Monday, 30 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Arriving Home

Well we are now home. After a couple of days to rest and then a major family gathering to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday, we travelled home on Sunday afternoon, still a bit sore and weary but recovering day by day.



As we now look back on the past two weeks we feel a deep sense of achievement that we have completed the challenge we set ourselves. I am sure we will always look back on this time as something very significant, maybe even a once in a lifetime adventure. Who knows? But we are now back and raring to get on with the next phase as we focus on the General Election and getting me elected as the MP for St Austell and Newquay - 312 days and counting.

The #walk2westminster was something that came about as a direct result of me being selected as the Parliamentary Candidate for this area. I guess it was in some way symbolic of my commitment and determination to get to Westminster. It certainly has been an experience where I have learned a great deal about myself. Maybe I will write more about that another time.

For now the most important thing I want to do is say a big thank you to all those who helped us to achieve our goal. Although Anne and I were the ones who walked the 267 miles, there was a small army of people who helped make it possible.

First of all I want to say a huge thank you to Johnny Hawkins at Hawkins Motors who loaned us the use of his van to be our support truck. It was perfect for the job and we are incredibly grateful.

Also, to Ian Jenkins at Cornwall Signs, who blinged it up for us with the logos and pictures. This made sure we got noticed and resulted in a number of donations from people we met on route. It also helped get us an upgrade in our hotel at the end of the walk! Then there is Lex Dezigns and Tevy (Tony Goodman) who provided our clothing. Again we are most grateful for their support.




We must also thank all those that supported us on the route. The people that came and drove the support van: Neil Bate, Richard Pears, Stephen Rushworth, Jill Bunt, Josh Double, Alan Blasdale and Jeremy Culverhouse. Additionally those who joined us by walking with us for part of the route: James Mustoe, Phil Bunt (who did two whole days) Matt Double and Jacob Double. Along with those who gave us a bed and food along the way: Kathryn Swaffield, Jo Pearse and Jeremy and Sarah Culverhouse. We cannot say enough how much we appreciated their support.

We were overwhelmed by the level of support we had from people from all over the country but especially from Cornwall. The constant messages of support and encouragement made a huge difference and kept us going when the going got tough. We were amazed at the level of interest there was in what we were doing. My website received over 3000 hits from different individuals. We received many hundreds of ‘likes’ and comments on Facebook and I attracted almost 100 new followers on Twitter. Some of the comments we received from people, telling us that Cornwall was proud of us and that we were inspiring others by what we were doing were incredible and completely unexpected. We undertook this challenge primarily as a personal challenge, but we are delighted that it also seems to have struck a chord with so many others.

I must also mention James Mustoe who has been helping me to keep this blog up to date and posting the blog every evening from the rough words and pictures I was sending him. He’s done a great job.

And finally, but most importantly, a huge thank you must go to all those who donated. We are especially grateful to Dave and Mark Simpson who started the ball rolling with £1000 from Kingsley Village. But we have had over 100 individual donations and we are very grateful for everyone, whatever the amount. The total is now approaching £6500. This is incredible and I am sure will make a big difference to the two charities we are supporting. Once again Cornwall has shown what an amazing, generous and community spirited bunch of people we are.


So thank you to everyone who helped make our adventure possible, who helped us along the way and who donated to the cause in whatever way. But for one last time (maybe). If you haven’t yet donated here is where can - http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/doublesteve


Friday, 27 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Day 13- The Final Day

Well we made it! At around 10.45am on Thursday 26th June we walked into Parliament Square. The completion of a challenge, an adventure and an amazing journey.  


Unfurling St. Piran's cross!

The evening before we had walked some of the remaining 8 miles we had left from Richmond to Westminster, in order to make sure we were not under too much pressure on the final morning. These were very painful steps after that day’s walk but we felt it was worth it to make sure we could enjoy the final day as much as possible.

This left us with just 5 miles left to complete and our route took us from Fulham along the King’s Road through Chelsea, past Buckingham Palace and behind Downing Street and The Treasury into Parliament Square.

We were joined on this final leg of the journey by Kevin Werry, an old school friend of mine from Poltair. Kevin now lives just outside London and had offered to come and join in the final day with us.


With Kevin

As we approached the final stretch we first came to a sign telling us we were entering the City of Westminster. This really did tell us we were almost at the end. Then we saw Buckingham Palace and couldn’t resist a quick picture with our St Piran’s Flag. We then heard Big Ben chime. The famous clock tower has been the symbol of our destination for the whole of this walk and I must admit hearing the sound of the world famous bells felt really emotional. We could now hear we were almost there.


