Last minute preparations

Today the last of the rescued bats I have been caring for were transferred to Suffolk Bat Rescue prior to release back to the wild. This marks the end of an intense, immense four and a half year stint of bat work, which has to stop because of my allergy to the mealworms these bats eat whilst in captivity.

So with a mixture of sadness and excitement, I am getting ready for the Big One: the tour of Britain, which starts in 3 days’ time.  The Kent hills last week have made me nervous of planning ahead too assiduously, and of making any more grandiose statements about when we might reach the Shetlands, or Devon. I’ll be glad if we get to King’s Lynn in one piece, to be honest.

Isfield, East Sussex

The weather forecast is for snow on our first night, and as a result I can’t seem to get my head round packing clothes for hot sunny days – all I can think about is skiwear. My brain is also struggling with how I should cook my food/boil water for tea etc. There are endless considerations.  I managed perfectly well on the Brighton trip with a homemade meths stove but, whilst camp site shops sell gas cannisters for stoves, I think meths may be harder to come by. (Dogs aren’t allowed in B&Q).

However, having learnt today from the man in Cotswold Outdoors that a small gas cannister (£2.50) will fuel about 24 hours’ worth of cooking and tea-making, I went straight to my local hardware store for 5 litres of meths for £12, which would see me to the Shetlands and back, via Devon. Not that anyone would want to carry that much. But the economics are clear.

Meanwhile I have spent so much on kit – tent, sleeping bag, mattress, panniers, lights, solar charging system etc etc – that getting beyond King’s Lynn is essential if the economics of the trip are to make any sense at all. Let’s hope it’s stopped snowing by then.


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