I will publish a ‘Tale from the trail’ each Monday, this is the first one.
The impact my first trek has had on me is immense and embarking on this adventure was by far the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. As I set off to the airport, I could only think about the short term struggles. I had no idea about happiness it would continue to give me.
After checking in my luggage and saying my goodbyes. I started wandering around the airport. I was early, I am always early when it comes to flying, and had some time to kill. I was browsing the book store when I heard a familiar name on the speakers. I had to listen to it a few times before it sank in that it was actually my own. I was so startled by this discovery that it took me another time to hear the message. I needed to go and meet the security officer at a certain gate.
I felt my heart sink as I made my way to the gate and saw a woman in a fluorescent jacket wave me over. When I reached her and nervously said my name, her face softened. She told me not to worry, I wasn’t in trouble but there was something in my bag that wasn’t allowed on the plane. I felt such a relief hearing those words. She guided me into a room where my luggage was placed on a metal table. As we were walking I started to get nervous again. My mind started racing. What was in my bag that was not allowed? Oh my god, what if it is my tent! Oh no, there is no reason I wouldn’t be allowed a tent on the plan. My knife? Again no reason. I tried to calm myself down, but wasn’t successful.
She wasn’t allowed to open my bag, so she asked me to do so and take out whatever wasn’t allowed. At that point I still wasn’t sure what exactly this object was. My hesitation must have been clear, because she started giving me a description of what she had seen on the scan. It was made from metal, had a cylindrical shape and to her best judgement was part of my camping gear. About halfway through her explanation my penny dropped, it was my gas canister. I felt absolutely stupid and relieved at the same time. I apologized about a hundred times for wasting her time and got out of there as soon as possible. To be fair, my mum works at the airport, was aware of the fact gas canisters aren’t allowed, saw me pack it and her penny didn’t drop either.
The rest of the outward journey passed uneventfully. I landed in Liverpool and after spending the night in a dodgy hotel I took the train to Chester. That is where I would start my actual trip. I stocked up on food and repacked my bag about a thousand times before I went to bed. The next day I got up as early as I could bear and started hiking.