Four miles! After walking approximately 160 miles across Wiltshire Downs and Wessex Heights I rather held back from putting the top on my thermos flask, rising up my sixty year old hips and completing the last stretch of stunning countryside into Abbotsbury. How wonderful to have my son J with me every step of the way.
We could see the shingle beach and saline lagoon of Chesil Beach and the Fleet away to our left. I had last walked by the Fleet on a beautiful unseasonable February afternoon. I do so love this part of the country.
And before we knew it, there it was on a small hill on the horizon – St Catherine’s Tower. The point I had been walking towards for almost the last two weeks.
As so often seems the case, whether I am running a couple of miles, walking 15 in a day or undertaking a long trek the last part of the challenge seems the hardest. I stopped at what appeared to be a few hundred yards from the top determined to run the last part – and the upward slope seemed to go on and on (what had I been thinking!) But I did it….. of course, I did! From the ancient stone circle at Avebury (“The Stones”) to St Catherine’s Tower (named after St Catherine, martyred on the wheel – “The Wheel”), through muddy woods, fields of scary cattle, even more scary members of a shoot, some challenging climbs, meeting friendly dogs (and one or two people!), along some stunning chalk ridges with truly spectacular views, pretty historic villages – I did it! Somewhat challenged and lonely at times, grateful for the map-reading skills my Dad taught me, powered mainly by bananas and chocolate, drawing on inner strengths along some long, boring stretches – I did it! Reflecting on the first 60 years of my life and how much I have to be grateful for, recalling the wonderful memories, praying for the future, being present at one with Nature – I did it! Walking with The Ancients, the Romans, The Tudors, The Army, Golfers, an Angel who met me half way with fresh supplies and my wonderful son – I did it!This didn’t change much in 27 years, J – did it?!!
This birthday pilgrimage was a gift; my life is gift and thank you J, you gave me the greatest gift ever. x
(click on picture and return to foot of post for video)
A full index of posts on my 60th birthday pilgrimage from The Stones to the Wheel can be found HERE.