To summarise the statistics
- 78 total days
- 69 walking days (9 rest days)
- 125 pubs visited – Over achieved as target was 100
- 8.5 kilometres per pint (including rest day pints) – Under achieved as new target was 8.2 (see day 34)
- 10.6 kilometres per pint (excluding rest day pints)
- Actual distance: 1,819 kms (1,130 miles)
- Planned distance: 1,748 kms (1,086 miles)
- 4 blisters – Over achieved as target was zero
- Injuries – 1 torn Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
- Also completed Scotland Coast to Coast (Great Glen Way)
My reasons to do the trip were:
- To have a big adventure – achieved
- Get out of my office & away from the computer for 3 months – partially achieved. I got out of office and kept mostly away from the computer
- Fresh air and exercise – achieved, with exception of fumes while road walking
- Challenge myself – achieved
- Get fitter/lose weight – achieved. I’m much fitter than when I started and lost 12kgs on trip
- See parts of England & Scotland that normal tourists don’t go – achieved
- Visit some (or lots) of local pubs – over achieved
I would like to thank:
- Everyone who contacted me with messages via the blog, WhatsApp, email, messenger, phone calls, etc. You can’t understand how these messages gave me a pickup & spurred me on when I was walking by myself up & down roads/tracks for hours on end. The encouragement, checking up on me, news, gossip, smart arse comments & occasional wind-up were great.
- Everyone I met on the walk and especially those that spent multiple days walking with me (special thanks to Geordie George & Steve Rawlins).
- Random members of the public who offered help (food, water, cup of tea, a pint, etc.) when they found out what I was doing. It showed me that there are lots of good people in the world that are ready to help a stranger.
- Todd & Stacey who came to Chester/Liverpool to celebrate my birthday and give the numbers of pints a big boost.
- Steve and Kate who looked after me in Manchester and for my rest day took me on a pub crawl.
- Truck Drivers in England & Scotland – They are the best as always gave me the widest berth possible when I walking on the roads and would be completely on the other side of the road where possible.
- The Weather Gods – I was blessed with amazing weather and couldn’t have picked a better time to do this walk.
I haven’t really thought that much about my whole trip over the last couple of days, but it was very strange waking up and not having a plan of what to do for the day and not having to walk 5 to 6 hours.
I can’t believe that I have been away for 12 weeks. The start of my trip in Land’s End just over 11 weeks ago seems such a distant memory. I think this is because I have seen & experienced so much and meet so many great people and it is all is all now a bit of a blur. I will have to spend some time over the next few weeks reading my blog, so I can revisit & remind myself of everything that happened.
I have been asked quite a few times what the highlight of my trip has been and for me it has been the people. I have meet lots of great people and many went out of there way to make me feel welcome and offered support/assistance. I crossed paths with some people very briefly and others I spent hours or days with, but they were what made the trip enjoyable.
Before I started, I read a lot of blogs by people who had done LEJOG. Some people said that their biggest challenge was mental and not physical, but I didn’t have that issue. I only had one bad day early on when I must have got out of the wrong side of the bed and was grumpy before I even started walking. I’m sure that if I had bad weather for a lot of the trip, the mental side of it would have been a much bigger challenge and as I mentioned before the messages I received from people were a great help.
I also didn’t find physical side that bad either as the only job I had each day was to get from point A to point B on the map and I had the whole day to do it. I was very happy that I took other bloggers advice and didn’t try to do ridiculous amounts of distance each day (with exception of those days near the start of the trip when I keep getting lost) and had a rest day once a week. These rest days were critical to kick back, relax, be a tourist and enjoy where I was. You don’t have to be fit to do this trip and I certainly wasn’t when I started but you get fitter quickly as you start walking. The trip wasn’t totally pain free and sore muscles in the morning was the standard. It always took me a while to get going in the morning but once I got warmed up, muscles were okay.
People have also commented, that it must be lonely walking by yourself. I didn’t find this as I ended up talking to random people everywhere and on some of the formal trails (Pennine Way, West Highland Way, Great Glen Way) there were lots of other walkers to join up with or chat to. Walking by myself also let my mind wander to think about lots of random things, day dream and on a few paths/canals I even put on headphones and listened to music/sung. I apologize to other people/cyclists on these paths that heard my singing as it would have been a scary experience.
I have also been asked what’s next. I have no idea, but I think I need to have a rest and let my body recover as it was starting to struggle the last few days? Hopefully it doesn’t have a complete melt down in the next few weeks.
Thanks to everyone who followed, read about and commented on my little adventure. For those thinking about doing a long-distance walk like LEJOG or a long trip somewhere, go for it.
Final thought – It was lucky that I didn’t find out about this National Day until June 22nd.