If you have just found this blog for the first time I strongly recommend you read it in date order. Please click this link to be taken to the start of my adventure.
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My end-to-end walk was a wonderful experience that I will never forget, I consider it to have been one of the highlights of my life. It was everything I'd hoped it would be and so much more. The scenery I walked through was amazing and everybody I met was very friendly. Surely there can be no better way to explore this beautiful island.
I'm not going to pretend it was easy, 1008 miles is a long way, but the effort was well worthwhile to fulfil a personal ambition and to help raise money towards the vital services that MacMillan provide. Fortunately I had good luck on my side, I managed to stay almost completely clear of injury and I enjoyed good weather most of the way.
By the time I reached Lands End I'd lost nearly a stone in weight and everybody was telling me how tanned and healthy I looked. I'd never felt fitter in my life and given the chance I'd have happily turned around and walked back the other way. I would like to say a huge 'thank-you' to the many people who helped on my way, and especially to everybody who has made a donation to MacMillan.
If you have enjoyed this blog I would be delighted if you would consider making a small donation to MacMillan Cancer Support as part of my fund raising effort. You can do so easily using my Just Giving page, please click here .
Based on 48 days my average daily distance was 21.02 miles. Excluding the 5 rest days the average comes to 23.46 miles walked per day.
I was on the move for 267 hours and 11 minutes.
My average walking speed was 3.77 mph.
On 18 separate days I walked more than a full marathon (26.2 miles).
My highest daily mileage was the 33.90 miles covered on day 22, the lowest was 7.64 miles on day 29.
I walked around 2,017,540 steps (based on my estimated average of 2,000 steps per mile).
Though I didn't know it at the time, the half-way point was passed during day 24 on the A6 in Preston, just north of the city centre.
This is an accurate map of the route I walked, it was created by compiling all the GPS tracks;
Q. How do you know you walked exactly 1,008.77 miles?
A. Easy, I took a sensitive Garmin GPS receiver with me (model eTrex Legend Hcx), it recorded my entire route in fine detail. The GPS tracks for each of the 43 days on which I walked are online for anybody to see, you can view them if you click here .
My daily blog entries were typed-out each evening on my Apple iPhone 3s smartphone, usually in a quiet corner of a pub over dinner and a couple of pints. I've never gone back and editted anything, they all record my thoughts as recorded on the day to which they refer.
On day one I stopped at a supermarket in Wick and bought a multi-pack of Mars Bars. They went into my backpack, kept ready to give me an energy boost at times of tiredness. Four of the bars had been eaten by the time I left Scotland. The fifth one went all the way, it was still in my pack when I reached Lands End forty seven days later.
I only used one proper map on the entire walk (a map of the West Highland Way I purchased at Fort William). I posted it home just five days after it was bought. The rest of the time I relied solely on my smartphone for navigation.
On the morning of day nine I came under attack by a swarm of midges as I packed away my tent. In my hurry to get away I accidentally left without a pole that was part of the frame. I made do without it until day sixteen when I replaced it with a piece of bamboo bought from a garden centre.
Three weeks before my walk was due to start I took my children on holiday to Blackpool. While there they gave a small model of my favourite Toy Story character, a three-eyed alien. The next day, having completely forgotten about the alien which was in my pocket, I entered and won a poker tournament in the local casino. As a result I decided the alien was a lucky charm and that it should go on the walk too. I fixed it onto the left shoulder strap of my rucksack as soon as we got home. It survived the flights to Wick in the hold of the aircraft, then all forty eight days of walking between John o'Groats and Lands End. Coincidentally or not, my good luck lasted all that time too.
In the run up to my end-to-end I'd already lost 6 lbs in weight as a result of practise walks. Before setting off for John o'Groats I weighed-in at 13st 5lbs (85KG). By the time I returned home my weight had fallen a further 11lbs to 12st 8lbs (80KG).
During the walk I took more than 900 photographs, only a small selection can be featured on this blog. If you would like to see more click here .
|The lucky alien, still on the shoulder strap |
of my rucksack after 1008.77 miles