Entering the City of Westminster

Then around the next corner and we could see it. It was now in sight.


There it is!

As we walked into the square and stood in front of the Palace of Westminster there was a very strange mix of emotions. A deep sense of achievement that we had completed the challenge we set ourselves, and some had thought we would not be able to do. A sense of relief that it was over and the pain and discomfort could now end. A genuine gratitude for all those who had helped us in achieving our aim.


With my darling wife Anne on Parliament Square

A few minutes after we walked into the square our sons Josh and Jacob arrived along with our friends Jeremy and Sarah. It was wonderful to see the boys and for them to join in the celebrations with us.

We had hoped that the Prime Minister might have been able to spare a few minutes for us to meet him but unfortunately in the end his diary wouldn’t allow for it. So we were greeted at the House of Commons by one of our Cornish MPs and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, Sarah Newton. She had arranged for some of MPs to be there to meet us who congratulated us on completing our walk.


With Sarah Newton MP 

Then we moved back out into Parliament Square where we were joined by a number of friends, some from Cornwall and other parts of the country who happened to be in London, others who lived and worked there. We really appreciated all those who made the effort to come and see us and provided the bubbly!

So that was it. We had done it; 267 miles over 594,000 steps over 13 days. I am sure we will reflect more of what this amazing adventure has meant to us in the coming days.

This walk was always firstly a personal challenge. It was something we felt we wanted, even needed to do for ourselves as a demonstration of our desire and determination for me to become the MP for St Austell and Newquay next year. We wanted to see if we were capable of something we never dreamed we would be able to do and thankfully we found we were. Now bring on the challenge to get elected!



But of course it was also about supporting two really vital charities that provide essential services to the people of Cornwall. We are amazed and grateful for all that who have donated to The Children’s Hospice SW and The Cornwall Air Ambulance. We stand at £5843.75 raised. It would be wonderful to make it to £6000 so please do donate if you haven’t yet done so.


We are now spending a few days relaxing and allowing our feet to recover and also celebrating my father’s 80th Birthday with a big family gathering in Swindon. We will then travel home to Cornwall on Sunday and look forward to being back in the homeland, seeing all our friends who have been so incredibly supportive over the last two weeks, Tom  and of course our dogs!  Then it is back to the election campaign from Monday. For more information on my campaign in general please see my website www.stevedouble.org.uk


And I'm spent!


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Day 12

Today was our last full day of walking. I must admit I am feeling quite different to how I imagined I would feel at this stage. The last few days have really been a struggle. Anne's shin splints have been quite debilitating for her. We are both developing more blisters, and now blisters on blisters, and our feet are incredibly sore.

I imagined we would be buzzing as we reached the end of our adventure, but I think we are both feeling quite flat and just wanting the pain to be over.

So we woke up early as usual and packed our stuff. We were leaving Jeremy and Sarah's who have been brilliant at looking after us for the last three days. We loaded the van and set off for Woking. Jeremy had offered to drive to Richmond and drop our overnight bag off at the B&B we were staying in tonight to save us having to carry it - we really appreciated that. 


Our dear friends Sarah and Jeremy Culverhouse

We both started the day feeling thankful we only had about 18 miles to walk. We were both feeling a bit flat but this lifted as someone approached us as we got out of the van and prepared to start walking. A lady came over, seeing the signage on the van and asked what we were doing. She then gave us a £20 donation to the fund. This served as a reminder of why we were putting ourselves through this - to support two vital and brilliant charities. It was just the lift we needed to re-motivate us.

The first part of our route today was along the remainder of the Basingstoke Canal, which took us under the M25. This was a welcome sight as it gave a real sense that we were nearer London.


Passing under the M25

We then picked up the Rover Wey which we followed through Weybridge and up to Thames Lock. There were certainly some stunning properties along this part of the river.


At Thames Lock

We picked up the River Thames path which then took us through Walton on Thames and Sunbury - again lots of very nice waterside homes. 


The River Thames

Just as we were leaving Walton, Radio Cornwall phoned and I spoke on air to Laurence Reed. 

By now we were both feeling the strain, especially Anne with her shin splints, we again needed to stop and rest frequently. This slowed our progress.

We made it to Hampton where we left the river and went back on roads. We did get some strange looks as we walked through the centre of Twickenham - I guess we do a look a strange sight to these city dwellers, however we could smell the end and found a bit of energy to march along at this stage.

