Celebrations over, on our return to Blighty we realised that some of the small ferries operating on the South West Coast Path (SWCP) had stopped operating for the year and if we were to start back then we would need to take some of the less travelled, inland routes, something I did not fancy doing so late in the year. If nothing else I have learned that I want to enjoy the walking and trudging and camping in the October rains did not hold out much promise for that.
Everything I have read about the SWCP has convinced me that while beautiful it is physically challenging. The one hundred miles of the path we did in August demonstrated that, after walking for some months in the flat terrain of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, Hampshire and Sussex, we needed a different, more robust kind of fitness for the SWCP challenge.
While we hummed and hawed and considered a final outing for the year, numerous big storms came and went and I was reminded just how miserable I was at times walking and camping in Essex in the rain day after day. Eventualy we decided to call a halt for this year, work on the fitness, particularly strengthening our legs for carrying forty pound packs up and down the too numerous hills and dales of Devon and Cornwall. The plan now is to start back at the beginning of April 2018 with the intention of completing the remaining five-hundred mile plus of the SWCP in one go and then from there, hopefully, continue the journey to start in on Wales.
In the meantime, I will work over the winter months at trying to write up the outstanding thirty or so walks that we have completed this year. Many thanks to all the friends who supported us, including many new friends and supporters in campsites, Airbnb and B&B establishments. We could not have done it without you! See you in 2018.