This is the story of my completing the LDWA 100, something which I didn’t actually always think I’d be able to do. Unlike the previous training walks, I’m going to tell this story in a different way, which is just my feelings about each section of the walk. I usually take hundreds of photos during walks, but when walking 100 miles there are different priorities. My friend Nathan also walked with me for the first 60 miles, but these are my experiences rather than his. These posts are more introspective than usual and there will be an index to these ten ‘stories’ on this page.
Preparations at Breydon Water for the drone flying, which unfortunately didn’t quite work out due to the strong winds. But it was worth a try and at least Richard got his drone back safely.
The bird hide on Wherryman’s Way that I’ve walked by many times and never gone in. I popped in to have a look this time, which probably explains the relatively steep ascent on this section of the route.
I’m not sure that the younger members of the support team really comprehended my bravery despite my telling them several times.
But, back to the walking. The stretch between 21 and 30 miles took us from the Outer Harbour in Great Yarmouth to Great Yarmouth Minster and the neighbouring cemetery area, before then leading us onto the Wherryman’s Way.
It was quite a boost to get onto the Wherryman’s Way, which was at about 24 miles into the route, as this was the walk back home to Norwich and it’s a path that we’ve completed before. The first stretch is easy to navigate and we were looking forwards to seeing Richard and Liam for the drone flying section, all a little bit of a boost. The temperature conditions were perfect, a slight breeze and not too much sun, as this is an area where it wouldn’t be hard to get sun burnt and I didn’t want that to add to my list of worries.
It was at about the 28 mile mark that I started to become a little disappointed, as Berney Arms was further down the route than I had remembered. It didn’t much matter, as the distances were the same, but I just wasn’t quite at the location I thought that I was. However, I was buoyed somewhat by knowing that we were about to hit 30% of the distance and that we could have a decent sit down at Berney Arms with our food.
As for my thoughts during this stage, I remained upbeat because I wasn’t injured or hurting, and that meant confidence that I could at least keep going for some time yet. But the enormity of the whole walk started to hang a little at around the 28 mile mark, despite all the mental thoughts I had worked on about remembering that this was just a series of short walks and not to think about the big picture. I’m not sure that I had much time to think about the big picture for this stretch, as conversation took over and proved to be a useful distraction.
Despite my comments earlier about liking cities, pubs and beer gardens, there was still something quite special about the peace and quiet of this path. We saw nearly no-one (other than for a party of five sitting having a picnic on a little bit of sand, and I admire how far they had carried their things with them to get there) along the path and the river was still and quiet, with the Norfolk big skies up above us. This stretch is perhaps one of the most beautiful on the walk and the reason that I’ve completed Wherryman’s Way twice before and still come back for more.