My own personal memory of an overwhelming thirst happened on a cliff top walk in Swanage in Dorset on the south coast of England.
I was about nine or ten. The beauty of the cliffs, Old Harry and the blue twinkling sea were the scenery of this walk. My mum and I planned to walk up to the top of the hill opposite our campsite and then walk along the top and down onto the beach and along the sea front of Swanage. We woke up to a cold grey day and so packed a thermos of hot chocolate and some cheese sandwiches. My mum could have conquered the world with a thermos flask. That was all she needed and the world was her oyster. This day however it was a challenge. No sooner had we got to the top of the cliff than the sun came out. We walked along admiring the view, enjoying the sunshine. It wasn't long before we started to feel very hot and thirsty. There was no point in turning back it was just as far as going on. My mum had a wicked sense of humour and soon she was giggling away at us up there with our tongues hanging out. Hot chocolate does not quench your thirst at all. Cheese sandwiches make you even more thirsty. We struggled on, panting and tired until at last we started on our downward descent. What a glorious sight before us, the beautiful bay and the beach and tucked in the corner a little bungalow with an ice cream sign swaying gently in the Summer breeze.I have never felt less like eating an ice cream. When you are really thirsty only water will do, We were so thirsty and dehydrated that we had to ask for a glass of water from the tap. There was no bottled water in England then. That first sip really was incredibly wonderful. Laurie Lee was right, it is worth being thirsty just to experience that feeling of pleasure and relief. Once is enough though. I haven't forgotten the pleasure of that glass of water but I haven't forgotten the feeling of being desperately thirsty either.