I’m home. Between October 4th to the 12th I backpacked the 130+ miles of the Anglesey Coastal Path. All to raise money for Mind. (The videos are at the bottom of this post) You can read a bit of background on why I chose to hike this in a previous blog post. It was much, much more difficult than I thought it was going to be.
Physically, the preparation and amazing advice people gave me in the run up was absolutely spot on and on good days (when it wasn’t smashing down with driving rain) I barely noticed the miles.
Mentally however, I was crushed from the day before I left until the day Sarah and the kids arrived at our kindly donated Airbnb (thanks Mum and Dad). 8 days in my own head, alone, was absolutely not fun. Having spent most days trying to distract myself with podcasts, the evenings always were filled with tears and questioning why any of it was even vaguely necessary. I was clouded and crippled with homesickness. The first few days were the worst and if it wasn’t for a few people being in constant contact I’d of been coming home 2 days in (I’d packed my bag ready to get a cab to the station one evening). After being talked into carrying on the Anglesey Coastal Path, most plans had gone out the window.
The trip had changed from being an adventure, an outdoor experience to photograph and enjoy, to an exercise in mental/physical endurance and getting it done as fast as I could (especially with Storm Callum rapidly approaching) 8 days down the line and I rolled into Holyhead, coming straight off the mountain (somewhere I’ve wanted to climb for a while) in the pouring rain, soaked to the skin. Friday arrived, Sarah braved the roads and delivered herself, Erin and Finn through a raging Storm Callum. We ate pizza, watched crap garbly TV and everything suddenly felt like it had never happened.
I had a lot of support
I couldn’t of got through it without a lot of very loving/caring souls. The Anglesey Coastal Path and my first multi-day hike put me in some rubbish head space and these folks helped me along the way.
James Ventham, a constant dialect form arguably one of the most resilient men ever to grace this planet.
Ben O’Donoghue, one of my former Mongolia journeymen, offering me multiple, daily messages of supports, advice and offers to come and walk with me.
Dad for offering words that helped me turn a corner and remember the reasons why I’d set off in the first place. Mum for picking the sprats up and dropping them off at school everyday and quietly doing a load of housework (Love you guys)
Gemma and her family for the super generous surprise buying me lunch and dinner when I was totally down in the dumps.
Enid for letting a random man off the Internet enter her beautiful home and rest for the night whilst she wasn’t even there.
John and Lucy at Llanfair Hall for letting me stay in one of their beautiful camping pods.
Rory Southworth for recommending amazing socks.
Hayley at Tyddyn Isaf Caravan Park site for lending me a corner of their field whilst the BBC dominated the rest of it.
Sally Majeur for her extremely generous special donation all the way from Switzerland.
Every single person who messaged me in someway, from friends and family to the amazing little crew of people who have watched the story unfold on Instagram.
My incredible partner Sarah, which this couldn’t of been done without her doing her bit. Flying solo with two kids for over a week whilst I have multiple breakdowns over the phone to, supporting me at every opportunity, I definitely share this ‘win’ with her.
Together we raised over £2000!
Every single person or organisation, friends, family, people I’ve worked with etc who chucked in whatever they could into the pot. Thank you.
I’m going to close the JustGiving page tomorrow night and get the funds sent to Mind ASAP. If you’ve been putting off donating. Now is the time. If you can, please do, we’re so close to £2k it’s crazy! Thanks so much everyone. What a weird week.
Next time, I think I’ll just sit in a bath of beans or something 😉
Here are the video blogs from the trip.