DD texted a holiday suggestion to me yesterday and I almost lost my lunch.
It was called “The Gutsy Challenge” and involved walking Cape to Cape through Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park.
The walk averages around 25km a day for seven days and traverses the most stunning landscapes.
You’re probably thinking “Oh that sounds nice!”
I didn’t think it sounded nice. In fact, I felt a bit PTSD after I got the message.
I went on a walking “holiday” once to Spain with my ex. We spent two weeks trekking along Camino de Santiago Walk In Spain – an ancient pilgrim’s trail that wends its way to a cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
My ex proposed to me in Paris before we left. The engagement had its rocky moments in the days that followed.
I noted in a blog post in 2012 – in capital letters – that I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN.
I have no idea what possessed me to think walking 240km – roughly a third of the Camino – was a good idea. After one of my training walks for the pilgrimage – Petersham to Hurstville – I got infected blisters. After one day on the Camino – 23kms up the side of the Pyrennes, relentlessly pursued by sheep – I wasn’t in much better shape.
In fact, it looked like we might have to pull out before we’d even really started (like the Brazilian who lost all his toenails after they banged repeatedly against his boots on a particularly sharp descent).
My ex was very downcast.
But I soldiered on, sometimes only managing a couple of kilometres a day, until we finally found some sport sandals – worn attractively with thick socks – that I could motor along in.
At one low point, I remember wailing: “All I can smell is horse piss and all I can see is mud … this … isn’t … fun!”
We would rise before dawn each day to ensure we arrived at the next hostel first (there are special hostels dottedalong the trail for pilgrims to rest their weary heads).
Being first meant getting some of the limited hot water for a shower. My ex would baraccade the door to the communal bathroom with his body while I abluted. Then we’d limp to the nearest restaurant to write ourselves off on carafes of cheap Spanish wine. I’d totter back to the hostel and hoist my legs into my bunk bed with my hands – they were too sore to do it without assistance – and pass out for the rest of day while my ex went sight-seeing.
I’d like to say it was an adventure that I now look back on fondly. But I don’t. My ex does – despite needing extensive physiotherapy on his leg afterwards.
Although I was quite entertained by the Catholics who carried a statue of the Virgin Mary the whole way. And the couple who though it would be a good idea to take a baby along. And the carafes of cheap wine.
Anyways, the mere mention of “The Gutsy Challenge” made me feel shakey – I’m a people pleaser and I didn’t want to put a fly in DD’s ointment.
I replied that I’d been on a walking holiday before, noting: “It almost killed me and I was only in my early 30s.”
Then I had a brainwave – I Googled how far it is between DD’s house and mine. It was a genius move because it turns out we live 26km apart. I suggested he walk to my house one time as a test run.
He replied: “I think we can consider this topic closed.”
“But you were really keen!” I replied.
“#realitybites” he responded.
Phew. Let’s watch that on DVD instead.
Song of the day: INXS “Just keep walking”