Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Emperor Strikes Back

Vlad the unsmiling Czar of Russia (did you notice that he didn't even break into a smile while singing "Eye find meye treel on Blurbirry Heel", which flashed around the world's television screens this week) has been troubling me again.

You may remember that during my walk, he was sending his Siberian winds to shorten my stride (on my blog here and here).

Today he really outdid himself, probably because we all laughed so much about him "singing the blues". I think he is no stranger to retribution.

I walked home from Quillan. The temperature was minus 2 degrees Celsius. When I arrived at the Col du Portel, after climbing 320 metres, I also emerged from the woodland which had been protecting me from the wind. And the wind-chill factor.

The effective temperature must have dropped to minus 12 or so. I was wearing thick mittens, but completely lost the feeling in, and use of, my fingers. At some points the wind stopped me in my tracks. When I arrived home my legs and even my stomach were bright red, even though they had been protected from the wind by several layers of clothing.

This was one of the toughest walks I have ever undertaken. I am really glad I was walking only 18 kms and not 30 or more.

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