Friday, May 21, 2010

Day Six Extra

When I came down out of the wilderness yesterday, after over 9 hours of walking, the first thing that caught my eye once I hit a bit of blessed flat road, was a wonderful field full of poppies. The next thing was, walking towards me, carrying the Vic’s Big Walk Battle Flag, Ang and Paul, Australian friends who live next door in Puivert, It must have been an even longer day than I thought – when I left “home” this morning there had been no suggestion that they would visit us. In the meantime, they had driven all that way, had lunch with Gay, an accompanied her during the long wait to discover what had become of me.

There must be a story behind that, and here it is. I foolishly set out on this walk with two brand new pairs of shoes. They are the same type and size of shoe which I have worn, without complaint and with much pleasure, during 12,000 kms of training. I don’t know whether they are marginally smaller around the toe box than my previous pairs, or if it is just that I am walking so much more, especially with vicious ups and downs and consequent slamming of my toes into the front of my shoes, but as a result, I now have several severely damaged toe nails, which are eventually going to come off.

In order to set out with new shoes (so that I would have enough sole to last me the whole trip) I gave away two part-used and very comfortable pairs to my friend Colin. But while I was out on yesterday’s marathon walk, Gay had contacted Ang and Paul, got them to contact Liz and Colin, retrieve the gifted shoes (what did Colin think of that? Vic Heaney, the Indian giver – but Colin, all this was done without my knowledge!) and bring them up to a rendezvous at Penne, where Gay and I were to spend the night.

I have to say it was very nice to see Ang and Paul, the best neighbours we have ever had. We had a bit of a chat and they went home. We have previously met Ang for lunch in Sydney and I believe our next appointment is in Winchester at the end of June.

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