The prompt at Phoenix Rising today is to write about hiking. At my age and decrepitude I walk, but no longer hike, so here is a brief resumé of someone else’s hikes.
In 2010, poet Simon Armstrong walked the Pennine Way – 268 miles of rugged upland territory in the north of England. Giving readings at his night stops to pay for his bed and breakfast, the hike is recorded in Simon’s book Walking Home.
He followed this in 2014 with another marathon, walking the South West Coastal Path – which by coincidence is the same distance as the Pennine Way, and I am enjoying the experience vicariously by reading of the latest journey in Walking Away. The Coastal Path is an unrelenting up and down through wooded combes and moorland heights, resulting in a gait like a Scottish Haggis with two short legs and two long legs to accommodate the slopes. How he managed to give coherent poetry readings night after night after such gruelling days remains a mystery.
When he got to the end of Cornwall he continued by ferry and foot until he had walked the Scilly Isles right to the end of English territory.