In Twickenham we found Cornwall Road. A nice reminder of home.


They're right - tis the road from Cornwall!

We were really flagging by now and the final stretch into Richmond was a struggle. ‎Our feet were incredibly painful and our energy was gone. We were almost crawling by the time we made it to our B&B. I was so grateful I didn't have to carry the big rucksack with our overnight stuff. I think that would have finished me off today.

So we are now in London. We have 8 miles to walk to Westminster. We are planning to pop out tonight and knock two or three of those miles off to make tomorrow comfortable.

Thanks once again for all the messages of support today. You will never know how important they have been. One very special message we received today was from the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. He has heard about what we were doing and the two charities we are raising funds for, which he obviously has an interest in. He isn't able to be around when we arrive tomorrow but sent a really nice message of support.

The fundraising continues to grow - very close to £5000. It would be amazing to hit that figure before we finish tomorrow. So here's the link if you haven't yet donated.


If anyone who is in London and would like to come and celebrate the finish of our challenge tomorrow, it would be wonderful to see you. We will be in Parliament Square, opposite what are known as the Carriage Gates at 12.15pm.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Day 11


When we planned our walk today was a day we were looking forward to. The plan was to pick up the Basingstoke Canal and walk along the towpath toward Woking. We expected this to be an easy walk along a level path at the water’s edge with wonderful scenery.  It didn’t quiet turn out that way.


Basingstoke Canal

To start with Anne started today in pain. Most mornings we have found our feet have sufficiently recovered overnight to allow us to start the day relatively pain free, only for the pain to kick back in much later in the day. Whilst I started the day feeling the best I had for several days, it was clear Anne was suffering from the start. Not only were her blisters very painful to start with, but she was also suffering from shin splints that had started the evening before. I suffered from this during our training so know how painful it can be.


Pit stop!

Additionally, what we imagined to be a smooth pathway beside the water turned out to be a very stony and uneven surface. As a result we both were very soon feeling every stone and pebble we stepped on. Our feet by now are very sensitive and every step was painful. Although I am sure there were some lovely sights to behold along our route sadly we were too busy looking at the ground to see what our feet were treading on to notice.


The stony path

We had to keep stopping for Anne to rest her legs and feet. This slowed our progress but we plodded on determined to keep going. As we were on the towpath and at times not near any roads we did not have the support van with us today. We were carrying as much water and food as we could but hoping to find shops and pubs along the way to replenish our supplies. Unfortunately every time we found a pub it was the other side of the canal with no way of crossing over! Therefore we ended up missing lunch and just snacking from what we were carrying.


So near and yet so far...

To add further to our adventures we then found part of the towpath was closed due to a landslide. This meant a bit of a detour along the roads, although at least this gave our feet rest from the stones.


What to do?

Our route was interesting. We skirted around Farnborough Airport, a number of military bases (at one point we could hear large amounts of gunfire) as well as encountering many forms of wildlife including ducks, swans and geese which all had young with them, a heron, various other birds and rabbits.


Cute eh?

In the end today turned out to be much harder than we expected but we pressed on and made it to Woking.  Once we got back to base and inspected our feet Anne found she now has blisters on her blisters. Thankfully only one of mine has grown and there are no new ones.


The main milestone we passed today was that we took our 500,000th step of the walk. It does seem incredible to have taken that many steps in 11 days. 



Our 500,000th step!

We are now only about 25 miles from Westminster. Thankfully tomorrow should be an easier day as we head to Richmond – a distance of only 16 miles or so. Then we are in position for the final push to Westminster on Thursday. A number of people have asked about our ETA on Thursday. At the moment, provisionally, we are planning to be in Parliament Square for 12.15pm.


Before signing off I must again say a huge thank you to all those who have donated, especially today. We are now over £4500. It would be wonderful to get to £5000 by Thursday so if you haven’t yet sponsored us here is the link    http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/doublesteve

Monday, 23 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Day 10

Today was one of those days where we seem to have experienced the full range of emotions. We started the day wondering how we would fare after the struggles of yesterday, and have ended it wondering how we will cope tomorrow.

Our aim today was to walk from South Wonston, which is just north of Winchester to North Wanborough/Odiham where we join the Basingstoke Canal. A distance of around 23 miles.

