I don’t really have a lot to add to the journal this time.
Other than to say I didn’t enjoy this walk as much as I have my previous long distance paths (Offa’s Dyke excepted). Part of this was down to walking with a partner.
Rob and I have walked many times together, we’ve done dozens of day walk and even a four day walk along the Herriot Way and I’ve always enjoyed walking with him. He’s great company, equally funny and morose, a cracking companion and I will happily walk anywhere with him (even after what I am about to say). So I’m not sure it was the choice of walking partner that took the shine off the walk for me, it was probably the fact that I wasn’t alone.
I found that everything was a compromise (at least from my perspective), I couldn’t just think about what I wanted to do, I had to consider Rob all the time. Is it time for a break? What time are we leaving in the morning? What time for breakfast? Who’s having the bed by the window? Who’s having the first shower? the compromises were endless and after a while they became grating and I started to resent having Rob along on the walk, which was totally unfair.
His lack of preparedness also grated at times – and I don’t think I’m being unfair here – I even think he would agree, he didn’t prepare for this walk very well at all. He was fit enough, that wasn’t in question, we both prepared physically for the walk, but at times I felt like a Dad leading his kid aorund a funfair. He knew none of the route, he’d done no reading up beforehand, he knew nothing about the sights and points of interest along the path, I doubt he’d read Wainwright’s book at all. He’d done no map prep either. We were both using GPS devices with OS maps on them, but mine was consigned to the backpack and I used printed maps all day. This pretty much resulted in me leading all the time and Rob following. It quickly became clear that the route Rob had programmed into his GPS was out of date, it had some odd route choices too, so we couldn’t completely rely on it. More reasons to follow me.
By the end of two weeks I’d pretty much had enough – 12 nights in shared rooms and 12 days of compromise left me pretty much drained. I was almost glad it was over – and that’s not happened since Offa’s Dyke!
Within a couple of days I was feeling fine again and I don’t think our relationship has suffered because of this – it was a temporary state of affairs for me and I feel ashamed at my annoyance at Rob, he’d done very little to deserve my pent up frustration. However, I think it will be a long time before I walk a long path with a partner again and I certainly won’t share rooms – I missed my quiet time a lot!