Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Journey Home

After spending a few days relaxing in Brixham, Paignton and Torquay we set off home only to end up 8 hours sitting on the m5 3 miles north of the Avon bridge watching kids playing football and hockey on the fast lane and people walking dogs and babies on the hard shoulder, because some idiot decided to spoil our day by trying to jump off after 3 months on the road with very few problems it was a shame to end up in this ............ but wouldn't have missed any of it. So it goes.......

Thursday, 27 August 2009

The End Post

At last as i walked into lands about 4.20 and 66 days on the 25th August a voice over the tanoy welcomed me in and people applauded it was a real nice feeling. A great sense of acheivement and at last it was done.

It is so different to John O Groat very touristy with little amusements and coffee shops. Attractions and lots of people. At the post a picture and another spontanious round of applause

The End 25th August 2009

The Start 1st June 2009

A glass of champagne to celebrate and to raise a toast to all the people who have raised money for cancer research a big thankyou to all the campsites and superstores for the donations.

And a special thankyou to sherpa dennisterlee could not have done it without you xxx.

This has been a summer to remember a wonderful adventure. Time now to reflect and decide on the next big adventure.


Halsetown - LANDS END August 24th Day 64

The day has arrived today i will arrive in lands end its 16 miles away and i can taste it. A nice walk in sunshine through Zennor, Pendeen Sands and St Just. I finally had a cornish past in St Just very nice it was.

A sight to behold. 64 days over 1100 miles really not sure how i feel at the moment just want to get there and touch the post.

Walking the last bit down past the airport i could see the end of the coast.

It was nice to finish this with sunshine. A real sense of acheivment.

Portreath - Halsetown August 24 Day 63

Back on the road and right decision to get off the SWC path. With sea on my right all the way i headed for Hayle and then onto St Ives a very hilly busy place.
But only one day to lands end. Staying at a nice little campsite for free again very busy.

Perranparth - Portreath August 22 Day 62

This is a beautifull coast line and the path is a nice walk although sometimes hard work. With sea breeze i plodded on to Portreath. The last part of the cliff path had been closed due to coastal erosion. So a little walk on a lane. To a campsite called Cambrose and a day off tomorrow. Thankyou very much for free camping and a very nice campsite it was. I think i'm going to get off this coast path it is such slow going and the end post is in sight. And barring accidents i can be there in two days by road.

St Columbus Major - Perranporth August 21st Day 61

With Newquey just 7 miles down the road off i went into tourism hell. Pass the airport. There was a spitfire in a garden and various other bits of aircrafts in others. Arriving in Newquey was a shock to the system people everywhere wondering aimlessly round shops full of tatt. Surf boards and beach bums everywhere. What a place. One redeeming feature was a pub called Leadbellies. Here i was going to join the Southwest Coastal Path for my final walk into lands end. but first i had to get to perranporth. This path although beautifull scenery can be testy at times. It was so nice to see the sea after so long. It was a long old slog to the campsite in and out and up and down.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Cardinham - St Columbus Major August 20th Day 60

By passing Bodmin on the lanes down through Victoria walking into the wind all day. Walking on the old A30 with new one just to my left. That was busy busy. A long straight road with very little to look at. The camp for the evening was called Trekening just by St Columbus Major. It was very busy full of kids and noise. The saving grace was it had Baths wow lovely a nice soak. Well worth the £1 in the water meter.

Minions - Cardinham August 19th Day 59

Waterproof day to day it was very misty and damp. Walking across the top of the moors across Browngelly Downs and through St Neot down to Cardinham Woods to a campsite that was awful. It had one toilet no basin and the showers, well the solar bags hung up in the barn left a lot be disired and they charged £10 wont be going back there. It was wet night on the side of a hill and in the morning the fog so thick you could not see the woods across the field.

The view from the tent in the evening

Tin Hay - Minions August 18th Day 58

From Tin Hay i left the camp and just up the road was the sign i wanted to see.Yippee the last County Cornwall. After 58 days the home stretch was in front of me. On the B3254 a nice walking day weather wise walking on the edge of Bodmin Moor with the wild horses and open area very nice. Looks like 66-1 shot one joe would back.
The open moors a lovely with the Hurlers Stone Circle in view and lots of chimney type building dotted about these i think are something to do with tin mining. The Evening camp was behind yet another pub a 16th century inn. Who let people camp behind it and we were not alone as there was a community of travellers living there. In the evening over a pint i met a fellow Steve who had made his living mainly picking. He told me about his last job which was picking nettle leaves that were used to cover cheese. Amazing £11 a kilo he said after a while he could not feel the ends of his fingers what a charactor. And a woman who called herself a Prayer Mother called Megarry who offered to do any washing we had and donated £5.00 thankyou. And a thankyou to nobby the landlord who let us camp for free.