We woke feeling good and positive. The aches and pains of the previous day had gone and we were up for the challenge. The weather was warm but not too hot. We set off at a good pace and made great progress. By lunch time we had covered 14.5 miles. Our route took us under the M3, our second motorway, and we also took advantage of a couple of footpaths that saved walking miles on the road.


‎Passing under the M3 

Our friends and hosts Jeremy and Sarah manned the support truck and Sarah was able to film some video footage of us which will be available later.

After a nice pub lunch we set off to walk the remaining 8.5 miles. As we have often found, stopping seemed to change everything. Anne particularly started to suffer as a couple of blisters on her toes grew and started to push against the nails which meant they catching on her shoes.

After about 4 miles she was not able to go on as she was. After a stop to inspect the damage we realised she really needed to deal with the offending blisters but we could not really do this on the road side. So we had to drive back to Jeremy and Sarah’s house where we could pierce the blisters and treat them. I must pay big respect to Anne at this point as although the temptation could easily have been to call it a day she was determined to patch herself up and get back on the road to complete today’s miles.


Anne carrying out some running repairs 

So we headed back out again and were back on the road around 6.30pm. We had 5 miles left to do and we decided to try to knock them off as quickly as possible. We set out as fast as we have done at any point on the walk and completed the 5 miles in under 1 hour 15 mins in one hit with no breaks.

We have finished the day happy that we remain on schedule to arrive in Westminster as planned on Thursday morning. However I now have a blister on the end of my toe which is very painful. So we are both hoping that we recover again tonight and are both fit for the road tomorrow.


It wasn't all roadways - pioneering!

Tomorrow we pick up the Basingstoke Canal and walk along the tow path which will take us around 23 miles to Woking. This should be flat and easy going so hopefully we can complete this without too many dramas.


 Thanks again for all your messages of support and recent donations. We are now only £65 below the £4000 mark so hopefully we can pass that tomorrow. Here’s the link if you want to sponsor us:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/doublesteve

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Day 9

Last night we stayed with our good friends Will and Jo Pearse (although Will wasn’t there as he was camping at The Gathering) in Swindon and really appreciated being well looked after.


Being interviewed at The Gathering

This morning started with us attending The Gathering, where I was interviewed about our walk and was able to tell about 1500 men what we are going and why. It seemed to go well.

We then had to drive from Swindon back to where we finished on Saturday, just to the east of Kings Somborne. We again did not have a dedicated driver for today so by the time we then shuffled the cars around it was 2pm before we started to walk.



Anne and Matt setting the pace through beautiful Kings Somborne

We again had our son Jacob and nephew Matt walking with us, it was great to have their company again – yes they did walk!


With Jacob

The aim today was to walk the 12 miles or so to just north of Winchester to a place called South Wonston. Although it was a short walk compared to the distance we have travelled on other days, to our surprise we found the going really tough today. Whether it was just our bodies getting back up to speed or mentally being thrown off step by starting in the afternoon we just couldn’t seem to get going.

Our feet also seemed to be even more sensitive as a result of a rest and we were feeling every stone or lump in the road. So what we thought was going to be a leisurely afternoon stroll turned out to be a bit of a struggle.



Crawley - a typical picturesque English country hamlet 

Anyway we were treated once again to some more stunning scenery and beautiful picturesque villages. Hampshire really does have some really visual treats once you get off the main routes.


Map reading!

So we are now staying with our friends Jeremy and Sarah in Winchester where we will be based until Wednesday. So we get a chance to unpack and make a home for three days which will be nice.

We are now only 70 miles from Westminster and we are planning our last 4 days to plan to arrive at the House of Commons around lunch time on Thursday. So as long as we maintain our pace and our feet don’t get any more painful, we should be able to finish on schedule.  So if anyone is in London on Thursday and fancies meeting up with us in Parliament Square around lunch time let us know, it would be great to see a few familiar faces to celebrate (with a drink or two)with us as we complete our adventure.


Thanks to those who have sponsored us today. We are now within touching distance of £4000 so come on if you haven’t sponsored us yet, you can be the one to take us to the next target. Here’s the link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/doublesteve

Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Day 8

Today was always planned to be an easier day. Rather than take a full rest day, after which we were concerned we would find it hard to get going again, we decided to take two easier days over this weekend. So our plan was to walk from our finishing point last night just south of Salisbury to a place called Kings Somborne – a distance of around 16 miles.

It was another beautiful day and we were joined on the walk by my nephew Matt, and later after lunch our son Jacob came and walked with us. As we had a shorter distance to walk and all on lanes and footpaths we did not have anyone to drive the support truck today but shuttled the vehicles between our start and end points.


