Dove Step 3 – Day 20

Daily distance: 42.7km / 26.5mi

Duration: 08:33hrs

Weather: 14 degrees, overcast then sunny spells, 8 mph north easterlies

Dove Step 3 bird list: 103 species

Best birds: singing Black Redstart in Roales as I left and a few trail-side Southern Grey Shrikes

Cumulative Dove Step 3 distance: 533.1 miles

Harsh day. Spent the morning cold, extremely tired and sore. I tried walk-birding for a bit along with my usual motovators. Nothing worked. I kept fixating on the tiredness and soreness and basically feeling pathetically sorry for myself. This is unacceptably soft and I am keen to ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

I had two coffees back-to-back on first break which didn’t really help. By 14:00 I finally started feeling ‘normal’ again – at least normal for this trip. Thereafter the last few hours went well and I managed to clock some more extra kms. It was a welcome lift to see Mal a few clicks from the end and walk back to Santovenia with him – today’s finish line. 

Despite the rough morning I kept reminding myself that I had no real cause for complaint. Yes, I’ve seen off well over 500 miles in 20 days – but I am not injured, debilitated or otherwise compromised. I’ve just got to keep playing the mind game and marching on. 

The landscape was pretty varied today. When I wasn’t head-down slogging I did enjoy it… 

Just 8 scheduled walking days remain. Hopefully, a week tomorrow I will be looking out from Gijón and into the Bay of Biscay. That the close of this challenge is so close is equally measure tantalising and excruciating – it may only be a week – but there’s another 170 miles to do! 
Another 170 miles for Turtle Doves – please up the JustGiving whilst I add to the mileometer! 


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