Entertainment and loneliness
I worked out before I set off that I would probably be walking about 8 hours a day (and in fact that turned out to be almost exactly right). So if I slept for 8 hours a night, I sort of thought I have 8 hours a day when I would be sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I wondered if I should take videos on my iPad to watch in the evening, or electronic books to read. Or maybe take “real” books and do like one of my friends did on the South Downs Way – tear out the pages as he read them to save weight.
In fact I never had time for any of this. As I was walking, I was busy looking where I was going, or thinking about the practicalities of the next stage in they walk, or just day-dreaming. In the evenings, I was busy putting up the tent, getting clean, finding something to eat, and writing my blog. I was occupied fully 100% of the time and was never bored, lonely, or with time on my hands.
I thought it might be a bit difficult to make a pint and a pie last 3 hours in the pub or cafe in the evening but in reality it wasn’t a problem,. Most of the pubs I visited were out of season and midweek, and generally they seemed to be have me filling up some of the empty seats and giving the locals someone to talk to (or to talk about). I always had my laptop with me for blogging, so once I’d finished that I tended to use it to do a bit of surfing, mostly to check out Googloe Earth views of the next day’s route, or trying to find accommodation for the future, or checking out my various ailments (always a mistake!).
I kept up with the news on an occasional basis from the BBC news app, but really didn’t miss being immersed in the day to day hurly burly of 24 hour news.
Some people ask about music – and I did see quite a lot of other walkers who had headphones plugged into their ears, listening to music (or podcasts) as they walked. I must admit I did do the same, quite a lot, on my LEJOG bike ride and I did it on a couple of occasions when I had long road-walks on the LEJOG hike. But more often than not, I didn’t bother. The wires were just another bit of kit that I had to manage, and I found that putting headphones on and off when was raining became quite fiddly. Plus when I was road-walking I liked to keep an ear open for traffic.
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