…………. Rob, Rosie, John and Felicity completed their south west coastal path trek. They started from Minehead some time in 2004 and have set aside two weeks a year – give or take- to walk their way round to South Haven Point in Poole Harbour. Weather-wise the week was pretty filthy, but the group managed to complete their daily targets, with one or two minor modifications, and they somehow avoided getting soaked or blown away.
The achievement is enviable and how I would love to have such a venture under my belt. I joined them on the final day when we walked from Durlston Head to the finishing post. Whilst on Ballard Down and walking down towards Old Harry and his wife we were treated to a fly past by solitary low-flying RAF aircraft. It made several circuits across to the Needles on the Isle of Wight. Later whilst enjoying an ice cream break the plane made several passes over Studland Bay and then dropped a boat and some parachutists just offshore.
We were met along the way by another friend, Steph, and a bit later by a couple Rob and Rosie met in Mauritius, who are also walking the south west path and have got as far as St Ives. They produced champagne and chocolate-coated strawberries from a cool box at the finishing line. The final stretch was made all the more special by the arrival of Ingram children and grandchildren to share the final meters. Later Nick and I joined the walkers and the Ingram clan for a celebratory dinner at the Knoll House Hotel.
Much as I love to be by the coast I’m unlikely to tackle the full distance of the south west coastal path. But I am minded to undertake a walking project and the White Horse Way in Wiltshire seems to beckon. I just need to conjur up some companions…..