Oakhampton - Tin Hay August 17th Day 57

On the lanes again through Bridestowe a nice little town with the river West Okement running through. A long walk to the camp mainly up hill. A nice little site thanks for the Donation. There were a couple of little camper with fella's in who had been working in the area.

Crediton - Oakhampton August 16th Day 56

On country lanes all day through Yeoford to wards South Tawton. A nice little village where i got a cuppa of the WI very nice too. The only campsite for miles was closed in 2006 so a wild camp would have been nice so pitching up the tent in a feild only to be told that i had to move on because the cows were going to be released there. There is one thing i have noticed since arriving in Devon the free camping is few and far between the stores are less eager to give gift vouchers. And in the middle of nowhere the post offices and shops are porta cabins again like in scotland. This one is in Thoreverton.

Tiverton - Crediton August 14th Day 55

Leaving the canal behind i attempted to walk the River Exe path which i must say is none exsistant so backon the road i went. Its sad that these paths are not maintained because they would make lovely walks. And walked to Bickleigh to the bridge over trouble waters which i am told is the inspiration for the Simon and Garfunkel song. A very nice sight too.

The roads here are so narrow and quite busy so off to the lanes for me. Although much quieter but nothing but high hedges on either sides. It was like being a giant maze. Tonights camp was in a place called No mans Land. There was one other camper there who had a party on the evening to meet the new inlaws as there daughter was getting married the next day in Exeter. Thanks again for the free camp.

Wellington - Tiverton August 13th Day 55

Today i arrived in Devon mainly along the A38 a busy road getting on the canal at Sandford Peverell and a nice walk to Tiverton. A very hot day and a long walk. Much nicer by the side of water. Luckly there was a lot of shade. Funny not seeing one boat on the canal all day. Tonights camp was very nice at the back of a pub in Sandford called the Merrymead that used to be a family home a massive place. A few beers in the evening in the pub very nice too. Thanks for your hospitality. At the weekend there was to be a vintage car rally so four or five blokes tidying the ground all falling over each other very funny.

The end of the canal at Tiverton

Bridgwater-Wellington August 12th Day 54

Todays walk was mainly along the A38 the weather is sunny perfect walking weather. Just before Taunton on to the river Tone which went right through the town. A busy little place. Tonight staying at a little campsite for free thanks very much. Well i've see some things in my time but this made me laugh. A man who was visiting from Hong Kong with his wife hired this
Campers r us from london £40 a day it was really funny watching them trying to sort out where to put everything so they could sleep.
Soon after arriving we met up with a Dutch Couple who were cycling and shared a meal of jacket spuds cooked in the bucket. A very pleasant evening.
Just outside the camp was this Varda with a an old gypsy lady and her horse it was a lovely sight.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Churchill - Bridgwater August 11th Day 53

Thanks West End Campsite for two nights free camping. It was nice to have my son come and stay on sunday we had a good evening catching up and then seeing the princess on monday was a real treat.
So todays walk the weather was sunny with a gently breeze a pleasant days walking. All on the A38.

Bristol - Churchill 9th August Day 52

Out of the city it was nice to see countryside again. Passed Bristol Airport on right. Passed car storage places. The landscape is becoming a bit more hilly moving towards Devon

Having Day off tomorrow for daughters birthday so a day spent in Weston Super Mare awaits.

Falfield - Bristol August 8th Day 51

Because i was staying another night at Hogsdown i made my way back to Bristol. The traffic on A38 was horrendous bumper to bumper for miles i thought it funny that i was walking faster and getting futher than anyone else sitting in their cars on a red hot sunny day. In Bristol there was a cider festival hard to walk past but i kept my head down and carried on. Also Bristol Rovers where playing at home so the streets were full of people sitting outside little bars all merry. And to add to the traffic problems a balloon festival was going on too. There had been some accidents on the M5 so all traffic had ended up going right through the town. I was pleasantly suprised Bristol is a nice cosmopolitan place.

Moreton Valence - Falfield August 7th Day 50

Back on the A38 and nice weather. Its a long straight road going through villages i feel ok my feet are healing nicely thanks to compeed. These new boots ripped my feet to bits the first day so walking has been a little bit uncomfortable the last couple of days. Tonight stayed in a smashing campsite called Hogsdown and there Jenny and Neville the owners made us very welcome even inviting us to stay another night for free and join in a 70th Birthday party being held the next night. A nice time thank you and guess who turned up Sofie minus Patch the dog who had been sent home due to trouble with cows so it was nice to see she was ok and still getting on.

