Combe Martin – Woolacombe (12.3 miles)
Distance from Minehead – 47.4 miles / Distance from Poole – 584.4 miles
What a difference good company makes!
Yesterday (yes I am a day later writing this as today is a rest day and I made the most of my free evening last night, by falling asleep at 9pm!) I walked the whole day with company. Jenny met me at Combe Martin and walked with me the 5.3 picturesque miles to Ilfracombe. Here we were enthusiastically welcomed by a group of supporters from 3 of the local churches, who shared with us in a picnic lunch. It was great to see everyone and a real encouragement – the fact that people had come out to eat their lunches on a chilly and windy day just to support me and the walk meant a lot to me. I have a feeling Toby really enjoyed himself too as he went from person to person scrounging whatever he could get his paws on. He was particularly fond of the person who had decided to bring the fish & chips for lunch!
Then in the afternoon Jenny and I were joined for a while by Malcolm, who having not walked in the morning, was considerably spritelier than the two of us! It seems that while you walk with someone the miles seem to fly past, as you are busy chatting and pointing out aspects of the scenery. It was also really lovely as Jenny, being a local, knew all the history and local legend of the surrounding area. I learnt so much more than I would have just by reading the walk book. The up-hills even seemed easier as we could stop and admire the view together whilst getting our breath back. All in all it was a really pleasant journey of 12.3 miles of sometimes difficult walking.
Whatever we do in life and wherever we travel to, we also have a companion who, should we chose to, is willing to be there for us to natter to. Having him walk beside us doesn’t take the hills and troubles away, but they are somehow more manageable and His reassuring presence helps us to overcome the steepest challenges. He too is full of wisdom and experience and if we are willing to listen we can learn so much more about life and living than we would just by reading books.
So as I make the most of my first rest day I look forward to sharing the rest of my walk with a varied group of companions and even when I am walking on my own, I will rejoice that I am not!