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One of the trekkers from the third stage of our Coast-to-Coast fundraiser writes a the reflective post about meeting…

taking a rest from all the trekking

One of the trekkers from the third stage of our Coast-to-Coast fundraiser writes a the reflective post about meeting new people, the Coast to Coast experience and the artwork she has created to commemorate the fundraising event.

Painting to commemorate the trek

Painting by Kate Napier Brown in memory of the 3rd Stage of the trek

Many months prior to the stage 3 Coast to Coast walk to raise money for Sisonke school and village of Amasame in South Africa, I chatted casually with Ruth and Baz about joining.  In the familiar surroundings of So what, coffee on the go, warm banter about the pending fundraiser interjected with Baz’s impression of a trumpet, it seemed like a possibility.  As the months went by I put up obstacles thinking I would fail to walk that far and felt it was the wrong time to abandon my family.  At the end of September I changed my mind and signed up and I’m so pleased I did!

The trekkers feel for the land

Trudging the different terrains and weather.

Eight of us made our way up north from the van Cranenburg residence in a big white van. We collected Dave Phillips, the founder of PEPE near Tamworth, then the co founder Mark Reeves north of Stafford. Lots of getting to know each other, swapping of sweets and comparing boots went on! We arrived at Old water view hotel to be greeted by Ian, the proprietor and our walking leader . He decided it wasn’t enough of a challenge to be hosting a party till 1am that night as well as accommodating us and getting three hours sleep, so he thought he’d lead the walk the next day as well! Great guy Our Ian

Adjei and Ian seeing the sites

Adjei and Ian plotting the trail ahead

We set off at 9 am donned with waterproof everything as the rain poured! Ian said we would take the less challenging route due to the dodgy weather (shame we’re not climbing such steep hills I thought…).         We walked up and down and around beautiful hills covered in burnt umber bracken , past tumbling waterfalls, past lakes and woods and across open fields all absolutely sodden but the camaraderie was great as we squelched through mud and slate! We staggered to our hotel just as the sun was just about down, bow legged, towards the glow of a real fire on Ruth’s smiley face! We showered and waited for Baz to arrive with the van full of dry clothes, scampering about the corridor in towels, then got warm and ordered many drinks and much hot stodge, wonderful!

Kate's battle with a gate.

Lovely Kate’s adventures

The next morning we headed from Bampton to Orton (raining again!), we walked a much flatter terrain across many fields and over the M6, we could see breath taking views for many Miles, we stopped at a fabulous pub frequented by a group of fantastic characters, namely ninety year old Scot covered in tartan who when asked when he’d left Scotland said ‘when I was two weeks old ‘ .. Another who held a tumbler full of brandy and Ginger wine, of course he is often asked ‘how do you drink that?’ And he retorts ‘like this’ as he tipped the whole lot back in one swift motion, this cheered us on to Orton, the last stop! Learning bits of everyone’s rich life stories on route.
As we stumbled and giggled and shared pain and laughter, it made me appreciate how lucky I have been to share such an experience. I feel so grateful to everyone for being so encouraging to me as I swore and plodded, what a privilege, an easy way to help a community who really need it.

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