Daily distance: 41.7km / 25.9mi
Weather: 8 degrees, heavy rain – all day, 8 mph south westerlies
Dove Step 3 bird list: 94 species
Best birds: Red Kite and flocks of Golden Plover on the way into Fuente de Cantos
Cumulative Dove Step 3 distance: 216.4miles
Today was testing. By the time I’d clocked 10km the heavy rain stepped it up a notch and went typhoon-torrential. From 10km onwards not one piece of kit was dry. With a strong following wind and drenched through I was conscious of hypothermia. As such I didn’t stop for any length of time, aside from ducking into a service station for a grande cafe solo (my new fave) and to replenish snacks.
Thereafter it was 30km+ of head-down grind. Totally soaked through and mindful there was nothing I could do about it till I reached digs for the night. Having reconciled the fact I was spending 9hrs wet through I kept up as good a pace as possible. Then with just 7km to go – this…
A river in spate – a river which would otherwise be crossed via stepping stones which had been washed away. Having considered my options, or my total lack of options, I shouted a swear and traipsed across. The weight of my sodden pack making it nigh-on impossible that I would be washed away. The water came up over my knees and was freezing.
This was the first of three streams/ rivers/ drainage channels over-flowing the last bit of the route. Fortunately, care of my team mate’s expert accommodation skills. I am in a particularly impressive hostel with no less than three (3!) heaters. All of which are currently drying kit. This is a big advantage for tomorrow, although rain is forecast in the afternoon I will at least have the opportunity to start out dry and happy!
Given the weight of my sodden pack, the unpleasantries of wet feet for nine hours and having to wade a river – I have no idea how I got through today – but I did!
Roll on tomorrow and a bit of sunshine, even if it only lasts the morning. In addition the ever-growing JustGiving total is a big motivator – to get out of bed and crunch more miles for Turtle Doves! Thank you.