If I was going to write a book about this walk, the first chapter would be called - 'How to be really badly prepared for a 3000 mile walk.'
The last week was horrible, I was stressed, had a million things to do and didn't sleep enough...or rest after the hectic work schedule I'd created for myself in order to earn enough money to do the actual walk.
Anyway, enough about that. I'm walking now and nothing else matters any more. Day 1! Had a lovely send off at the clocktower with a very nice group of people...and walked very slowly and relaxedly up to my old house. Met up with another couple of friends and had a nice send off with them...a last little walk up towards the waterfall with them and their lovely baby.
And then onwards, towards the mountain. It started to rain pretty heavily as I left my friends and I had no choice but to walk into it, head down. I got to the moorlands 2 hours later, 4pm and I realised this is no time to climb a mountain, especially with the rain pelting at me. So I ducked out, found a dry place to shelter for the night (anyone who knows the area will know exactly where I stayed!) and tucked myself into a sleeping bag at 7pm. I wasn't exactly toasty, reaching the shelter soaked through and in kind of shock after walking 3 hours in driving rain so it took a while to calm down and warm up. Do you know what is amazing? The peacocks handwarmer. I'm so glad I bought one, a total worthwhile luxury.
I could hear hail and rain at intervals all night, I was so glad to be under a roof....and very glad I didn't decide to just go for it and climb Plynlimon...that would have been a most foolish decision.
I came out the next morning to clear skies and a wonderful rippling cloud covering the surface of the mountain. Thanks to the ones who arrange such things, it didn't rain all day and I really needed that.
All who know Plynlimon know that it's mostly bog - 5 rivers run off it - and you can't climb this one without wet feet. So off I went, trudge, pause, trudge, squelch, pause, trail mix. All day.
It took me ages! I was much slower than the last time I did this, only making it down to the Hafren Forest by 5pm. There was a dusting of snow over the top of the mountain, I could eat handfuls of it out of the hollows as I shuffled towards my goal....the source of the river Severn! Now I feel like I've properly started this thing. Off to Bristol I go.
I got down toward Llanidloes and realised that I could, of course, phone Heloise! So this angel friend of mine came to pick me up, took me to her house, fed and dried me and gave me a computer to check out all the lovely things that are happening on Facebook.
So there we are, a tough start to the walk, especially the crossing of Plynlimon....but I'll just take it day by day, not push myself to go further than I can manage. Slow but steady wins the race, said the tortoise to the hare.