The last fortnight has passed pretty quickly, since I received my package and could start walking again. It has both reduced and expanded. As the weather gets colder just the mechanics of walking and camping can take all my energy and thought. It’s enough just to strike camp and walk all day, keep myself warm and full of energy.
I’ve had constant good interactions with strangers, keeping me buoyed up and positive, teaching me a lot about Romania and how it’s so different to my preconceptions of this country. People keep helping me, keep stopping and asking if I’m OK, if I’d like a lift or maybe some food.
I feel slow, I’ve made much less progress than I imagined by now. I thought I might be close to the border with Bulgaria by the time I stopped for Christmas and I’m barely started on the central mountains. But honestly, I’m ready to stop. Walking and camping in snow and minus temperatures is hard, even just experiencing two weeks of it. I’m setting off again today to head into the mountains, there’s snow on the ground outside and I just need to walk for 4 days before I stop and head to Bucharest. It’s an endurance exercise, I’ll eke out another 50 miles, make my incremental progress but know that I’ve got a break coming soon. I can survive this little bit, four days is nothing. Then I’ll return in January, probably to worse weather still but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I’m not fixed on any particular route, if I have to walk the road all the way through the mountains then so be it.
I’m writing this from a luxurious log cabin, gifted to me for my day off through a series of connections that started in Wales. I stand on underfloor heating, cuddling the resident kitten and watch the snow fall outside. I’m ready to do this for more than one day, to pause for a while and not have to pack up everything after 24 hours, to be able to stretch properly over a series of days. Just four more days of walking first.