Total distance: 18.93 km
Start time: 10:26; End time: 18:00
Time spent actually walking: 4 h 50 mins
Time stopped: 2 h 50 mins
As expected, it is raining today, so we had a big equipment changeover. Antonia and I had been hiking in sandals up to this point, but we have switched to boots and full wet weather gear. It actually wasn't too bad - there were even moments when the sun came out and we wished we hadn't bothered so much. Then the clouds came back, it started to rain again, and we just wished we had more warm things. We also got a particularly late start because Mike was busy explaining to our hosts about grassroots militant internet sourcing for rural areas, then, just as we were about to leave, Antonia discovered a tick. We did make pretty good time once we got started, due to the bad weather and the absence of a pub at midday!
Apart from the rain, we had quite interesting walking over open ground, where the sun kindly came out in time for us to eat a picnic lunch. It started to rain again as we climbed a wooded pass, stopped while we sheltered underneath a railway line for tea and started again as we walked through a windswept valley round an ancient ruined priory with a graveyard. We were quite glad to arrive at our hostel, and even more pleased that it had a really good drying room. Having a packed lunch helped us make better time today, but although it's the first day Mike and I felt we had really healthy stomachs, our feet are definitely starting to get sore. Fortunately it is our short day tomorrow.