There’s a frenzy of last-minute preparation going on here, as tomorrow morning I plan to take Piss-Piss to the cattery and jump on a train with Piglet to Windermere.
My route planning hasn’t been as successful as I’d hoped. I did about a quarter of it but then the Phone Dilemma intervened, and since then it’s all been a bit hit-and-miss, as I’ve been trying to work out how the GPS mapping works without a manual.
I’ve planned my first 3 days’ walking–the ones from Grasmere (where I have to go, in order to be able to watch the Masterchef: The Professionals finals week)–and I’m going to take the little Joss Naylor booklet that KateC very helpfully recommended (thank you, Kate!), as it lists the order in which he did the fells. I’ll have the BMC 1:40k map on which I’ve marked all the Wainwrights (the ones that fall within its ambit) plus a couple of laminated print-outs from Quo which show the rest of them. If I don’t miraculously manage to plot and print out the rest of it later today then I’ll have to take the 4 OS 1:25s as well, but I’m trying not to do that because I’d much rather carry a couple of pages in my smallest Ortlieb and shove it into a pocket, than have to navigate on a daily basis with the larger maps: they’re just less easy to manage.
On the food front, I’ve bought a ton of my favourite instant hot chocolate, packet soups and granola bars, some Beanfeast and Smash and a large bag of quick cook pasta and sachets of cheese sauce with which to pad out the food I’ve managed to dehydrate. I made some mushroom risotto to Ali’s recipe (thanks, Ali!) and some lovely chicken and barley and veggie soup, so thick and unctuous that I was able to get it to lie on the little mesh trays of the dehydrator without dripping through.
For Piglet I’ve got a large sack of her favourite kibble, and a month’s supply of yummy chews impregnated with glucosamine and chondroitin. I’ve also baked her a large bag of her favourite liver and garlic biscuits, and set aside her favourite Nylabone for evening chewing. We’ll be supplementing her usual diet with some extra protein in the form of things like sardines and chicken, whenever we can get them. Piglet is quite excited about that!
I bought two spare batteries for my camera, and 3 spare batteries for my phone. Unfortunately one of the spares is faulty and will have to go back, but I’m hoping that 3 phone batteries will be enough to carry me through, with the charger. I’ve started putting audiobooks and music onto my collection of little Creative Muvo MP3 players, and at some stage today I’ll dig out a book.
I’ve washed and re-proofed my Cioch trousers (I’d have preferred to take my Paramo Cascadas, but one of the zips is broken and there wasn’t time to get it replaced) and my Paramo Viento jacket. The rest of my backpacking clothes are stuffed into a drawer somewhere, so soon I’ll start digging some out and packing them.
Now that I’ve started packing the rucksack, I realise I’ve mislaid my little yellow Exped food bag. It’s most odd, because–naturally enough–it normally lives in my pack between trips. Still, it seems to have gone missing. Not to worry: I’ve got lots of little Exped bags somewhere or other. For sentimental reasons, though, I’ll be sorry to go without it, as I’ve been using it for several years now. And how will I find my food in the pack if it’s not in a yellow bag? Hopefully I’ve not mislaid anything else, but if I have I suppose I’ll find out about it soon enough.
One major logistical problem that I haven’t yet solved is what to do with spare food. Normally I’d send it ahead in boxes, but because I’m not yet sure where I’m going to be, when, I’ve not done that. I was thinking I’d ask the B&B in Grasmere if I could leave it there, and jump on a bus for re-supply once a week or so. Thinking again, though, I’m not sure how well that will work, because, although one’s never very far from Grasmere in the Lake District, many of the places I’ll be camping are remote, and getting buses to and from Grasmere might turn out to be a bit of a problem. I’m still not sure what to do about it. Possibly I will send some boxes ahead to Post Offices (or maybe Youth Hostels) after all. I’ll keep mulling it over as I get through the rest of today’s tasks.
Well that’s enough procrastination for now *g* I’d best get on. I’ll post another progress report later this evening.