Walkies – Stage 8


Westward Ho! – Clovelly (11.2 miles)
Distance from Minehead – 98.7 miles / Distance toPoole– 534.2 miles

Generally the South West Coast Path is inconvenient. It is made up of linear walks which means you have to spend a lot of time working out how to get back to the car – not always a top priority when you’ve walked a long and strenuous route and all you want to do is sit in a hot bath or with a cold pint!

Nice new toilets - anyone got the key?

Today has been a day of inconveniences. It all started with trying to find the public toilets in Westward Ho! – vital as there are no more toilets until Clovelly, 11.2 miles and 5 ½ hours later. We found the new block of public conveniences (or PC as they are now written on maps – forget looking for WC’s as they no longer exist!) which are the pride of the town, only to find them locked. The man who opens them at 6.30am obviously had a lie-in and forgot to open them. It turns out, after traipsing around town to find the old toilet block, that he had forgotten to open those too and we were left with nowhere to wee! It was rather an inconvenience. (a big thanks go to the lovely café lady who let us use her toilets)


Then came the next inconvenience – the rain. And the wind. And the more rain. Rain gets you wet and causes all your clothes to become heavy and soggy and it’s harder to walk. The rain causes the ground underfoot to become muddy and slippery and it’s harder to walk. The rain causes the scenery to become lost in the midst of the raincloud and without the glorious scenery to spur you on it’s harder to walk. It was rather an inconvenience.

Then came the thunder and lightning.

This happened when we found ourselves on top of an exposed section of cliff top with nothing but our walking poles to help us not be blown off the cliff by the gale force winds. Our metal walking poles! In a lightning and thunder storm! Getting struck by lightning would have been rather inconvenient.

These things, all of which seemed to conspire against us to make life more difficult and inconvenient, can be frustrating. But then I think of why I am doing this walk, and I think about the lives of those I met in India who have heartbreaking life stories all because of leprosy. Their lives, their stories can be an inconvenience to us and being reminded of our Christian duty towards them can be really inconvenient in our busy lives.

Conveniently placed soup, towels & blankets thanks to mum & dad!

 But maybe these inconveniences which interrupt our lives and our plans are in fact an opportunity from God to challenge the way we think, the way we pray, the way we give and the way we live…..just not sure how that works with the horizontal rain though!


8 thoughts on “Walkies – Stage 8

  1. Sorry natalie – only just realised we can leave a message. Jo loves your blogs as they give her a lot of sermon material! Your stage 8 soaking took me right back to our last TT cycle ride on the IOM for TLM. Probably like you – I was so wet that it really didn’t seem to matter if I needed a wee! You are doing a great job – we are all really proud of you.

  2. How odd… for a person who does not cry I find myself moved to tears reading your blog today! Thank you for the reminder of God’s loving challenge to us. Thank you for reminding me that the inconveniences can be a ‘help’ to walk the narrow path of Christian service. Thank you. I pray that God will bless you as I am blessed by what you have written 🙂 Keep looking for the flowers at your feet they are never blotted out from sight!

  3. Hi Natalie,
    You’re doing great and we’re thinking of you and praying for you. We’ve set up text donating now as well, so people can support you as they walk with you! They just need to text EVSW01 and the amount to 70070 and 100% of the donation will be given to The Leprosy Mission.
    It’s great to see so many encouraging comments here too!

  4. Hi Natalie, I’ve just joined the Leprosy Mission and am hearing daily updates about your adventure. What an amazing thing you are doing! Praying for you … God bless 🙂

  5. I’m really enjoying reading your reports Natalie and delighted you are being accompanied by such interesting supporters. You haven’t mentioned your feet so I trust they are in good shape as you make your way to Bude.

  6. Natalie – I know the feeling..rain and gales and clinging to walking poles for dear life – to avoid being blown off.. hope Toby wasn’t too battle scarred. But – yes- it’s part of the package and in life these times certainly sort us out. Weather forecast looks better for today. Lots of love and prayers… Joan

  7. Each one of your entries has really made me stop and think. Thank you!
    Thanks for enabling so many others to share your journey.
    Well done so far – Keep going!! 😉

  8. Well done. You are an inspiration for taking on such a challenge. I found 50 miles in Nepal quite enough over seven days last year. I hope you get some good weather although if it is too hot it becomes uncomfortable to walk in. Keep going.

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