It has been quite a day today. I was up early this morning wondering if I really wanted to walk today. The weather hardly looked inviting and I felt unsure about my preparation. I decided to go and drove off to leave my car in Fowey with Belinda following to take me to the start of the walk. After practising my gurning whilst Belinda took pictures I set off from Charlestown. The air damp but hopefully it would get no worse.
I was carrying walking poles and as the walk started with an incline thought it would be more sensible to use them. I have arthritis in my left knee and it does not always like walking so the poles would give it support. To get the most benefit I needed to use them from the start. So I adjusted the length of the poles and off I went up the hill. The poles helped but I started to lean to one side as I walked because I hadn’t quite locked one of the telescopic poles and it shrunk every time I put weight on it. Giving up my walking leaning tower of Pisa interpretation I walked like a normal person.
Striding through the hazardous golfcourse that advertised the dangers of stray golfballs with repetitive signs. I was not fooled though because if I stood still and read the signs it was more likely they would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Signs were a curiosity and a number signs warned of dangerous cliffs that were fenced off but exposed gaps in the hedgerows on the tops of cliffs had no warnings. So far although grey was the days colour the rain was minimal until I walked into Par. The rain came down as I reached the spot of the walk that was within half a mile from my house. Despite my armchair calling me I carried on as the rain got harder. After walking about 3.5 miles I stopped at 11.30 to shelter at the toilet block at Par Beach eating my sandwich as I watched the rain
Twenty minutes later the rain easing I continued. Soon climbing the steps to the coast path above Par Beach I decided to use just one walking pole. The rain worsened and the wind blew harder and I just walked steadily. There were few other walkers and those there were had dogs. I allowed all quicker coastal path users to overtake.
Getting closer to Polkerris I looked down at the Rashleigh its pub. I was wet tired and ready for a cup of tea. Arriving at the pub at 13.15 I dripped through the door and found a table. I relaxed knowing I had gone just over half the distance but aware the remaining part was harder than had I walked so far.
Leaving the pub relieved the rain had stopped I walked up the hill on the other side of Polkerris. A familiar route brightened as the clouds cleared and gave me renewed vigour. Unfortunately renewed vigour was heavy so I left it behind halfway up the hill. I walked on towards the Gribben a coastal tower where I would have my next break. My slow but steady progress took me to the Gribben and I stopped replenishing my energy levels with strawberries and blueberries.
With lighter rucksack and fuller belly I started down the hill towards Menabilly Beach. My toes pressing against the front of the boots made me hobble down the hill until I tried walking backwards and I was able to walk normally again. At least as normally as walking backwards downhill can be. Although more comfortable, having an accident whilst walking backwards would be hard to explain so I resumed my hobbling until I reached the bottom. Passing the beach and walking up the hill I entered the field at the top and halfway across my arthritic knee made it’s first protest. With less than two miles to go and the walking poles support its protest would be in vain.
Getting ever closer with increasing tiredness I just trudged along knowing I was nearly there and then I finally was. I stood watching a handful of swimmers at Readymoney beach unable to share my triumph as my phone died. It is 4.30 and in another 15 minutes I arrive at my car in the main carpark.
I have done it. In four months I have lost weight, increased my fitness and raised money for Parkinson’s. It has been a hard day but one that ends with a smile.
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