So I took myself on the second hike of my training for Northumberland,to our local beach in fact, and promptly overdid it.
The thing is, the weather was so glorious compared to my first hike, that I decided to go to the nearest saltwater beach (15 minutes by car)and walk all the way to the next village (Rockanje) and back.
The way there, with a southerly wind of 21 km/hr at my back, humidity of only 71% and a lovely 13C, was a doddle. A piece of cake. Nothing to it, I practically flew along with the numerous magpies overhead.
Hahaha, try having a picknick at this table... The last storm has moved a lot of sand!
The sun shone, the waves glittered happily in the distance (the tide being out all the way), the curlews ambled along the waterline searching for whatever they search for, dogs ran past me with exuberance and gave me an enthusiastic wink along the way and I could hear them thinking ("Hi! Isn't this great! Where's your ball?")
Then it was time to turn back. And all of a sudden I crash landed. For the low Winter sun was directly in my eyes, the cold wind blew straight into my face and my feet sank deeper and deeper into the sand. And I needed to pee. Desperately.
Now, a real hiker thinks nothing of peeing in the wild, I'm sure.
But there's no cover on Wetlands beaches, none. And the Rockanje beach shacks do not open their doors during the week until Easter.
What to do? Brave the dogs (and their masters...) and pretend to lace my shoes whilst piddling through my left pant's leg? I couldn't do it.
By the time I had reached the halfway back mark, I was panting and had bladder cramps. Besides, half the beach was now in my shoes between my toes.
I kept telling myself I was doing really well, and concentrated on the birds and watched the waves in the hope of spotting a seal (didn't though).
After 1 1/2 hours and 11.607 steps I reached the car.
The hike was lovely, especially after I had reached my bathroom, but I did wonder how on earth I am going to master those Northumberland hills in August.
Oh well, I have six months to reach my goal: good enough hiking stamina to keep up with the rest of the company!
Nice of you to join me, do come along next time?