The Two Moors Way, part 10... THE END, returning to reality.
Homeward bound. I got myself up nice and early, which on the whole trip was never a problem, and gave myself plenty of time to walk through Totnes, stop in a Morrisons for fuel on the 3 hour train ride, and make it to London in time for lunch with a favorite friend. So much icing on this cake, seriously! The flight was easy enough, I had booked myself an extra legroom seat, and the set between me and my row-mate was empty, so we felt like we'd really hit the jackpot. I even binged an entire season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which I had ridiculously never seen before - obviously I left the plane fully addicted. I was happy we taxied for a while upon landing, so I could finish the last episode.
I had been so spoiled on my route with all the gorgeous scenery and gardens, both wild and cultivated, so it was nice to be greeted by my irises the morning after getting home - they had bloomed while I was gone. The house was still on the market, no one wanted it, but it was still putting its best face forward to greet me upon arrival, which was good. Item number 2 on the list, besides noticing my garden, was to get a proper pizza. I waited patiently for them to open and called one in immediately, and enjoyed it by myself for lunch - everyone was at school and work, which was ok. That gave me time to acclimate myself to being home and I wasn't pressured to jump back in right away. While I was gone, FaceTime, texting, and the like gave me such regular contact with everyone at home that the feeling of being 'away' was somewhat diluted, but I really didn't mind. I liked checking in, chatting with the kids, and especially the fact that a few of my friends had asked for me to 'location share' with them while I was gone. It was a fun surprise to get a text, in the middle of a long stretch of quiet and isolation, saying 'you're back on the grid! enjoy!' from a friend who was at her desk at work. I had been figuratively crapped on by so many people I trusted in the months leading up to going away, that little things like that meant a lot.
Looking back now, I can also say that I've gotten more enjoyment over recounting the trip to write this blog than I did in the immediate days after returning, while posting up to facebook or whatever. I wonder if i'll feel that way the next time? What a luxury it is to have technology to help us record and revisit things we have done - I know that's a double edged sword, but lets allow ourselves to be positive about it for at least a few moments sometimes.
To recap! Coconut oil to heal and prevent blisters, train on real stairs while wearing a loaded pack, have backups for your directions, and take your time. Enjoy the view, leave time for sidetracking yourself, and talk to strangers. Ask people questions, learn their stories, and talk to yourself for hours inside your head.
Thanks so much for reading, if you've made it this far! I encourage you to do your own version of a long solo hike someday, and don't let anyone talk you out of it. You can do it!