With Matt and Jacob Double

In many ways it was a quiet and uneventful day. We crossed over into Hampshire, our 6th county. The going was pretty easy and we were able to enjoy a long lunch and still finish the distance by 5pm.


Crossing into Hampshire

The biggest challenge remains the condition of our feet. Both Anne and I have developed some serious blisters that make walking very painful. We are trying all of the various methods of easing them but they seem to be developing new ones quicker than the old ones heal. Still we hope a longer rest tonight and tomorrow morning will give our feet some time to recover. But whatever the case, we will press on!

My mother always told me I was heavy on my feet, and indeed my footwear. Today I inspected my walking shoes to find they are well and truly worn. Hopefully they will last the remainder of the walk.


My shoes are worn as well as my feet!

We are now only 80 miles from Westminster which means we have reached the 2/3rds distance point. The end is very much in sight and we are focused on completing the walk on schedule by Thursday. We should enjoy favourable terrain all the way now as much of the remaining route is along the Basingstoke Canal towpath. So we know it will be flat and even, apart from the occasional lock.

Thanks once again for all your kind messages of support and encouragement. They mean a great deal and do help keep us motivated.

Tomorrow morning I am being interviewed about the walk on the main stage at The Gathering, which is a Christian Men’s Festival (I describe it as what church would be like if it was run by Top Gear) in front of 1500 blokes. Then we will be back on the road after lunch.

 And of course if you haven’t yet donated, here is the link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/doublesteve


Friday, 20 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Day 7

Today's  impressive stats - 26 miles (a new personal best), 6 hours 15 mins walking (over 4 mph), 57126 steps, 3401 calories. 4 very painful feet with more blisters than we care to count.

Today we completed one week on the road. It doesn’t actually seem possible that a week has gone by since we were sent off from The Eden Project by our friends. But here we are now, over 160 miles from home. 

Anne and I are both still loving this experience. I am sure we will reflect more once we have completed our challenge, but even now it is something that has taught us so much about ourselves, as well as discovering that after almost 28 years of marriage we still get on pretty well!

The last two nights we have been staying with Richard and Kathryn (Kathryn is an old school friend of Anne’s from the Isles of Scilly). It has been great to stay with people who have just allowed us to use their house as a base and feel at home. We are very grateful for their hospitality, but this morning it was time to load up the truck again and set off to where we finished last night.

We also met up with our driver for the day. Alan is a friend of a friend from Chard and did a brilliant job of looking after us on the road today.


Our driver for the day - Alan

We again started early and walked the last few miles into Shaftsbury in time to meet with the local MP Robert Walter as arranged. Neither of us can remember actually visiting Shaftsbury before and we were very struck by the historic buildings and wonderful views across Dorset and Wiltshire.


Gold Hill - historic part of Shaftsbury

Knowing how busy all MPs are we are very grateful to Bob for taking the time to welcome us and send us on our way with a donation to our fund. We then set off toward Salisbury.


In Shaftsbury with Robert Walters – MP for North Dorset

Today we chalked up a number of milestones. We entered our 5th county – Wiltshire. Our walk took us along the Chalk Valley. What a stunning place!


‎Wiltshire looking glorious

The route today was the kindest so far. It was very level and we certainly did not encounter anything that would warrant the name hill in Cornwall, although a few locals tried to describe them as such. This, added to the fact that we had much more cloud cover today, and therefore lower temperatures, meant that we were really able to knock off the miles. We managed to walk 26 miles in all today – another record for the walk.


‎Anne resting her feet ready for the next leg 

We arrived at our goal, just south of Salisbury in good time and have therefore been able to get to our B’n’B early and have more time to rest and relax. Anne even went for a swim!

The final milestone we passed today is that we are now less than 100 miles from Westminster. We have around 97 to go. This does feel good and we can also start to count down to the finish line.


‎Popped into a pub for lunch and look what they served my coke in. Whilst I think this is a complete misuse of a Tribute glass it was nice to be reminded of home!

Although both Anne and I have suffered today with some major blister developments, we would not want to be doing anything else right now. The pain is and will continue to be worth it once we complete our goal and raise thousands of pounds for two great and important local charities. So as always please don’t forget to donate. In the end it’s what this is all about!


http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/doublesteve

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Day 6

Day 6 stats - 25 miles, 8hrs 20mins walking, 55008 steps, 3285 calories.

