Hardest walks so far

Since last blogging I have had the toughest set of walks of the 244 done so far. There were some very hard days in NW Scotland and sporadic tough walks in England and not forgetting the difficult sections of the Pembrokeshire coast path but I seem to have had a few easy walks in between the hard ones making it feel both physically and mentally easier.

The south west coast path (SWCP) has been constantly hard and sadly my left leg is now starting to be a pain in the……um……leg. It is gruelling at times with parts so steep it is easier crawling on all fours up the cliff. I have been carrying 4 litres of fluid in my backpack which I have used up pretty much every day.

Here are some SWCP stats:

15 walks averaging 12.2 miles each day. 183 miles in total walked. Elevation total was 38,023 feet or 1.3 Mt Everests. The average temperature was 25 degrees. Hard work.

I have now reached Newquay and have two days rest before undulating  myself along to Lands End. In total, I have walked 4075 miles and climbed nearly 250,000ft (8.5 x Mt Everest)

Alongside the hard work comes the rewards of the views, the people I meet and the donations coming in. The good weather is great for the photos but more of a hindrance for long distance walking. Luckily, the SWCP meanders in an out of woods quite frequently and a break of 3 miles in the woods refreshes me enough to cope with the blazing sun on the cliff tops. I carry a small cool box that has a ice cold drink and a flannel and also a towel attached to the outside of my rucksack. Even starting at 6-7am only gives me an hour or two of relief out of a 7-8 hour day.

Both North Devon and North Cornwall have stunning coastlines scattered with many small beaches and coves. They also have huge long sandy beaches where on the odd occasion, the boots came off and I paddled for a few miles.

An odd thing I noticed as I passed through these beaches were how out of place I felt. In this “heatwave” or “summer” as I like to call it, the holidaymakers were all out in their underwear (which is what Speedo’s and Bikinis are effectively) and I had socks, boots shorts, belt, long sleeve wicking top, “walking the coastline” tabbard, a faded BHF hat and a huge rucksack. I might has well have been in a formal suit with all these semi naked bodies running around me. I noticed lots of people pointing and mutterings of  “5000 miles? did you see that?”. It obviously doesn’t bother me as this is an awareness walk as well as a fundraiser but I constantly have the feeling that I have turned up at a non fancy dress party in fancy dress.

The tabbard is helping now I am in a more populated area. People not only read the rucksack from behind but now they see a red blob coming towards them, eventually reading the words and often stop to chat. I have given out more cards on this section than anywhere else and more and more donations are coming in.

I can’t possibly single out a favourite part of the SWCP so far, so here is a collection of my favourite pictures.

Day 230 Minehead to Porlock Weir 9 miles 1824 elevation

Day 231 Porlock Weir to Lynton 12 miles 3435 elevation

Day 232 Lynton to Coombe Martin 13 miles 3766 elevation

Day 233 Coombe Martin to Woolacombe 13 miles 3317 elevation (Rain!!)

Day 234 Woolacombe to Barnstable 17 miles 1231 elevation

Day 235 Barnstable to Westwood Ho! 14 miles 404 elevation

Day 236 Westwood Ho! to Clovelly 11 miles  2995 elevation

Day 237 Clovelly to Hartland Quay 12 miles 2382 elevation

Day 238 Hartland Quay to Bude 15 miles 4170 elevation

Day 239  Bude to Crackington Haven 10 miles 2494 elevation

Day 240 Crackington Haven to Tintagel 11 miles 3494 elevation

Day 241 Tintagel to Port Isaac 9 miles 2589 elevation

Day 242 Port Isaac to Padstow 12 miles 2923 elevation

Day 243 Padstow to Porthcothan 14 miles 1561 elevation

Day 244 Porthcothan to Newquay 11 miles 1447 elevation

 

I will be arriving at Lands End on the 1st August 2018 where I will be greeted by Simon Gillespie the CEO of the BHF and other BHF volunteers and staff. It should be quite a party as the day before I will be celebrating my 9th transplant anniversary. If anyone is in the area and is free in the morning, please come along. We’ll have a cuppa,chat and photos before I take off for a short 5 mile walk. Use the contact button to message me and I can tell you more details.

Looking into the future, I have around 60 days walking left to complete the walk. I have never looked further than a few weeks ahead in all the time I have been doing this (since Feb 2017!!) but once I round Lands End, I may start to count down the days. Obviously I still have 100’s of miles left and quite a few Mt Everests to climb but I am starting to get a little excited about the thought of completing this. At this moment in time though, I don’t want it to end. Honestly, I would love to go around again – maybe clockwise?? lol

Please keep sharing my twitter link, facebook page and this blog/website. Being alone all day on a cliff or in a field is not ideal for fundraising to say the least, so I am relying on followers to spread the word and get sponsorship/donations that way.

Finally, has anyone got a left leg they want to lend me? I’ll give it back when I finish…..whenever that is.

Thanks for reading and sharing

Kieran xx