Wainwright, Pain and Pleasure

Walking Alfred Wainwrights Coast to Coast there were many things that came to mind every day in my near exhausted state, bloody Wainwright was one them, as his paths led us up another fell only to descend and ascend yet another.

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I say this with the utmost respect for the man who devoted an entire life time to exploring the fells of the lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.
He is responsible for creating the Coast to Coast route that follows a system of trails for 192 miles from the West coast, starting at St Bees and finishing at Robin Hood Bay in the East.

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The walk traverses three National Parks, The Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. The Pleasure, following Wainwrights paths, often poorly signed, and the intended experience of finding yourself temporarily geographically embarrassed in the wild fells and high mountain lakes. Or meeting fellow walkers and locals in the green rolling hills of Swaledale and the vast moorland estates of North Yorkshire. Sharing their pain and pleasure and contributing to the local economy every night.

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The pain in backing up a punishing walking schedule for 18 days, day after day and managing the inevitable injuries that seem to be all part of the experience. The pharmacies at Kirkby Steven and Richmond do very nicely out of the Coast to Coasters.

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Most sane people don’t do this for three and a half weeks and call it a holiday, especially when the average age is 55-60. A challenge, definitely, would I do it again, yes, but different.

The irony, was a friends comment echoing in my ears, “I’ll do that when I’m old” I recall, I don’t think so, my inner man chuckles. This as the physical man has another pint of medication in reflection. Bloody Wainwright!…

Mike Briggs, Coast to Coast June 2015

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