It is over a week now since we finished the walk which has given time for reflection.
The first thing to say is, that I’d forgotten what a fabulous walk this is. We were blessed with ideal weather most of the way, with only a few showers in the Lakes and the final 10 minutes into Ingelby Arncliffe. Our rain coats stayed most of the time in the rucksacks. The temperature was also perfect, not too hot but not cold and because of the dry summer, the boggy bits were not very boggy. Even coming down from Nine Standards.
The time I spent with Kieran was very very special. I doubt he realises yet what it actually meant for me, maybe he will when he’s older. Coming down the hill into Robin Hood’s Bay, walking behind him (I couldn’t keep up), I felt emotional as I knew a special time was coming to an end and one that is unlikely to be repeated. I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two which thankfully he didn’t see and I managed to compose myself by the time I reached the sea. I’m very proud of him for doing this and the money we’ve managed to raise.
For anyone thinking about doing the walk, it is very doable but please remember that in parts it is very hard and make sure you are prepared for all evantualities. Do your research so you know what to expect and make sure your equipment, especially boots and socks are up to it. Blisters can end the walk prematurely, love your feet. Take as long as you need. We did it in 13 days which is OK but take longer if you wish. It’s not a race or a competition. You don’t have to be super fit but a decent level of fitness is needed. Even a fit 16 year old was feeling it and saying his legs hurt so again don’t underestmate how hard it is in places.
I would like to say a big thank you to all those who have sponsored us. It really does help when the going gets tough.
I would also like to give a plug for Altberg boots. Made in Richmond which is on the route, they are that rare thing, a British boot maker. If you go to the site in Richmond, they will measure your feet (like Clarkes when the kids were small) to make sure you get the right size, both length and width. Both Kieran and me have extra wide feet so getting boots that fit is difficult and Altberg were brilliant. If you need boots, go get them.
Finally, I was going to thank Barrett Steel for their generous sponsorship and the Tshirts for our Barrett Steel moments, however, while obviously thanking them for the sponsor money, 2 days after I got back to work I was told my job was at risk of redundnacy which brought me back to earth with a bump. From one extreme, probably one of the best 2 weeks I’ve had in my life, to the other extreme. Oh well, life is set to challenge us so perhaps this is another Loft Beck!