I write this sat in the ‘lounge’ of Edale Youth Hostel. For ‘lounge’ read ‘Sixth Form Common Room’. Not in a bad way – it is just a real recollection from the deep recesses of my memory.
It is the evening before the beginning, yet there is the distinctive feeling that this is the beginning.
The re-engagement of old activity centre culture really brings home the task ahead. Not so much the physical walk, more the ‘away from the norm’ logistics of sleeping and eating.
We are in a dorm of 8, four bunk beds with a loo attached. Bedding to make your own bed was given at reception. Just wondering if I have to take them back tomorrow. It is so not De Vere.
The first executive decision of ‘wear what you walk in tomorrow’ has been taken, thus allowing a quick getaway in the morning and no need to sort rucksack logistics.
A short drive (yes, drive) into Edale was made courtesy of my Uncle Ian, whom is acting Sherpa for the first week.
Edale Youth Hostel is a good mile or so from Edale Centre.
The second executive decision was to partake in the Last Supper in the Nags Head – the public house at the beginning of the Pennine Way.
A cracking pie, chips and very non Yorkshire pint were devoured in a bustling atmosphere of drenched walkers that had come off the hill from a day of persistent rain.
There is not many places that can beat a ‘walkers’ pub. It is one of the great delights of the world.
Stories are shared, stories are told, trials, tribulations and triumphs.
Shared between people that have never previously met, but have a common goal of the hills.
The Last Supper is eaten, a bunkbed is awaiting and the weather seems to be clearing.
The long wait has gone, the challenge has arrived.