No, don’t go to the countryside. No, really don’t go. The reality is you will spend hours wading arse deep in the mud getting soaking wet come back cold and tired and bemoaning the fact you went.
I spend as much time dodging wind and rain as I do walking anywhere. Taking cover under trees that let as much water through as they stop. The constant shall I take a coat just in case is invariably wrong. I end up baking in the harsh winter sun or drowning because I misread the weather by a huge margin.
The grass is wet and unless you wear wellies, which make your feet stink, by the way, particularly if you get water into them, your feet get sodden then rub and cause blisters. So, then it is painful to walk for days afterwards.
The fog is always damp and clings to your clothes eventually penetrating to your skin and your cold wet and miserable. You long for the warmth of a fire but the reality is that it’s a good 4- or 5-mile hike. Why did you walk that far? Fool!
The wind is cold. It drives rain in front of it which stings your face. You realise that the water is being driven through the guaranteed waterproof coat down your expensive layers when you get back you peel the layers away and watch the steam rise as you realise that precious body heat was trying to dry your clothes as you wore them sapping strength and warmth from your body.
Cold wet and miserable and you can’t get your flask out because your hands are too stiff so the warm coffee you took is a waste of time, just as you get it up to your lips the rain comes and fills the cup up diluting and chilling the contents.
Onwards you trudge wet clothes sticking to you. Blisters developing. Mud starting to work its way up your legs. Sticking to your boots makes them weigh more. The rain hammers against the hood of your coat and you fruitlessly pull on the drawstrings in a pitiful attempt to keep water, out. Well, any more water going in.
The mud gets slippery, and the final ignominy of the day is when you slip over and slide down a bank getting a slick coating of muddy water over your nice waterproof trousers and backpack. You lie there in the wet pondering the nettles wondering why you ever set out. What fun was there in doing this? Why had you listened?
This isn’t a summers stroll, this is torture.
This is not an invention. One late August day I took a walk over the North York Moors. It was raining when I left. But as I walked it got worse. Water was everywhere and the so-called waterproof coat I was wearing was not. Water was coming in at the top and wicking up from the base. It was running down my legs and into my boots. Everything was wet. I gave up with the hood as all I could hear was the rattle of the rain as it bounced off. The wind drove the rain relentlessly. There was no cover for miles around except a small tower and I stood huddled in the lee debating when to start the walk back to the car.
I mention grey curtains of rain in some of my posts. This expression came from that day when I looked over the moors as saw the rain falling in swathes. It really was a grey curtain.
However, it proves one point very well.
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