This question seems to come up more frequently at the moment, especially after I have put Ruth through a little more effort than she was anticipating. I suspect others also have the question on the tips of their tongues but are too polite to pose it in our presence.
Let’s be quite clear, we are not adventurous people. You won’t find us lining up to climb Mt Everest, or hanging around in A. J. Hackett bungy queues but we are prepared to ‘have a go’ at things that are somewhat less life threatening but still require the expending of a bit of energy.
On the subject of death, yes I know, it is not really a favourite topic of conversation for any of us but, unless you live in the hope that your frozen body may one day be miraculously resuscitated to live another life, it is best to make the most of the life we are lucky enough to have. Sure we should have been getting all the energetic stuff out of the way when the body was better able to cope but other things tended to interfere. Jobs, young families, mortgages are things that spring to mind. By the time we get those aspects of life ‘sorted’, we are left with a narrowing ‘window of opportunity’ before the body tells us that ‘time is up’, it has had enough and cannot cope with any more with physical activity or, worse, it inconveniently stops functioning at all.
So we are currently ‘making hay while the sun shines’. I remind Ruth of this when she is showing signs of being a little militant about participating in the next planned adventure and to date she has not resorted to amputating a limb or swallowing poison which indicates that she is still in some form of agreement.
When we are walking or cycling through those places that we know most people are not lucky enough to enjoy we agree that the effort is worth it. We would never have experienced that as part of a packaged tour, we feel very privileged. A very positive side effect of our active travel is our health. We have never been fitter and don’t have the same weight control issues that we had.
If our memories don’t fail us we will have many great stories to recount during the lucid moments of our dotage. I probably won’t understand a word Ruth is telling me as no doubt my hearing will be long gone, I am already having real problems, Ruth tells me that I am always failing to respond to her telling me that she has had enough for today.
Then there have been the unusual places we get to stay in; converted stables, converted cowsheds, shearers quarters, old farm houses, a family home in the center of Crete, a cave house in Santorini and, some of the experiences that we have enjoyed as part of those stays.
Many of the volunteers in the track building / habitat restoration group that I work with are well into the seventies and put me to shame when it comes to fitness. When I said to Ruth that we should probably re-evaluate how long we could be able to undertake active travel she rolled her eyes but I did notice that it was only a half-hearted roll.