What a fabulous place the Sierra de Aitana is! I loved every minute of the trekking holiday – fantastic vistas, great company and an amazing leader who I just couldn’t fault on any level. His passion for the area and for mountains really rubbed off on me too. My main aim was to use the trip as training for Kili, but I ended up enjoying it far too much.
Things I learnt about trekking in the mountains:
– I really need some lighter boots (and socks) for walking when it’s hot.
– Vaseline smeared on your feet before a long day of walking really helps avoid blisters. As do two pairs of socks. Many people suffered, I did not.
– Take plenty of zinc oxide tape and apply it to any “hot spots” on your feet long before blisters appear.
– My calf muscles were agony by the last couple of days of walking. I need to seriously strengthen them. Massaging and stretching them at night and in the morning is really important too.
– However, avoid dogs when stretching (see photo).
– I learnt a better way to use my walking poles (wearing the straps differently around my hands). Worked very well and saved my shoulders, once I got used to it.
– Prevention is better than cure for dehydration. I got it right this time. Finally.
– Mess around with insulin and carbs as little as possible. 50% basal rate all day while actually walking worked very well (took me a few days to figure that out). Take normal insulin for breakfast but then turn pump right down to 50% immediately. For long periods of stiff climbing, have some ready glucose to hand. 50% bolus for lunch also works very well. Keeping it simple really helps. Overnight basal is more trial and error – try 75% basal and drop further as necessary.
– My fitness was actually pretty good although I’m slow up hills. But 8 hours of walking a day was no problem, I could have kept going for quite a few more hours. Need to practise walking up hills faster though.
– Keeping an SPF lip balm easily accessible is crucial. SPF 30 suncream for the face also crucial.
Now looking at booking another cheeky holiday in summer in the mountains – possibly Mt Toubkal to get some more experience of altitude. http://www.exodus.co.uk/holidays/tmm/overview
Or maybe Mt Blanc….OK, I really am addicted.