Today has been a good, but very hot day. We woke up early to cloudless skies, so we decided to get up and make a start before it started to get too warm, getting on the road just after 7.30am. This made a huge difference as we were able to walk over 12 miles before 1pm when the temperatures started to really climb.


‎Anne putting on a spurt 

Today we had our eldest son Josh driving the support truck. It was lovely to see him as he now lives in South Wales and we don’t get to spend time with him too often. He did a great job of supporting us and seemed to really enjoy the day.


With our eldest son and driver for today Josh

Today we walked from Crewkerne, where we spent the night, and made it to just outside of Shaftsbury. Our walk took us through lots of back lanes and we were again treated to some beautiful English countryside. We seemed to keep dipping in and out of Dorset along the way but ended the day in our 4th county.

Although it was a very hot day and the afternoon particularly was tough going, the terrain today was much kinder to us. We have well and truly now left behind the continual up and down hills of Cornwall and Devon and the landscape is now much flatter. This makes the going much easier and so we were able to make good progress and ended with our best day yet – completing 25 miles in all.


Dorset looking beautiful 

We also passed an important milestone today as we walked through the 130 miles mark, which means we are now over half way.  This time next week, all being well, we will have finished our adventure and be relaxing with a well-earned drink! Although we still have a long way to go, the fact that we have managed to reach the half way stage and still feel fit and as enthusiastic as ever gives us confidence that we can finish on schedule.


Half way selfie - 129.5 miles walked, 129.5 to go

The fundraising total continues to climb steadily. Thank you to all those who have donated today. We are now up to £3785. We would love to top the £4000 figure to spur us on for the final few days. So if you intended to donate and haven’t yet got around to it, now would be a good time to do so. Here is the link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/doublesteve

We have been encouraged today by the number of retweets we have been getting. It is great when people spread the word of what we are doing. So if you are on Facebook or Twitter please do feel free to share and retweet any of my posts.


Came across this place in deepest Somerset and thought for a minute we were closer to our destination than we were!


Tomorrow we start the day early again and have a meeting with the local MP for Shaftsbury, Bob Walter, who is keen to support our efforts first thing, and then hit the road bound for Salisbury.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Double Challenge - #walk2westminster - Day 5

Day 5 stats - 21.5 miles, 7hrs 15mins walking, 47241 steps, 2822 calories. 

Now Day 5 must mean its Wednesday right? I must admit we are losing track of the days and any semblance of normal life actually. All the usual routines have been left behind. We eat when we feel like it, rest when we really need to, in bed and up early ready for the road ahead.


On the phone - still working on the campaign while on the road!

Today was a fairly uneventful day actually. Our basic aim was to walk from Honiton to Crewkerne – about 22 miles, and if we felt able maybe a bit further. In the end we made it to Crewkerne but with another hot day taking its toll, decided to stop here.

Walking through Honiton we spotted another Children’s Hospice SW shop and paid a quick visit. We then set off through the beautiful back lanes of East Devon towards Chard and Somerset. We were once again treated to stunning scenery, picturesque villages and rolling farm fields.



Children's Hospice SW shop in Honiton

Once again Phil Bunt was walking with us and Jill driving the support truck. It has been great having them with us for two days and we will miss them from now on.


Phil Bunt and I setting the pace

Today we passed an important milestone on our walk as we clocked up 100 miles. It feels good to look back at how far we have come and still feeling fit and strong. Tomorrow we will pass another important mark as we are now only 18 miles from being half way to Westminster.


Reaching our hundredth mile

We had another nice surprise today as our good friend and supporter Clive Norris, from Fowey, paid us a visit. He was passing by the area and so called us to find out where we are and came and found us on the road. Once again it was great to see a familiar face and know that so many people are behind us.



Our friend Clive Norris, who made a surprise visit to us on the road

We are now in Somerset so can chalk off our third county. Tomorrow we are aiming for Shaftsbury which is in Dorset so will enter county number 4.

We have once again been touched by all the messages of support we keep getting. As well as our friends, family and supporters back home in Cornwall we have been getting messages from MPs in Westminster and people all over the country, and indeed from other countries. I know I keep saying it but the truth is it means so much to us and really does keep us going through the tough times. So please keep them coming and most importantly donate your money (I know I’m sounding like Bob Geldolf now). But this in the end is what it is all about. We are up to £3700 and it would be great to hit £4000 by the end of this week. Here is the link: