On our second day we planned to summit Monte Grona. It rained the night before and dark clouds were sitting low on the mountain tops as we drove towards Breglia and as we got higher, thick fog gave us an unfriendly greeting. We were determined and hoped that the fog and clouds would lift up later on the day.
For a while I'd had my eye on the northern section of the Pennine Bridleway running from the top of the Mary Townley Loop (MTL) back to Newby Head near Dent.
I marked up the route and worked out we could do about 50 miles per day with a stopover in Settle.
Last year we decided to walk the Traverse of the Alps, from Thonon on Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean coast at Nice, 420 miles across the high Alps, mainly in France but crossing into Switzerland for part of the walk and hugging the French/Italian border in places.
The morning couldn't come quick enough; a pleasant evening meal shared with our dorm fellows was followed by an Olympic display of torrential snoring putting pay to our best laid plans to get a good night sleep before our defining day ladders or not?
When initially planning the route and thinking about kit, accommodation and gear, I thought it was all about the walking - after all, 800km is a considerable distance. I was wrong though, it's all about the people.