Shuthonger - Moreton Valence 6th August Day 49

Down through the nice little market town of Tewksbury on a sunny, at last day. Plenty of blue rinse getting off coaches. Lots of people pottering about. A long day today. Because i intend to get through Gloucester. Ended up back on the canals for a short time a very nice day. Stayed in a funny campsite called Gables Farm. I think it was a place for workers of the land mainly foreign. There were two lovely big old Campers on the site. There was a beautiful sunset that night.

Kempsey - Shuthonger 5th August Day 48

At last on the road A38 with the Malverns on my right. This may not be everybodys ideal route but some of the paths leave a lot to be desired. And with the weather being up and down its best for me.
Any way the countryside is very nice with farms and little villages along the way. This road walking is more enjoyable. Stayed on a lovely site just opened called Sunrise Camp Site. Very nice and clean and for free thankyou.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Holt Fleet to Kempsy 4th August Day 47

Along the river severn but this is not enjoyable would prefer to be on the roads so at the Ketch i climbed out the bog and onto the roads and in new boots set off again pounding the roads. As you can see these ones are slightly worn out .

Wolverly - Holt Fleet July 29th Day 46

Following the canal through Kidderminster onto stourport then picking up the river severn and the severn path. Not really a path at all. All over grown and boggy i am looking forward to having the weekend off. Going to stay at the Wharf which used to by my local when i lived in Worcester say hello to some old friends and visit some family and people raising money.

Coven to Wolverly July 28th Day 45

All the way along the canal at last a nice day. So many boats along this stretch and many in need of repair. The path was boggy and i slipped my way there. At some points i was more like bambi than a walker.

Rugeley - Coven July 26th Day 44

A very long day across cannock chase on the heritage trail to coven and two days by the canal i just wish the weather would brighten up it just makes it so miserable. I would like to say a very big thankyou to the Wolverhampton Boat Club who gave a warm welcome and a safe camping spot by the side of the canal. Looks like tomorrow off the weather is awfull and weather warnings everywhere. Will see you phil on the way back up thanks for looking after some things see you soon.

Marchington - Rugley July 25th Day 43

Along Blithfield Resovoir nice and flat getting a pace on now not a lot to say about this section the countryside all seams the same now.

Alton - Marchington July 24th Day 42

Towards Uttoxeter along country lanes another wet miserable day. Thanks to Tesco and Morrisons for the vouchers. And Argos for the new tent. All the wet weather had made a real impression on the the old tent and it leaked like a sieve. Spending two nights on this campsite for nothing again so thankyou for that.

Warslow - Alton July 23rd Day 41

A very hilly day to day towards Alton Towers weather not bad. Passed the world headquarters for JCB massive place. Tonight camped in a lane next to another dairy farm and the farmer sent out an electric extention so i was able to get everything dry. Thanks for that.

Buxton - Warlsow July 22nd Day 40

A miserable wet day again it can get to you after a while everything soaking wet. Across the peak district mainly farming land the country side all seams to blend into one on wet horrible days when is the weather going to break where's the summer they promised ha anyway on and on i came across a big bookshop in the middle of nowhere how do they stay open..

New Mills - Buxton July 22nd Day 40

Today was really nice my brother did the 13 miles with me along the canal to Whaley bridge then following the river Gowt Valley Resovoir it took out alot of climbs and as i finished the heavens opened again. Stayed at a nice little campsite. The camps have been good also mostly not charging so thank you to them.

Denshaw - New Mills July 20th Day 39

I had a long day to day i wanted to get the new mills where my brother dave lives so it was good slog. Again the rain came. I walked through Delph and D0bbs Cross it was pretty miserable some summer this has turned out to be but got to get there and day off tomorrow. Taking the canal path from Greenfield to Stalybridge and up on a good climb to New Mills via Roweth. Staying at my brothers for two days get some washing done and relax.

Hebdon Bridge - Denshaw July 19th Day 38

Todays walk through Sowerby across saddleworth moor was a nice day the weather being kind makes a change i've really enjoyed this walk and this part of the country is very pleasant camping in a farmers field again to night. The only problem with wild camps is the weather but all the way farmers have been very good. Also the supermarkets Asda, Tesco etc have donated money cards to buy freash food so a very big thank you to them.