4 months

4 months to go. On that day, the 16th February, I will be embarking on this massive challenge. If it’s anything like today, it’s going to be a difficult start. The combination of being still with half a cold, a rainy morning and the depths of Cornwall wouldn’t be my idea of fun, getting cold and drenched in the first 18 miles. Funny that by lunchtime today it was beautifully sunny so I might have been able to dry off a bit. First day is from Land’s End to St. Ives, mostly on an inland road, rather than the South West Coast Path, so as to be a little more gentle. Not expecting it to be that busy on a Sunday but much of it is paved in any case.

In the summer, I was planning it all out. Take a train from Southampton to Penzance on the Saturday, with www.thetrainline.com offering a single fare for around £20, compared to about £100 on the Friday. I look again today and the cheapest fare is now £77 – another lesson to me to strike while the iron is hot. National Express coaches quote a cheapest price of £37, a bit more reasonable until you look closely and see that’s a 10 hour journey including a change at Bristol. Sounds like Pammy will drive me down there on the Saturday and we’ll somehow sort out the logistics before then.

If I had to plan that perfect first day, it would be dry, about 12 degrees and quite still. Chances are it’ll be about 10 degrees less and not at all still. The more I think about it, the more I’m looking forward to it and the more I’m dreading it at the same time. If I can get through the first couple of weeks without too many aches and pains, I will be in Bath on that Sunday and one of my favourite cities. Not that I will get to see that much of any place I go, I will be very much eating, drinking or resting at any time I’m not walking. Actually, that sounds much better. Yeah, bring it on.

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