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.