Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Big steps!!!

Hello tout le monde,

How do you like the french? Didn't know I was that clever did you? Ha!

Anyway, sitting here outside McDonalds because its the only place with a signal and only got twenty minutes left of power time on the laptop so better get on.

Got to Brixham today - very hard walk, lots of steep uphills to contend with and some of the silliest steps yet! There were several steps that came halfway up my thigh and so very nearly defeated me. Think I'm exagerating? Ok, get up and go stand in front of your coffee table, add a couple of books to make it higher. Ready? Now, imagine you have to put one foot up onto those books, there's no other way to go, you're standing on a slope and it's wet, muddy and slippery.There's also a rather alarming drop to one side of you with sticky-out rocks and wet stuff at the bottom. How's it going so far? Oh yes, forgot to mention, there's nothing to hold onto for leverage either, so yes, I moan about big steps but with good reason I think.

Charlie's cooking dinner tonight - salmon, new potatoes and salad. That'll give the people at the new campsite something to wonder at. They keep stopping and staring at us and give us some odd looks which are not entirely pleasant. The last site was friendly, personable and had a nice type of people camped there. This one seems to have a different sort altogether who can only think the worst of anything they find a little different from the norm. Maybe it'll improve, who knows, but we move on after anotther two nights anyway.

Well, gotta go again. For the factoid geeks, it's day 78 and I've walked 487.5 miles. Only 21 days to go, three weeks, whooppee - I'm dreaming of that kettle with a switch and sinking into my comfy bed mmmmm............

Bye all, look after yourselves,

Love, Susan xxx

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Dogs, docs and a darned sore throat!

Hi all,

It's sunday morning and I'm just waiting for Charlie to finish getting ready and then we'll be off for today's walk.
Yesterday was glorious sunshine as I walked from Salcombe to Lannacombe Bay. It's a spectacular part of the coast here and the boats and the houses and the people are noticeably different too - bigger in the case of the boats and houses, posher in the case of the people! That being said, they are more generous, giving more time to listen to what I have to say and putting notes rather than coins in my collecting box. Met a nice doc yesterday with his wife and mother or mother-in-law. It's sad that he wasn't surprised by what had happened to Charlie, he was disgusted but not surprised. Anyway, told him it was great to meet a good doc and that made two with my brother Chris!
Today I walk around Start Point and on to Torcross. I always imagined Torcross to be a sizeable place but it's not at all. Tomorrow I'll walk along the road between the sea and Slapton Ley which will be flat but interesting - the Ley is an important wildlife reserve.

For those of you wanting facts and figures, today is day 75, and I have now walked 453 miles! Can't believe it's so close to the end already.

Feeling better today - got a nasty sore throat and my glands are big and painful but definitely feeling better than yesterday so the huge doses of orange juice and fresh air are working.

Well, Charlie should be ready by now. I'm sitting on the steps to the loo block at this campsite - its the only place I could get a signal to connect to the internet! It's a great site called Old Cotmore Farm. Couldn't be more different from the last which we were pleased to leave.

Got to bathe Milo's eye before we go too cos it's been very mucky the last few days. We'll have to find a vet if it doesn't clear up soon. Otherwise the dogs are all fine. Treacle is just Treacle, sleeping and wagging her tail in equal measures, Mac has good days and bad days; sometimes he gets scared by a noise he doesn't understand and he'll shake uncontrollably for hours, or 'see' something that terrifies him but at other times he's just like the old Mac.

Time to go walkies.
Take care all,
Love Susan x

Ps Well done Vicky on your Sunshine Cafe - can't wait to visit for a coffee and a bacon sarnie!

Monday, 10 May 2010

bodies, birthday and bumps!!!

I just wrote this blog and when I posted it, it disappeared!!!
So, bodies first. We were joined by various bodies this week - first was my big bruvver, Colin, who walked some of the way with me but had a bad knee and pleurisy so had very good excuses for not doing much. Then Mo ( from Rhydwyn) and her sister Janet joined me with puppy Sam. They walked with me from Rame Head then turned back at Kingsand to return to their car. It was great to have some company again and to catch up with everybody.
Then the birthday = Charlie turned 25 on saturday. After I arrived at cremyll we went to my uncles in Yelverton for dinner. It was lovely to see David and Jilly again after so long, diiner was delicious, Charlie's chocolate birthday cake scrummy, and what a treat to sit on comfy chairs and eat at a table with real china and glass!
Sunday was not such a good day. Moving day again, so we packed up early, drove to Cremyll where I caught the ferry and then walked thru Plymouth. Wonderful city full of history, the expected and some unexpected - Did you know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a doctor in Plymouth before moving to Southsea and writing Sherlock Holmes books? There are bronze plaques with famous quotes from his books set into the pavement all along the road where he practised medicine.
We had decided to do the walk first because the campsite was booked and to go there first would involve a lot of driving. Arrived at Mount Batten Point and set off to find campsite. Hmmm....written in the folder as Vern Farm, turned out to be Venn Farm and a campsite perched on a very steepslope and totally unsuited to a person on wheels. Couldn't find another nearby so decided to go to the next booked site and ask if we could do two extra nights. Long drive later we found the next site - a rough, rutted field with a portacabin affair in the corner, even less suitable for wheelchairs. we sspent a long time phoning and driving and eventually found a site a long way inland. Unfortunately its £20 a night which has eaten in to the budget dramatically but at least we had the tent pitched just before dark,
Oh yes, the bump bit in the title. Slipped on some loose stuff, leg folded up under me and twisted - result, sprained medial ligaments in the right knee. Doc at the hospital advised rest for a few days but then the campsites would all be in the wrong places, we'd finish even later and we already have two extra days at the end and also I think if I stopped everwhere els would seize up and then I'd never getstarted again. So, I've got a strong knee brace that doesn't fit under my trousers so I'll wear it on the outside and look all dramatic and brave.
By the way, it was day 69 today, so only thirty to go - whoopee!!!
Take care all of you and see you all soon,
Love, Susan x

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Day 63, 385.7 miles done!

