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Ancient Feet: 73 - Home Again

...I reflected on the events of the last twelve days as we sped along and it dawned on me that I had completed a major walk without too much difficulty and without sustaining any injury. I realised that doing the Coast to Coast Walk successfully is as much about mental strength as physical ability...

Alan Nolan and his mates go there separate ways after completing one of England's classic long-distance walks.

To purchase a copy of Ancient Feet visit
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ancient-Feet-Alan-Nolan/dp/1906510970/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258967135&sr=1-1

Signed copies of the book are available from Alan http://apn.thelea@yahoo.co.uk

Having one fewer passenger to carry home, Trevor had hired a people carrier which was splendid compared to the minibus in which we had travelled to St Bees twelve days earlier. Following the unwanted detour to Grosmont to collect parcels and belongings, we were soon on our way home and, although Trevor seemed eager to complete the journey in record time, we all nodded off on the journey (with the exception of Trevor, I hasten to add) or, as Trevor impolitely told us when we woke up, 'you've all been catching flies.'

I reflected on the events of the last twelve days as we sped along and it dawned on me that I had completed a major walk without too much difficulty and without sustaining any injury. I realised that doing the Coast to Coast Walk successfully is as much about mental strength as physical ability. It is about believing that you can do it and this is why it seems to become easier as the days go by. Once you have walked for seven or eight hours a day for five or six consecutive days, your brain knows you can do it and tells your body there's nothing to it. Oh, how I wished I had done something like this thirty or forty years sooner. It would have given me so much more confidence.

As the car drew up at Tom's and we began to gather our things together, Don had a proposition for me:
'I'm thinking of crossing the Pyrenees by elephant next year are you interested in coming?'

'I don't think so, Don,' I said, trying to let him down gently.

'They have de luxe models now, you know. Heated seats, extra padding, anti-roll bars, satellite navigation, the lot,' he persisted.

'Sounds good, Don, but I don't think it's for me,' I replied, and I'm sure I heard my Grandma's voice coming from somewhere up above:
'He's not as daft as he looks, you know:'

'Thanks for the advice, Alan,'Joe said, as we shook hands,'I'm going to have a long chat to my lady friend when I get home. I can see that I've been very selfish and haven't given her feelings a thought. Thanks again.'

After a terrific twelve days together, it was apparent that we had grown very close and it seemed very strange that, after the briefest of goodbyes, each of us jumped into our cars to make our separate ways home.

Although the three of us who had not reached retirement had to be back at work next morning, it still seemed odd to part in such a way. We had enjoyed a great time together in wonderful weather, apart from the one day of rain, and now all we had to look forward to was the next time. Oh, I'm forgetting. There won't be a next time, will there Tom?

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