Saturday, 21 September 2013
Four weeks after our toes felt the Mediterranean Sea I sat at my desk, glancing every now and then through the sash window in my room. It was drizzling. Surrounding me were piles of books, diaries, notes and photographs from our trip. I was in a particularly decisive mood and had spent several hours gleaning as many facts and figures from the materials in front of me as was possible. As my bottom began to numb from the hard wooden chair I deemed it time to stop. So, here are the results.
· Days – 130, beginning April 14th 2013, ending August 21st 2013.
· Overall distance walked - 2,842.9km (as the crow flies, Bristol to Menton is 1000km).
· Steps taken – Danny; 5 million, Jake; 5.1 million (because his legs are one centimeter shorter than mine).
· Number of countries – 8; England, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Italy.
· Total ascent and descent – 60,000 metres, that’s nearly 7 Everest’s!
· Tick tally (combined) – 195 (Jake; 117, Danny; 78 - only counted if imbedded beneath the skin. Number of ticks found on bodies likely to be quadruple the figure).
· Highest point - Col de L’iseran, 2770m.
· Hottest day – 38 degrees centigrade.
· Greatest distance covered in a day – 42kms.
· Blisters tally – 3 – unbelievably Jake had no blisters, the three were mine.
· Accommodation – 70% camping, 25% hotels/Bed and Breakfasts, 5% donated shelter.
· Average daily distance - 21.8 (24.1km excluding rest days).
· Enjoyment ratings (out of 10) – Highest 9.5, lowest 2, average 6.3, mode 7.
· Painkillers – Jake; every day for headaches, Danny; 3 for headaches.
· Number of scroggin (trail mix) components – 47.
· Number of falls (all the way to the ground) – Jake 7, Danny, 3.
· Number of fellow walkers who joined us for a section – 14.
· Wettest country – Belgium.
· Largest city – Bristol (432, 000), closely followed by Antwerp(en) (408, 000).
· Capital cities – Luxembourg City.
The rain was still toppling from the sullen sky, and as I stood to get a closer look I was reminded of the dull ache that remained across the sole of my feet; would it ever fade?