleviate strain on the knee it wouldn’t be a problem. The saddle is made of tough leather, which had shaped itself to his form. Raising it meant that pressure points were in different places, and what he is experiencing is bruising rather than chaffing. By the evening it has become somewhat numb, so he races on through the miles a little easier.
Still, he has made good progress, clocking up 67.70 miles today. He set off at 8am, a little later than planned due to being tired and sluggish. In order to complete the desired mileage per day he is finishing well into the evening, and after setting up camp and eating etc., he is not getting the necessary amount of sleep (his alarm is set for 5am). Tonight he is settled on the flanks of Bleaklow Hill on the Howden Moors, approximately 11 miles south of Holmfirth, on the opposite side of Woodhead Reservoir to Crowden.
Today has again been hard; he has lost his way a few times, and has seen hardly anyone so it has been quite lonely. He has enjoyed the Tissington Trail, although a fierce north wind made it seem like he was doing twice the mileage. He sailed through Ashbourne and Buxton, but found the very steep climb out of New Mills towards Glossop added to his soreness. However, even though he is struggling a little now, both mentally and physically, he is still able to enthuse about the fantastic scenery, and what a brilliant opportunity it is to be able to do this trip. He enjoyed listening to the messages you have been sending – I even passed on the one mentioning the World Cup. How dutiful am I? I’m off now to wash my mouth out with soap.


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