But Dianna, my host, said those magic words last night. "You're welcome to stay as long as you want, just make yourself comfortable" I'd come down off Cader Idris, an 11 hour walk through high winds and hail, battering myself up the mountain and down again. I came down off the mountain at three pm, could have camped but there was the invitation to stay in Barmouth, just five miles on road. I could do it. So I walked in the pitch dark, down the steep steep hill and across the railway bridge. The bridge seemed endless in the darkness, just the small circle of my torchlight highlighting the planks under my feet, the wind whistled through the wires separating me from the trainline. My feet were stones by this point, just thudding down to the ground, over and over. I shone the torch down to the water and felt dizzy as soon as I saw it, the sea rushing inland, stirred by the wind.
I arrived, windshocked, in the Mermaid chippy. Dianna had phoned ahead, I could have whatever I wanted while I waited for her to finish her spinning class. The lady behind the counter couldn't hear me, I talk quietly when I'm tired but I managed to repeat myself a few times and make my request understood. Large chips, peas, gravy, mayonnaise, cup of tea and a can of coke. I ate, slowly, and felt restored.
When I woke up this morning, rain battering against the windows, all I could think of was staying here for the day. I can't really stop, I only had a day off a couple of days ago, it's not time. But my feet hurt, my back aches, all the usual stuff but the weather outside is horrible and that gave the excuse I needed to be slow, to have a shower, eat cereal.
Now it's half 11, I've rubbed muscle oil into my legs, written a blog, I've even plucked my eyebrows. There is nothing else I can do here. I must leave.
I'll enjoy it once I get out there, the wind whirling my senses out to the horizons, the sight of the hills calling out to the sky. It's just so hard to start sometimes.