Sunday service

I can’t ever remember a time when my head has been so mixed up, feeling tired or hungry at strange times of the day. It was good, I think, to go to cricket yesterday but was a bit overwhelmed at the number of people congratulating me and wanting to discuss the walk. I hope I was courteous to everyone but, to be honest, I was absolutely knackered by the end of the match and not in the most sociable mood. It didn’t help that we were well beaten by quite a decent but not outstanding team.

I have had a few responses to my request on Facebook for questions. So here goes with some of them.

How are your feet? (the most common question I am asked by far)
They are OK. The soreness went within three days. I am still feeling my Achilles, particularly in the morning or if I am sat in one place for more than a few minutes, but it is not too bad.

What was the highlight of your walk?
It is a bit disingenuous to say “the end” but I was looking forward to finishing! It is very hard to pick out a particular moment but the early parts of The Great Glen Way were lovely, some of the views from the latter days on the West Highland Way were wonderful, though that was a tough time walking-wise. One of the great moments was the day I spent with Colin and Linda Lloyd when they sprang on me during their honeymoon. I loved that.

Did you ever feel like giving up?
Not really, though there were tough days. Once I reached Bath, I always thought I would complete it, apart from one evening when my back was really bad, so bad that I could not tie my laces. Fortunately, the next morning it was much better.

Did you see lots of wildlife?
Yes, though usually at a distance. Deer were prevalent in Scotland particularly. It was a sign of the terrain on that really hard day near Loch Lomond that I got pretty close to mountain goats on the path. Otherwise, more sheep than I care to mention.

How did you cope with the loneliness?
It didn’t bother me for most of the time. I was talking to Pammy every day, phone signal permitting. I did get homesick about three weeks from the end but I could deal with it on a day by day basis.

Did you find the blog a bind at times?
No. I found it massively helpful in keeping contact with friends and family and knowing there were people out there who cared and were following my progress. It has been humbling to find out that two friends who were in hospital found my blog helpful in keeping them cheerful. But no, I don’t think there was one day when I didn’t want to do the blog.

Would you do the walk again?
It depends what is meant by ‘would’ and ‘again’. I don’t regret doing it, not for one minute, so I would do it if I had my time again. But there is no way I will now ever put myself and Pammy through this again, now that I have done it once.

What is your next challenge going to be?
Don’t know, too early to say. I would like to keep up some level of walking if I can, but I will take a bit of time just to get over this one!

Are you looking forward to going back to work?
Mmm, that is Tuesday. It is going to be a bit weird for a few days and I’m not sure how quickly I will adapt to returning to what you might think is a much more routine or mundane lifestyle. I am not dreading going back, but it will be hard and, from what I have experienced in the last few days, there might be some attention for a while.

OK, for each blog post from now on, I will be posting one previously unreleased picture! This one is of a meeting between Colin Lloyd and an alpaca. No spitting took place and phone numbers were exchanged, I understand.

image

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