Only four walks this week as I returned home for a funeral, a bone density scan and also triple birthday meal.
My life before transplant is never far from my thoughts as I have many friends living with CHD. Some are very well, some have sporadic troubles and some are really struggling much the same as I was 8 years ago. Gilly was a wonderful lady, always giggly and cheerful. I spent many hours walking in the peak district with her and other CHD’ers. We are all in shock over Gilly’s death, mainly due to how quickly she went downhill. Living with a heart condition is hard not only for the physical nature of the beast but also the mental side. It is an invisible illness than can be so cruel at times. Thank you Gilly for the hugs, giggles, silliness, support, campaigning, love and of course… dance moves!
The walks this week were as varied as the Welsh weather. Aberporth to Cardigan was a road walk in mostly a cold and windy gloom. I was cheered up by the children’s dog poo posters scattered around Penparc.
Cardigan itself was lovely and also cleared up a mystery in my head. The previous day, as I drove back to my Travelodge I had this exceptionally stupid thought. ‘Where is Aberteifi? All the road signs are saying it is the exact same mileage distance as Cardigan is but I can’t find it on my map’
The Welsh readers or geography buffs (or Welsh geography buffs) should now be shaking their heads at this comment. For those who are still confused. Abertifi is Cardigan. DOH!
The next day, I left my stupid head back in the room and was delighted to meet the Cardigan BHF Fundraising group at Cardigan Castle. We chatted over a cup of tea at the lovely castle cafe, had a photo session and exchanged stories. I also got to sit on a throne.
They waved me goodbye and I set off in the drizzly mist to Newport. The fierce headwind made life quite hard for most of this section and arrived very damp with a disappointingly soggy bottom.
By contrast the next day was crisp, bright and dry and the only concern was the wind speed. Gusts of over 50mph were forecast. I made my way up onto the cliffs and was greeted with spectacular views and a boggy path. This was going to be nearly 2000ft total incline over the course of the 12 miles so I took the route steadily. The pembrokeshire coast path is now on Google maps ‘street view’ so you could do this walk from the comfort of your home. I did this the previous night so I knew how my fear of heights might fair. A walker had previously walked the path with one of the Google cameras attached to their head. You can follow the route online.
It was a great walk and lovely to meet two walkers and their small dog as I approached Fishguard. I was putting on my wet weather gear as the two ladies approached. We chatted and they headed off in front of me. A few minutes later the clouds dumped a violent hailstorm on me. Welcome to Pembrokeshire.
I carried on and eventually passed the walkers who were huddling together protecting the small dog. If the hailstones were hurting my face, I tried to imagine how the small dog must have felt. It must be like being surrounded whilst paintballing and without the ability to fire back…bar the odd grumpy woof.
Fishguard was beautiful and I arrived in time for a meeting with a photographer and the Mayor at the Town Hall. I was ushered into a plush meeting room aware that I had at least half of the coast path splattered all over my legs and pasted to my boots. We talked about walking and mayoring. It was a lovely end to a great days walking.
The downside to the extra height gain the previous day was the return of the toe injury. David Beckham famously had a metatarsal problem, I have a less glamourous right toe problem.
I returned to road walking for Fishguard to Trevasser for this reason but did make it out to Strumble Head. I love that name.
Next week I take my sore toe round the toe of Wales, St David’s and head east for a few weeks.
Thanks to The Guardian article, various other press in West Wales and donations on the way, my total has gone up to £8820
Please share my walk fundraising page where all donations go directly to BHF research.