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Jan 22nd Ten Mile Walk

We really did it. I am now back at home listening to the contented snoring of Zeke and Penny, current and retired guide dog. Zeke did the whole distance with us, Brixham to Paignton to Torquay, while Penny joined us half way. Despite her eleven years, she stoically ploughed on tail always wagging; I think someone told her there was a free drink at the end of it.

 The most wonderful thing for me, was having the support of my friends, six of us completed the walk. Even Ivan, my exercise shy husband decided to join us, this meant a slight change of plan, with Ivan on the walk we no longer had a return lift waiting for us at the end. John stepped into the breach, rather than sponsoring us to do the ten mile walk, John was willing to pay not to have to do it, and become our return chauffer.

 Having started this walk at Brixham harbor I quickly remembered why I so love Devon. No gentle inclines for us.  Within three hundred yards we are climbing up steps and ascending hill sides, quickly followed by descending uneven, irregular rock hewn steps, down into Churston Cove. Tree routes, rolling stones under your feet some steps a shallow six inches while others two foot deep. I discovered two things:  What goes up must come down, high promontories followed by low lying beaches. Also, Sally and Pete my alternating guides, really can talk and walk.

 Churston Cove, Elbery Cove, Broadsands and Goodrington beach. It was lovely to see   Arabella, a Brixham boat and crew I previously raced with, out on the water sailing in close to the coves as we looked out from the headland.

 Paignton harbour was the halfway point and the beginning of the more level terrain. My guide dog Penny and good friend Nicola joined us at Preston. Zeke now had wide expanse of beach to charge around on, while Penny investigated whether crispy seaweed was just as tasty on the beach as it is in a Chinese restaurant.

 I was wondering whether Preston was a good spot to sit and have a rest and possibly a bite to eat.  However Pete had different ideas.  I was given instructions on how to, while still walking, reach the water bottle in his ruck sack. Not only were we going to walk the distance, but he was determined we did it in a reasonable time. We walked past the fountains and pavilion on Torquay sea front, stepping onto the bridge across Torquay harbour. Brixham harbour to Torquay harbour via Paington harbour in three hours and fifty minutes. Finally I got my sit down and yes a very large glass of cold cider.

 

Massive thanks to the amazing generosity of those who have sponsored us.  Many thanks to those who supported us on route and again huge thanks to those who did the walk with Zeke and me, not only giving us their money but also their time and making it all possible.

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