The plan was to walk 175 miles along the South West Coast path in 7 days, from Newquay to Mevagissey averaging 25 miles and 4,000 feet of climb per day. Celebrating the 175 years that the Rainy Day Trust has been helping people from the home improvement industry. We certainly achieved that but like all plans, things changed! My hiking partners were a friend, David Crane, and local farmer Chris Chapman who had seen our #Challenge175 Facebook posts and wanted to raise money.
On our first day the pouring rain and 30 knot winds made it hard going, with strong gusts occasionally pushing us near to the cliff edge. The hills were steeper and longer than planning had suggested – so nearer 5,000 feet which added fatigue.
Each day we were walking by sunrise, when it was safe enough to see where we were going. We saw some spectacular scenery. We walked until we hit our planned end point or it got too dark. Wherever possible we added extra to the day’s total, to reduce the final day’s section.
The terrain around the tip of Cornwall is incredibly steep in places. Early morning dew and overnight rain made it very slippery at times. Our apps showed around 58,000 steps and burning 5,500 to 6,000 calories each day. We quite literally couldn’t snack and eat fast enough to replace what we were burning. We had to maintain a solid 3mph whenever we could, just to finish the day’s stretch in daylight.
Everything was fine (despite each suffering an injury) until day 6 when we discovered the ferries from Falmouth and St Maws were being cancelled due to an exceptionally low tide. A rapid re-plan followed, skipping that section and extending the final day north (in heavy wind and rain). The final day’s weather did not improve and walking on slippery cliffs and rocks in those winds was simply too dangerous. So we cancelled. In total, we covered 156 miles, averaging 26 miles a day. We burnt 32,500 calories and took 341,000 steps, managing 33,000 feet of climb and descent.
To sign up for the Rainy Day Trust’s #Challenge175 fundraising project (to raise £175 during 2018 to support the charity’s special year) visit www.rainydaytrust.org.uk. If you need help from the Rainy
Day Trust visit the website or call the helpline on 0203 192 0486. For details on signing up your company as a Partner call the Trust on 0121 237 1132.