The team of three had quickly declined to a team of two. Fiona’s blisters had resulted in her being sidelined for the coming days. The newly formed dream team of Doug and Craig marched out of Saint Jean, full of energy and optimism, which was soon to descend into bitterness and argument. At times.
Unfortunately, Fiona was feeling too sorry for herself to keep on walking and we had all decided that it was best if she came and met us at the next rest day. It was no bad thing, it gave all of us a wake up call and showed us all what we were up against. If any of us had come into this with a, “this will be easy” attitude, we certainly no longer had it. There are definitely lessons to be learnt. Firstly, on an individual level, if it hurts, say so. On a team level, much like the old top gear approach, if it is that bad then leave them behind. And so we did.
It wasn’t going to be an easy week by any stretch. For a start the mountains got bigger and the days got longer and on top of that we had lost our corner stone of sanity, Fiona. As Fiona and I had discussed before, having 3 people made life a hell of a lot easier. It meant you could have more time alone and more importantly have time to talk to someone other than the person you are with. The first couple of days are breeze as it is new and change is always refreshing. However as the days go past, I think I speak for Doug as well here, the anger and frustration towards one another builds and builds. Thankfully this was easily resolved with a couple quick blowouts and nothing more. But it is definitely nice to have Fiona back.
In terms of the walking itself we have had a tough week. The weather hit us really hard on the second day and led to our boots and all our kit being soaking for the next couple of days. Any of you who have any experience hiking will appreciate the annoyance and the discomfort that is caused by wet boots and socks. The weather had really taken it out on our feet and both of us had blisters forming up by the 4th day. However, just as the weather can change for the worse it can also change for the better and on the 4th day the sun shone and dried out our feet and our boots; a much appreciated act from God.
With bad weather comes us feeling sorry for ourselves and as it turns out we are pretty good at that. So after the rain had poured all night and day, Doug and I found ourselves a quaint wee restaurant in the centre of Larrau. Here we enjoyed possibly one of the nicest dinners €20 can buy you. Some may call that cheating, we prefer to call it a quick ‘rest-bite’ from the driving rain that was going to greet us the second we stepped outside of the security of the restaurant.
Last week we had met a whole host of great people, some of whom who were walking the whole GR10 and others who were just walking a couple of days. This week was no different. With the lack of Fiona we had also made ourselves a much more attractive (not a reference to physical appearance….) and approachable group. With this new ‘attractive and approachable’ dynamic we met, 2 brothers from Salford both of mid 40’s/early 50’s, a retired American man, and a crazy but very nice Swiss man. So really this new attractive and approachable dynamic hadn’t done very much for us. But Doug and I are still holding out hope for a group of 10 Swedish girls in the coming weeks. 10 might be slightly optimistic, but we would settle for 5.
Anyway that pretty much rounds up all the excitement from this week. If you have a moment say a little prayer for Fiona’s feet and for the 10 Swedish girls that Doug and I are hoping for.