Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Are You (Th)ready, Boots? No Sign of That

Columbia Trailmeister IV walking shoes

Steady rain all day Saturday washed the snow away. No sign of anything which might justify an orange alert. Although people at our nearest coast may not agree with that, many having suffered severe damage from a storm which was described as a mini-tsunami. Boats destroyed, people homeless, having lost everything.

So, Sunday morning, snowless at 500m, we set off for the market with me togged up with the intention of walking home. The route to Espéraza, like all roads out of Puivert, climbs a high pass, and we had not risen far before the snow conditions reasserted themselves. I seem to remember something about a drop of 1 degree centigrade for every 200 feet of elevation, which would give 3 degrees for every 200 metres, enough of a difference in temperature to make a big difference to whether snow lingers. The snow was limiting the width of an already narrow road so that walking would be dangerous, so another write-off.

Monday morning I managed to fit in the 30 kms walk from Mirepoix. Steady rain for most of the way, which made life a bit uncomfortable. For a change, I saw another person on the track before I reached Chalabre. He seemed as surprised to meet me as I was to see him. No sign of M. Partout in Chalabre.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am very attached to Columbia Trailmeister IV shoes, which have a wonderful combination of lightness, comfort and durability. Indeed, I stockpiled some of these shoes during our recent trip to America, to be used for VBW.

I am currently testing a pair to destruction and on yesterday's walk they crashed through the 1000 kms barrier. There is still plenty of wear in them. The soles are obviously depleted after hitting the ground more than 1,000,000 times, but they still have some distance to go. The tops show no sign of age at all. I now know that I shall need only two pairs for the walk. More importantly, the combination of these shoes and the Decathlon socks I have previously mentioned, have resulted in not one blister and no sore patches on the feet. Well done, Gert.

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