The Pennine Way

Walked in August - September 2007

Afterword


Life without ambition is aimless wandering.
- Alfred Wainwright

We rose at about eight o’ clock on that last day which was another welcome lie-in. It had been a little cold during the night, perhaps because we were near the coast, but the morning was warm and it was shaping up to be yet another lovely day. We had breakfast in Darryl’s tent, and had an opportunity to do some more reading before having to pack up the tents and leave the site. As we headed off to the train station I started experiencing genuinely sad thoughts about finishing the walk. It had been very tough and painful in places, much less of a holiday than we had expected, but it had been a challenge, an adventure and an ultimately rewarding, memorable experience. We’d met a lot of helpful, friendly people who had been full of information and humour, and we’d seen parts of our own country we’d never have seen otherwise, and in some cases, never have believed. We’d walked across vast open spaces so still and so seemingly untouched that we felt like we were the only living creatures for miles, and we’d felt closer to nature than we had ever been before.

After completing the Pennine Way, and I’m sure any long distance walk, the average individual would I think be determined to do another, similar walk, or nothing of the kind ever again. There can’t really be any middle ground, it’s not something you can treat casually. Darryl and I were both touched in a positive way by the experience and in both of us was triggered the beginning of an addiction. As I write this we are planning our second adventure, the Coast to Coast walk, devised by Alfred Wainwright. This time we will only have one hundred and ninety miles to tackle, in the same number of days, so hopefully the going won’t be quite as arduous. But, as we’ve already learned, mistakes can easily be made, time can be lost and distances can suddenly grow longer. Without these trials though, there’d be no adventure, and that doesn’t really bear thinking about. 

 

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