The Limestone Way (in sandals)

It’s been over a year since I last wrote an entry for this blog so there’s a lot to catch up on – Let’s start with this weekend.

We decided at the last minute to walk The Limestone Way in the Peak District National Park and a quick internet search told us everything we needed to know! Haha not!!

I googled the route, found a blog with a rough map on it and saved the site to my Iphone favourites. I hadn’t packed my hiking boots (yeah I have no idea why) so had just my work sandals to hand.

Adam has always been very clear that you don’t go hill walking without a map, compass and the correct clothing but for some reason he just wasn’t that bothered this time. Maybe it was the weather or the fact we had his dad nearby to collect us if it all went wrong!

The Limestone Way is usually walked in 3-5 days but I wanted to do it two. We took the first two days of the 3 day schedule of Rocester to Tissington (11 1/2 miles) and Tissington to Youlgreave (16 1/2 miles) and lumped them into one day.

7:30am arrived on Sunday morning and off we went. The early morning start served us well with some coolish weather but it got hot very quickly and by 9-10am it was sweltering, so much so I contemplated getting in the water!

11 1/2 miles in, after lots of cow and sheep photography by me, we found ourselves at Tissington Hall.

Day one of the hike was complete in time for lunch where we scoffed sandwiches, cake and cold drinks in a bid to keep up our energy!

With a full, happy stomach it suddenly dawned on me that the next part of our walk was 16 1/2 miles – urghhh!! After a quick water bottle refill we ploughed on.

The next eight miles or so went by without too much issue and then my work sandals started to cause problems (didn’t see that coming did you?!) as they are pretty hard soled. I could feel a blister developing on the base of my left heel.

I tried wearing my £3 primark plimsoles (stashed in my bag for emergencies) for a couple of miles but they squeezed my toes together. I then tried Adam’s size 10 flip flops (every hiker’s no1 piece of kit of course) for a couple of miles until a blister developed between my toes! After a bit of barefooting, the sandals went back on – ouch.

Fortunately we got a bit of cloud cover after 4pm and gradually the temperatures dropped. We crunched some miles and enjoyed being out in the fresh air. I focused on the sun on my back and the views while blocking out the pain from my poor feet! There were stinging nettles galore but with Adam nearby he was quick to fix me up with some plantain.

It was when we reached Upper Town that things got tricky (around 21miles at this point). We’d navigated fields full of thistles, cow pats, donkeys and llamas, and climbed over or squeezed through what felt like a hundred styles.

We also avoided eye contact with some pretty intimidating bulls, a stark contrast to this cute sheep in his winter jumper!

My feet were sore but they had been for ages by now. The main issue was my left knee which, although fine going uphill and flat, cannot cope with the downhills and frustratingly just feels like it’s gonna pop out of the socket!

Adam was sailing along as if walking on air (not annoying in the slightest) and although I was determined to finish we were reliant on Adam’s dad to pick us up. My knee was making descent very slow and, being a Sunday, the pubs were soon to close so we stopped about a mile short at Winster and caught a lift to the pub!

Oh well, I can’t say I’m too disappointed with 27 miles in my work sandals, £3 plimsoles and Adam’s flipflops! That said, when we complete the 21 mile second half (not tomorrow!) I might actually wear those expensive light weight Danner boots that I invested in for exactly this kind of activity!!!

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