It’s now been two weeks since the finale of the four peaks journey but my legs have only just returned to business as usual. After three weeks of back-to-back cycling and climbing with only one rest day my calfs were in pieces and seeing my team mates trying to get up and down the stairs was like watching astronauts learning to walk after returning from outer space.
My housemate kindly offered to give me a calf massage. Knowing how much pain I was in I was absolutley horrifed when she stood on the back of my legs and starting pummeling me with her heels.
‘Owweeeeee’, I squealed, ‘Stop climbing on me’.
Only to turn round and discover she was merely stroking me with her fingertips.
The final leg of the trip through Scotland was hands down the highlight for me. We were joined by Miranda’s cousin Lucy who was an excellent addition to the team encouraging us all to find our singing voices by conducting an array of folk songs, harmonies and a music video. Even on the rainy days you couldn’t dampen our spirits as we hurtled along singing at the tops of our voices. Passers by looked confused at the joy on the faces of this sodden band and I half expected some of them to jump out of safety of their cars and join us. Sadly that kind of thing only happens in the movies.
For the final climb of the trip our numbers were boosted by the arrival of Deano, Kaz and Jonny who had flown all the way from Bristol to conquer the Ben. Once again the weather forecast was looking poor so we loaded up the bag of Jonny (our resident packhorse) with a plethora of woolly jumpers and enough snacks to feed an army.
Fortunately our preparations were in vein and by some miracle we had sun on the summit of Ben Nevis! Apparently this is a very rare occurrence, but Mother Nature really owed me after the cloud fests on the first two peaks of the trip. We spent about an hour on the summit taking endless photographs, soaking in the stunning views and eating our summit sarnies.
After the descent you couldn’t get us to the pub quickly enough and a surprisingly delicious haggis dinner was washed down with a couple of pints, convincing us that a swim in the freezing cold loch was the perfect way to end the adventure. Unceremoniously we stripped down to our pants for the briefest of dips. Hooting and howling as we rapidly swam a couple of strokes before running back to the safety of the car and heading home for some well deserved whiskey and a rest!
Thank you to Miranda, my partner is crime, for being mad enough to plan this trip with me in the first place and for making me laugh until I cried so many times over the course of the journey. Thanks to Maria and Lucy for joining us on this ridiculous escapade providing endless hours of conversation, jokes and of course singing. And thanks to Deano, Kaz and Jonny for coming all the way to Scotland and making the final leg of the journey so special. Summiting the final mountain surrounded by so many of my best friends is something I will never forget.
Finally a big thank you to everybody who has donated to Young Bristol. The original £500 target has been smashed and donations have even exceeded my dream target of £1000. Following a donation from my work I will have raised around £1300 which will go a long way to helping Young Bristol with their valuable work with young people across the city.
I will leave you with this excellent account of one of our wilder days in Scotland from Lucy. Until the next adventure. Goodbye.