I’ve done it! I have reached (over) half way and am now on the home straight. Nearly 11 months after starting, and nowhere near finishing, here’s a reflection on what it is to walk the South West Coast Path…
There have been many. Not least is the logistical feat of working out how to get people from start to finish, to and from Exeter and where to start and finish walks when we’ve gone off-book.
I have asked myself a number of times whether it was worth all the stress; and have always reminded myself, once on the path, that yes, absolutely yes.
The planning, tiresome though it sometimes is when I just can’t see an easy way to make it happen, is part of the achievement. Doing it in order, despite so many people suggesting otherwise, is the point of the challenge. Yes, it is a very long way and not terribly convenient to drive two cars 100+ miles “just to do a walk”. And no, it isn’t very easy to find public transport or willing drivers to help out, but a challenge isn’t a challenge if it’s easy.
Up until about 50 miles ago, we had only once walked in the rain which was out first leg. It was torrential for about half an hour and then it stopped. After that, I never thought rain would stop us and it didn’t. Not until we had the walk of horrors that took us from Penzance to Porthleven (yet to be written about). Never had I imagined you could get so wet. I had been a long believer that with the right equipment, no weather could be an issue. But I was wrong: very wrong. It was miserable, a little concerning at times, but we came out laughing.
The windiest walk we did was from Combe Martin to Ilfracombe. I spent a long time researching things like “what’s the strongest wind you can safely walk in” and decided that we could manage it. Lesson learned: I won’t ever walk in wind of that strength again!
To date, I have walked 334 miles, and have 296 miles to go. I have completed 37 out of 70 stages in The Complete Guide to The South West Coast Path. 19 people have joined me for one, some or most of it. As I write, my Just Giving page has raised over £330, matching my aim of raising £1/mile. I have received lovely emails from a community fundraiser at Anthony Nolan, thanking me for my achievement, miles walked and money raised so far.
I am just getting in touch to check in to see how everything is going and to say a huge congratulations for reaching the half way point of your epic coastal challenge!
You’ve now walked over 300 miles and raised an incredible £320 in support of your brother – thank you so much! The wonderful funds that you have raised so far are enough to help fund an incredible 8 new potential donors on the register, who could go on to be a match for someone.
I imagine that lots of your walks are getting colder and darker, and it’s so incredible that you have now walked such an impressive distance of the south west coast path. You should be really proud of every step you’ve taken and every pound you’ve raised, and please pass on our thanks to everyone who has walked with you, joined the register and sponsored you.
Rather to write about the highlights I may have already mentioned, or have yet to write about, here’s one picture to illustrate each walk we have done so far, just to share the beauty of it all.
Thank you as always for reading, following and enjoying this journey with me. Do leave a comment below, and feel free to share. More blogs posts coming, promise!