Helen’s Thoughts and Thanks   5 comments

Well here we are at Ian & Sue’s like so many times before and yet not. It feels so unreal, like I dreamt it all, but reason (&feet &legs &back) say differently.
Prior to starting I had said to Rita that if I could walk half of it I would be pleased. It was prearranged that I should only walk alternative days the first week to ease into it but after that it had become a personal challenge to finish every step. And that was what it was somedays, just focusing on the next step until Derek would let us stop for coffee or lunch.
I wouldn’t have done it without D. His planning meant that we didn’t need to worry about finding accomodation or working out best routes (although I did make some minor changes; some for the better, some for the worse). He brought me cups of tea in the morning, opened gates to avoid climbing stiles, carried my coffee, came back down the hills to take my rucksack when it got to steep. But in turn, I made sure supplies were restocked and there were clean socks.
Everyday life as we know it ceases to exist. It just becomes about the journey, in a physical sense. The cost of course is losing contact with friends and family, but through D’s blog and the feedback that was minimised but still missed the socialising. Without the B&Bs we could have gone for several days without chatting with anyone – now I know why the guy from Hay and the guy from the US, both walking Offa’s Dyke alone, were so keen to stop and chat.
Would I do it again? Yes (if D will do the planning). We thought maybe next time we should head north into Scotland but then we came across the Wessex Ridgeway from the Wash to Dorset and I quite fancy that.
So until next time, bye and thanks for “listening”.
Oh and just to set the record straight: Derek 78 sausages, Helen nil!
Highs:
The beautiful countryside and views which took on different characteristics with each county.
The messages via the blog and email and the generous donations which picked us up at the end of a long day.
Sitting on a grassy bank in the sunshine listening to classic fm.
First pain free day, thanks to Jan Oldfield for the Bowen therapy and Rachel Williams for the yoga stretches.
Walking into Bath wanting to shout “I’ve just walked 260 miles!”
The final, perfect day: large coffee, leisurely pace on good paths, lanes, woodlanes, even passing some well behaved cows, lovely sunshine and a great welcome and soak in the bath.
The weather which was never as bad as the forecast and fortunate that we can count on one hand the number of days we got rained on.

Lows:
Choosing the country lane to find that it was used as a short cut to/from the motorway, at motorway speeds!
D’s insistence on doing the blog at the end of a long day when I just wanted to turn in and go to sleep.
Arriving at a campsite in icy rain (there had been hail earlier in the day) to find the porta cabin (housing the shower & toilet) unheated and the following morning running over in the rain to find only icy cold water for washing the dishes.
Aggravating an old injury to my SI joint the night before we set off, then adding to it over the 40+ stiles enroute to Malpas until the whole of my lower back and upper back were in agony.

And, of course, if you’ve enjoyed our blog then please feel free to visit our ‘Just Giving‘ page and make a small donation to Nightingale House Hospice.

Final resting place for Boots

Posted April 18, 2012 by derektruby in Uncategorized

5 responses to “Helen’s Thoughts and Thanks

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  1. Well done to you both I have to applaud you for just getting out of Farndon rummor here has it that is a journey in its own right lol

    The Inspector turns out to be a bit of a caring hero …… we do miss his lemon drizzle cake and his happy smiling face

    Are you walking back ??

    Julie

  2. Final resting place for Boots, poor cat!

  3. Congratulations again to you both. You both deserve a medal and a good publisher!

  4. 78 Sausages?!!!! I’m surprised there are any pigs left out there!!! Well done Helen your willpower got the better of you!!! With regard to Joan and Tony’s blog message – hear hear!! You deserve a medal and better find a good publisher soon!!!!

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