‘Walking rookie’ to Completer

Little did I know, as I stood as a “walking rookie” in Minehead in 2009, what a fabulous journey was in front of me.

On 26th March 2019, at 1.30 pm, I finally arrived at South Haven Point, 10 years older than when I started. Little did I know, as I stood as a “walking rookie” in Minehead in 2009, what a fabulous journey was in front of me. Living in Birmingham, it was not always possible to travel down to the South West as often as I would have liked. I managed 27 journeys, down and back, staying in a total of 33 B&Bs, all of which were great, bar one (who will go nameless). My walking plan was, where possible to stay in a central point and use public transport (not always easy in latter years), walk 3-4 sections over the same number of days. This often led to my walking section “back to front”.

In all my 10 years, I only got soaking wet on three occasions, once in a “closed up” Porlock were I was rescued by a kindly school bus driver. The second, whilst lost in the dunes approaching Rock (but was given a free drink at the local pub) and walking back on the long eastern side of Portland, with not a bit of shelter in sight…….all good fun though!

Scary but sometimes funny moments were, walking around Great Red on the high level path to Lynmouth, and being blown sideways by gale force wind, crossing Gillan Creek on an incoming tide, and end up rather wet, and climbing Bindon Hill just outside Lulworth, where looking back was not an option.

Memories are too numerous to mention, but just one or two that stick in the mind – the glorious rhododendrons along the Exmoor woodland, the view from the Golden Cap on a glorious sunny February day and the very scenic Helford & Hayle estuaries.

Well done everyone at the South West Coast Path Association for work you put in to create this wonderful Path, I have enjoyed every minute…….can I now at long last, claim my 630 mile certificate!

With thanks and best wishes

John Foster


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