Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.
Total raised so far£0.00
Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00
Raised offline: £0.00
[p]We have conquered many local walks, through rain and sunshine. Now we want to take on the ultimate challenge: The South Downs Way. This is a 100 mile route, split in to four days of 25 miles.[/p][p]Previous experience has taught us many things; that you shouldn’t look an alpaca in the eye, assume that metal gates are firmly attached, carry leaking pots of oily pasta, or assume we can’t possibly get lost again! We may not have the most experience, but we have determination and a sense of humour that will see us through.[/p][p]So with our new shoes and enough bananas and experimental baked goods to keep all attacking animals at bay, we’re going to face this challenge head on.[/p][p]We are hoping to raise as much money as possible for our chosen local charities, which are also being supported by our employer QinetiQ Ltd.; St Wilfrid's (Hospice), and Naomi House and Jacks Place (Hospice). [/p][p][br][/p][p]Practice walk 1: Well we decided to start off slowly, with a leisurely 15 miles…in new shoes. Prepared with lashings of Volterol, plasters and Ibuprofen we set off. We saw the sights of Bognor, Middleton and Elmer – mostly posh housing estates, seafront and not so posh housing estates…don’t plan to move to Elmer anytime soon…although I was very tempted by the bus route home! But no, we did it! Although Gill nearly cried for her aching foot and I feared I may have developed hip dysplasia (no, it’s not just something German Shepherds get). When all was over we celebrated with a nice glass of Merlot and a little cry.[/p][p] [/p][p] Please keep following if you would like to hear more about our future adventures/suffering and all about my renditions of th’Artic Monkeys classics which Gill was forced to endure! Oh and it would be lovely if you could pledge some cash J[/p][p] [/p][p] Practice walk 2 took us from Chichester Harbour and along the wilds of the south coast. On a sunny day it is beautiful, but we had the good fortune of driving rain and freezing gusts. Days of rain ensured we had fields of mud to walk through, but being semi frozen helped us leap like gazelles across the countryside. [/p][p] [/p][p] A couple of hours into the walk, we made it in to Bosham. With mud up to our ankles, we decided the tea room wouldn’t want us, so we lunched in a graveyard. [/p][p] [/p][p] There was a particularly odd moment of getting eyelids caught in a hood, leading to hysterics. But we moved on quickly before anyone came to see if we needed help. [/p][p] [/p][p] Heading back to Chichester, we thought it would be fun to walk along the beach. It was certainly exciting, ending with my falling into a bog releasing a beautiful smell of Sulphur. We made a quick exit, on our hands and knees through bushes, emerging out on to the path we should have stayed on. Luckily no one was around to see our undignified emergence. It was a very smelly drive home. [/p][p] Practice walk 3 was a pleasant jaunt around the island of Hayling. Birds were singing, spring flowers were popping up. Families were out and about, enjoying the sun. Obviously Mother nature decided this was too enjoyable for us….[/p][p] [/p][p] Practice walk 4 was determined to send us to hospital in frozen lumps. We always manage to add a few miles on to a walk because map reading is a skill that we haven’t yet mastered, but we knew we had outdone ourselves when we enjoyed both sun rise and sun set in the same park. I’m afraid to say I broke our solemn vow of never asking for directions, but I didn’t want to be found attached to a tree by an icicle. [/p][p] The walk started well, looping QE park in confused circles. Once we found our way out, we were on our way to enjoying typical country scenes: Idyllic villages, pretty cottages, cars with bullets holes through windscreens. Lunch was spent on village green, only ruined by the whipping out of manky feet for a good plastering. [/p][p] All our walking has made us realise we have become fully countrified. We can now name some birds, a few flowers and can even tell the different between a large dog and a goat if they’re not too far off. Country file here we come! [/p][p] What point in the walk do you lose all dignity? This was out question of the day. For us, it was probably half way, when we both quickly dropped trousers in a quiet wood to spray on some freezing spray, hoping that a family wasn’t going to appear round the corner.[/p][p] We came completely off the path at one point, and the only way out was to crawl on the ground through stinging nettles, with electric fence one side and thorns the other, whilst sheep stared, wondering what the mad humans were doing. [/p][p] As sugar powered us through the final miles and the words “She’ll be coming round the mountain” circled my head, we were able to tell the temperature by the level of numbness in fingers. Will someone please take the map off me!!![/p][p] [/p][p] [/p][p] [/p]
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