Well it was all going so smoothly as well – too smoothly obviously. I got an email today that threw the spanner into the works a little bit.
It was from the baggage courier – it seems that Brigantes are the only people that will carry your bag the whole length of the route – from Edale to Kirk Yetholm – anyone else that says they can do it either uses taxis part of the way and therefore charges the earth or they start half way along the path and require you to make your own arrangements for the first half – how that works I have no idea.
But Brigantes, in order to make it pay for them – and I’ve dealt with Mike at Brigantes for a while now and trust him – will only start a bag run on certain days – so if you want bags carried you need to start walking on one of those days – or have a party of four or more to make it worth their while starting on a different date. (See the latest list of dates here). Unfortunately they didn’t have a run starting on the day I needed. Bugger.
That means I either scrap the baggage courier idea or change my start date. I don’t particularly want to start walking on a Saturday as the theory is that most folk start at the weekend and therefore the path is busier and B&Bs are harder to book. The latter point probably isn’t a problem given how far in advance I’m booking, but the first point is relevant. I have no idea how many people walk the path in May, but I don’t want to be one of dozens walking conga-like across the Pennines – half the draw of the walk is the solitude and “loneliness” of the route.
It does mean though that fresh undies every day are a dim and distant fantasy – I’ll have to try and get some Merino ones!
Planning Update: Monday, March 1st, 2010
I’ve now decided to arrange a series of Parcel Drops with some of the B&Bs along the route. I’ve emailed several of them and arranged to leave a small package with them, which will contain some underwear and the next few days maps. I may also include replenishable toiletries like soap and shampoo, so I can keep the pack weight down and enjoy the luxury of clean pants most days.
I will make the deliveries on the Sunday before I leave, driving up to the various places and leaving my deposit in their back porch (how Carry On… is that sentence?).
Another Planning Update: Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
It appears that all may not be as bleak as I thought. A look on the Brigantes website suggests that they now have a baggage transfer start date of 5th May and an email from Annette confirms that I’m on the list!
That does sort of leave me with the problem of finding £200 from somewhere at short notice. <I wonder how much a kidney is worth nowadays?>