August 5th 2016. Back out there.

How far can I get in nine days, in September? That’s what I have. Its not long, but it’s all mine. September’s a good month for weather…usually. It’s not so good for insects, and it’s hunting season for game, so I might need to watch my sanity. The foraging is excellent, though, so my morale might get a lift.

In truth I’d go regardless, since otherwise I can’t get on the trail till Spring. Given how I’m feeling currently I think I might be able to finish the Pennine Way (PW), ‘all being well, and the creeks don’t rise’, which will prepare me nicely for a longer stint to complete the route (from the end of the Pennine Way to Knoydart) at Easter-time next year.

Having to do this in small bites is disappointing, and makes distances covered per day more important than they should be. To make the best of this enforced brevity my plan for the nine days is to manage entirely on my primitive diet of home-made pemmican and sauerkraut (apart from water, whiskey and foraged herbs/roots/fruits/nuts that is). I might also restrict myself to a home-made wood-gas burning stove (made from tin cans) for heating water. Its a shame not to use the modern gas-fired Tilley lamp that I had for Christmas, but it’d be excessive to take gas as well. I’ll probably use gas on the longer (colder) leg through Scotland at Easter.

yvette lighting a fire

I seem to have acquired a bit of a reputation locally for accidents and incidents. I think it has more to do with what I’ve been up to, though, than any abnormally bad luck. There were the sheep, geese and dog troubles earlier this summer, but since then, in the past week in fact, I’ve had an allergic reaction to a hornet sting to my thumb, which adds a more relevant complication to my expedition.

Mosquito bites on Yvette's back

Additional to the rashes, cramps, and puking only my ears and face swelled up, but next time it could be worse. I suppose I need to ask for an Epipen (adrenaline self-injector), but I’m getting a bit tired of bothering the doctor. I didn’t need any adrenaline for the sting last week, only steroids, and I’m not admitting to being ill-feted, but when I’m out on the hills adrenaline might sometimes be in short supply.


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