Wednesday June 24th
The second day of the 100k sponsored charity walk for Alzheimer`s, dawned sunny and warm, as Sal and I started out from Paignton Green at 7am. There were a few dog walkers, joggers and swimmers already doing their own thing in the wonderful conditions, as we undertook the 31.5 miles of the challenge still outstanding.
Initially we walked out to the Preston end of Paignton, before doing an about turn on the South West Coast Path, to head along to Paignton Harbour and into Roundham Park, meandering down to Youngs Park at Goodrington, to reach South Sands cafe at the end of the beach.
From here we retraced our steps to Paignton Green, and did three one mile circuits on the damp grass. We repeated this pattern, and during the morning, were met by Kay Shearing for a stretch from Roundham out to South Sands and back. We also bumped into Club Treasurer Hilary Bick and a friend who were walking near the Burma Gardens just prior to our lunch break.
By this time the temperatures had soared, and it was becoming increasingly congested on the seafront. Trying to avoid the crowds, dogs, cyclists, mobility scooters, pushchairs and children on scooters was very stressful, so with it being practically impossible to ensure social distancing practices were adhered to, we adopted plan B.
Suitably refreshed we recommenced our hike, and were soon joined for a brief spell along the Esplanade to Hollicombe Park by Mandy Lindsay, who was making her way back to Torquay. We then did some loops of Scadson Woods, which provided respite from the heat and the hassle near the coast. After a few miles under the trees in the welcome shade, we ascended the track to Occombe Farm, where as per normal we came across eight pigs happily feeding on whatever delicacies the soil had to offer them.
After cooler walking through Occombe Woodlands, we emerged onto Preston fields, from where the views afforded over the Bay to Berry Head were fabulous. We rejoined the SWCP at Hollicombe, and on reaching the beach off Paignton, we were delighted to be able to take advantage of the opportunity to refresh our tired feet in the surprisingly warm sea water. With just three miles left to go at this stage, we eventually wandered past the newly refurbished Harbour Light restaurant, noted the incoming tide in Paignton Harbour itself, prior to aiming for Roundham Park one final time.
On making it to Youngs Park Goodrington for the last time that day, it was 6.30pm, and we were amazed how busy it was with folk doing whatever they enjoyed most on a glorious Summers evening. We saw the swans on the lake, and all six of their cygnets have survived this year, and this is a huge improvement on the single one that they managed to raise last year.
Just a very short section along Sands Road and then we were all done and dusted. Whilst completing the walk on day 2 we had managed another 68,000 plus steps in a further ten hours and thirty eight minutes on our feet, and all achieved on what proved to be the hottest day of the year so far!
We would like to thank everyone who encouraged and supported our endeavours during the many months of hard training, and also add how extremely grateful we are for all the donations received for the charity. Once the final amount collected is known we will of course inform you of the grand total.
To date the JustGiving target of £500 has already been exceeded, and there is at least another £300 pledged on paper sponsor forms, which is a truly magnificent figure.