Good evening all,

As you can see from the title, we now have a lot of miles under our belts (so to speak).
Walked to Polperro today - I was struggling a bit and then I looked at the South West Coastpath Assoc Guide and discovered that whilst todays stretch of coastline is magnificent, it is also the most challenging on the south coast. That would explain all the puffing and blowing then! I decided to count steps again when I saw a tall flight ahead of me; 119 up, then 20 or so down, then 172 up and then 154 down - you try it and see if you get a bit puffed. The 119 was actuallt the middle third of the slope, so just when you think your achilles tendons are about to explode you start on the stairs and then when your knees are screaming you get back to the achilles tendons. All great fun on a sunny tuesday morning.
Polperro is very quaint, very picturesque and very sure of itself and its beauty, but you can't deny that it is a very nice place. Charlie had to wait for me at the top so I treated Milo and me to a ride on the horse-drawn wagon to the car park. He was quite happy to climb the steps at the back and be made a fuss of by the horsewoman but when we set off he was a bit startled to realise that not only were we moving but that there was a huge beastie out front!
Had more fun and games with campsites as the one we were due to go to tomorrow, when checked on today, suggested we go take a look and see if Charlie would be able to negotiate the steps to the disabled suite!! Hmmm..... think we've found one, not as convenient but ok for Charlie.
Colin is meant to be coming down tomorrow but he might not now; he has pleurisy so he'll see how he feels in the morning and then decide. Charlie was looking forward to seeing a different face for her birthday on saturday - think she's sick of the sight of mine!
Time to beat Charlie at cards again. I'm the bees knees at rummy at the moment asltho I'm sure my luck will change soon.
Milo is a bit lame tonight so I'll see how he is tomorrow and might have to take a detour to a vet between campsites in the morning. At least its only a 5 mile walk tomorrow so should fit it all in.
I'll let you know how he gets on. Mac and Treacle are doing fine. Mac has good days and bad but Treacle just goes along as usual, placid and easy-going as ever.
Charlie's shuffling cards and this typing is giving me cramp in my hands.
Take care all,
Susan x

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Par - well below par!

Hi all,

Well, moved again - last campsite was awesome! Tregarton Park, so far the best by far but this one now is coming in a close second. We're at Penmarlam, Bodinnick. Just across the river from Fowey and tomorrow I walk from Par to Fowey. If anyone is tempted to try a holiday in Par - think again, please. With all due respect to those unfortunate enough to live in Par, it's horrid.
Todays walk was very reflective of my destination today. I walked out of Charlestown, along the back of some houses, then along the back of Carlyon Bay Hotel, then spotted Carlyon Bay beach which is totally unusable because its a huge derelict building and a building site for future developement, and then I walked alongside Carlyon Golf course and so to Par where I walked between two high chainlink fences and then along a road - all very scenic!!!

It was a short walk tho, so afterwards we went off to Eden Project, which just gets better and better. There was a quote from Tim Smit, co-founder of Eden, which sums up what I'm doing; I'd rather it said on my tombstone, ' I'm glad I did ', than ' I wish I had '.

Yesterday was Mevagissey to Charlestown, quite a long one, especially on moving day, altho the day before I went a little further to the outskirts of Mevagissey to shorten the moving day load.

Mevagissey is as beautiful as ever but seems to have felt the recession hard - there were quite a few places for sale which of course I made great plans for, just in case my ship comes in, or some handsome and wealthy man should whisk me off my feet! So far, Mevagissey is still my favourite place.

The day before was interesting. Walked thru Gorran Haven and as I passed a house on the way out of the village a lady said good morning and then invited me in for a cuppa - which turned out to be a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a prayer for Charlie and for me! Her name was Doris, she was 87 and still did her own garden, which we sat in overlooking the sea.

Today was Day 61!!!!! That means that the days left are in the thirties which is incredible since we started with 99 to do. Still feeling quite good too. Knees are a bit achy and other bits seize up quicker than they used to, ankles are no longer shapely but rather puffed up and the nose is on about it's seventh peel, so alls well.

Think I'll finish now and beat Charlie at cards. She keeps making 'I'm bored' noises, but its because it takes me so long to type in the half light and she finds my typing speed a bit laughable in normal circumstances anyway.

Colin, big brother, is coming on wednesday to spend a few days with us. It'll be great to see him and to have some company while I'm walking - admittedly Milo always listens and never disagrees but he doesn't really add a great deal to our discussions.

Hope to blog again in a day or so,
Bye for now,
Susan x