Argh! We have now been going for six weeks! That sounds like forever! When I first decided to do this ride I planned to complete it in six weeks, how fickle I was! After two weeks I thought "wow- I've spent two whole weeks on my horse!" now two weeks pass by without me even noticing.
The miles mean less now too, when I started I could tell you exactly how many miles I had done in a day , now I don't keep count as its not the mileage it's the going, the weather, the number of gates and what time we set off in the morning and how we feel that determines how hard a days ride is.
Monday night we stayed in Chatlestown, we arrived at 5.30pm after the yard staff had left and had been directed to a field over the phone. I untracked Cognac and checked the water supply, pitched my tent super efficiently and felt quite pleaded with myself. Phoned Jez to let him know I was okay and set up for the night. I planned to walk up the road and into the village to have a look around and to see if there was anywhere I could get food, but first I had to be confident and go and find Cognac some hard feed. It was a big yard and I knew there would be plenty on site, but I hate asking for things and normally if I'm not offered feed I just don't give him any, however Cognac had been maintaining weight but nor putting any on and I felt that he could do with a little more condition. So I took my plastic bag down to the yard and approached two ladies and asked if anyone had some hard feed I could buy for my horse, they said their horse were 'fatties' and just had hi-fi so directed me to a gentleman who would how something more suitable for Cognac. I nervously approached him and asked If he had some horse feed I could buy and without hesitation he showed me where he kept his horse feed and said to take what I needed and also wouldn't take any money for it! Every day I am amazed at how generous and helpful people can be- with you these people I certainly wouldn't have been able to do this journey and I hope in the future I will be able to return this generosity to others that may need my help :)
I got a good nights sleep on Monday night and set off in good time in the morning. I had to be in Peak Forest by 3 as I was staying at a pub and they closed between 3 and 6. I made good time and Cognac and I stopped and had our lunch on the too of a hill with the most beautiful view and spoke to a n older gentleman who said he used to walk all over these hills and that this was his favourite view. We just managed to make it to Peak Forest in time after having to lead Cognac down and up and down... And back up some very steep hills with very stony tracks and it was soo hot!! I was in a room at the Devonshire arms pub and Cognac was staying at Fields Farm behind it. I could see Cognac in the field from my bedroom window! At Fields Farm they very kindly let Cognac stay for free and said I could take some horse feed with me- again free of charge. I spent the evening in the pub and was made to feel very welcome by the locals, who were all very interested in the ride and very kindly donated £80 collectively in sponsorship money!