LENKA WALKS THE SWCP!
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!