I am sitting inside my tent, counting the seconds from lightning flash to thunder clap, hoping the worst of the storm has passed. Here’s what has happened recently…
I am four days from the finish line and everything is hurting.
Here are some sunglasses I found
A few days ago I walked up a really long hill really fast. I dont know why. Maybe because I had just treated myself to a big spaghetti bolognese and Greek salad, and was feeling hyped. I wanted to see how fast I could walk uphill. Turned out I was only going 2.6 miles an hour which was a huge bummer and it ended in me damaging my feet. I described the pain to my mum and she suspects Plantar Fasciitis.
I had to have an unplanned day and a half rest after that. It still feels like the bottom of my feet are bruised, mainly the heels and pads. And added to that, the instep constantly feels like it is pulling tight. Yesterday I could only manage 2 hours walking before I had to take ibuprofen for the pain (very effective, not preferable but allowed me to continue), and today I could only manage an hour before having to dose up.
Not only that but everything else hurt too. Usually the pains are polite and take their turn. One pain will replace the next and they come and go. But today everything was on full burner. My shoulders feel like they have been stabbed and even after a rest this evening they still hurt to touch. My sides where the bag rubs are getting worse, and feel constantly irritated, and of course my feet…
Until now the walking was the easiest bit but now it is definitely the hardest. I guess because I’ve added a lot of weight to my bag in the form of a tent, and it is much hotter too.
But I am close to the finish now (65miles, 4 days) so my body can recover when I get to Athens. I have a hostel volunteer placement lined up so I can stay in Athens for free for the whole of July too.
So far I have walked 447 miles and I have 65 left to Athens.
It is June 28 and today I walked 18 miles. Towards the end of the day I see storm clouds but don’t think much of them. I’m in the country so will have to camp. I stop at a town for wifi and a drink and at about 18:00 I set off to find a place to camp, with no particular haste.
The minute I find an ok spot (bit rocky but flat) the wind starts up. It gets strong and setting up the tent is difficult to say the least. It’s a cheap tent and as such the outer ‘rain proof’ layer doesn’t attach to the inner. I find myself running around, grabbing the outer to stop it flying away, and securing it with large rocks and bodged knots. I chuck everything inside and when it seems secure I get in…leaving the front inner door open so I can hold the outer just in case. The wind is still strong.
I get in and the light rain turns heavy. And the Lightning becomes more frequent. The thunder claps are like nothing I’ve ever heard. Maybe because I’m by myself in a thin plastic house being thrown around by the wind. In a way it’s cool and I feel like the Greek gods are giving me some hell as the challenge is nearly over, but in a way it’s not as I can see my tent being ripped to pieces and me having to make a dash back to the petrol station half a mile down the road for cover for the night.
I count the seconds from lighting flash to thunder clap. It goes from 3 seconds (1 mile I think…) to ten seconds and more… I feel some relief and let myself believe it is passing, but the rain is still heavy and the spots of water landing on my phone screen tell me my tent isn’t 100% waterproof.
The rain is getting incredibly heavy now so I get all my stuff ready so if I have to abandon this cheap ass tent I can just grab my bag and run. I hope the storm passes as all the other rain clouds have over the last month but right now I’m not too positive.
The Lightning is getting very close again now. Less than two seconds between flash and bang. The half of my tent with the inside out window (maybe that’s my fault and I put the outer layer on the wrong way round) is soaked so I am crouched against the dry side. I feel a tiny spider tickling my arm as it walks around confused and lost. Usually I would brush it off, flys are a real pain here, constantly landing on me repeatedly, reminding me I smell. But I leave the spider alone. In my head I comfort it, say everything’s gonna be ok and we are safe in the tent. I think I was just comforting myself but at the same time I’d like to think the lightning was scaring the spider a bit too.
I need to sleep tonight. Last night when I got to the beach I slept well but that wasn’t till 10pm so I didn’t get enough hours- waking at 5am.
The worst seems to have passed now though so I allow myself some hope and get my blanket from my bag. The ground is warm but rocky. Hopefully that’s the storm done now and I can relax for the night.
The lightning gets further into the distance and the rain eases up, but just to let me know I’m not off the hook, the wind starts up again, throwing the whole tent from side to side, threatening to rip the outer off and snap the poles.