I have to confess that prior to this I had been feeling quite smug about my lack of injuries on this trip. I haven’t had any blisters, and have been feeling notably fitter (and thinner) than I was when I started out. I had read the Andy Robinson warnings about stress fractures, tendonitis etc and was secretly congratulating myself on having avoided all of them. Well, after the walk to Dufton it was fairly obvious that I couldn’t just ignore my leg and continue to walk on it; my shin was inflamed and swollen and walking even a few steps was painful.
I decided to take a few days off and rest it up. When it didn’t improve, I visited the Minor Injuries Unit at Penrith, who told me it was a ‘soft tissue injury’ and would improve with rest and ibuprofen. I resigned myself to a few days’ off, and it was very nice to have some time with the kids (even if I couldn’t take part in Rowan’s hopping games).
Although I was resting, I couldn’t face being completely inactive, and we packed a lot into a few days. We are camping very close to Hadrian’s Wall, and took the opportunity to see two of the local forts – Vindolanda and Housesteads. Vindolanda was especially good, with some fascinating museum exhibits including a Roman shoe collection and the famous writing tablets. We also visited a swimming pool on the outskirts of Newcastle, followed by pizza and an early evening visit to the Angel of the North. Whenever I visit I find it hard to understand why people opposed it when it was first erected – it’s a wonderful thing to see up close and it makes me feel happy that it exists.
Last but not least, I finally heard back from Lowa, who offered to replace my boots without any quibbles, so we headed to Carlisle to pick up a new pair. Excellent customer service both from Lowa and from Cotswold Outdoor. Unfortunately I can’t wear the new boots at the moment as my shin is too sore, but I am looking forward to putting them on again once I am rested up a bit. Fingers crossed for a quick recovery.