LENKA WALKS THE SWCP!

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - #walk1000miles Update -

64-year-old Lenka Tomsova walked the South West Coast Path, net­ting 630 miles in one go! At my age you have two choices: rot away on a sofa, or to do some­thing! I’m not a sporty per­son and walk­ing is the only ‘sport’ I’m will­ing to do. My body loves it even more than I do. On a path all my aches and pains dis­ap­pear im­me­di­ately and I love be­ing alive!

Be­fore I came to the UK from Prague, I felt ex­hausted and burnt

out. So three years ago I changed ev­ery­thing – came to West Sus­sex to learn English and un­ex­pect­edly fell in love with your coun­try. Last year I walked about 500-600 ‘boots on’ miles in­clud­ing the South Downs Way & Hadrian’s Wall Path. When I found #walk1000miles I thought it would be fan­tas­tic to find out if I could do it. It re­ally in­spired me! I moved to Devon and the de­sire to walk the SWCP was born – I love be­ing by the sea and the coast here is stun­ning. I wanted to see it all! The path is like a roller­coaster from the very be­gin­ning. It was in­cred­i­bly hot and my body wasn’t re­ally ready for it. More than once I had to ask my­self “What the hell am I do­ing here? Why?” But af­ter en­joy­ing su­perb views, breath­ing sea air, watch­ing the sea and sleep­ing un­der stars hav­ing my evening cup of tea I stopped such silly ques­tions.

I spent 52 days on the go – 26 nights camp­ing wild, four in camp­sites, 10 in hos­tels, four in ho­tels or B&Bs, seven nights at friends’ houses and even one night in a ho­tel store­room! I slept on the beach a few times in­clud­ing on Ch­e­sil Beach and in sand dunes, on a golf course, on a vil­lage green, on fields, a lifeboat sta­tion, an Iron Age camp, be­low a mil­i­tary fir­ing point...

I walked from St Ives to Bo­tal­lack, 23 miles, and couldn’t find a place

to camp. It was eight o’clock, windy and looked as if it was go­ing to rain and wor­ried I would never find shel­ter. A storm was ap­proach­ing fast! Even­tu­ally I found shel­ter in a low vaulted room in a for­mer mine build­ing – dark, dirty, claus­tro­pho­bic, but there wasn’t any choice! I pan­icked and texted my friend Kate. She told me I was in­trepid, which was en­cour­ag­ing, al­though I didn’t feel it: I was ter­ri­fied! But I sur­vived!

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