Walking for Charlie: 2018
Updated: Feb 1, 2019
Since being diagnosed with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in February 2018, my friends and family have not only been an incredible support to me but have also been involved in fundraising and raising awareness for all EDS patients.
During the summer of 2018 my soon to be father-in-law Richard walked 250 miles of the South West Coast Path, wild camping for much of the journey with his belongings on his back. He completed the walk in eighteen days during the hottest weather in the UK for thirty five years. Journeying from Minehead along the North Devon and Cornish coast to Cape Cornwall; A total of 250 Miles + with a Cumulative Ascent of 48,000 ft!
Richard spoke to many people on his journery about EDS, raising awareness of the poorly understood, rarely diagnosed syndromes and about the EDS toolkit for GP's which had recently been published:
We also managed to get on morning prime time BBC radio Devon with Gordon Sparks to share the story and raise awareness.
Richard raised £2,450 for EDS UK in my honor! (EDS UK: https://www.ehlers-danlos.org/what-is-eds/)
Ehlers-Danlos Support UK funds vital research, influences the improvement of clinical care, provides vital information and support groups to patients and spreads awareness.
Here are some of the highlights of Richards incredible coastel trek, accompanied by stunning photos and musings.
"Asked for a Double Espresso with my Breakfast at the Boat Cafe in Widemouth and this came ?"
"Going South from Coome Martin to Illfracombe with the weather deteriorating with mist and fine rain so turned inland to Lee to find food at the Grampus Inn to find that no food was served on a Sunday! with no nearby camp site the Landlord Bill Harvey let me camp in the Garden with his barman cooking Dinner for free!"
"Walking from Braunton via Barnstable to Bideford and my first Wild Camp on the River Torridge Estuary at Appledore ."
"Appledore via Westward Hoe to Clovelly a long very hot day running out of water at Bucks Mill taking water from the river with my left knee very painful suppressed with Ibuprofen; I went inland for an hour in search of a Camp Site marked on the OS Map up very steep terrain with a blocked path to find that the Camp Site was now a building site! A Builder offered to take me to the next Camp Site at Higher Clovelly which had also been shut down? At this point I lost all confidence in OS Maps! A painful walk into Clovelly where I found a B&B and rested the next day ( Day 8)to allow my Knee to recover and buy a walking pole and knee supports."
"Camp Site at Stoke Barton opposite the church, where the lady kindly arranged breakfast for me at the Hartland Quay Hotel which was a great help as the Section to Bude is severe, desolate with nowhere to obtain food."
"Clovelly to Heartland Quay. The coast around Hartland Quay is spectacular! The next section to Bude is rated severe and desolate."
"Sunday 24th June at superb Crackington Haven Cornwall; A excellent BBQ at the Beach Cafe who found a B&B cabin with Peacocks in the Garden for me ! My German Host gave me huge breakfast on two plates! the full works!"
"From Tintagel to Port Isaac with the longest spell of hot weather that Cornwall has had in thirty five years."
"After Dinner at the Beach Hut at Watergate Bay and approaching Newquay running out out daylight! and was looking for somewhere to camp? had looked at Trevelgue Head but decided against it as it was too close to Newquay ? then I found a caravan site called Porth Beach Holiday Park jammed packed! I phoned the warden who drove out to find me,only one pitch for a tent at £21? but let me stay for free as I was on a Charity Walk. That night wakened by a thunder storm right over head ,certainly not the time to be camped on an exposed headland!"
"Holywell Bay Poldark Country" / “Parranporth Beach and the morning view from the YHA” / “St. Agnes”
“Portreath” / “Wild Camping view from the tent on the edge!” / “st. Ives Bay Hayle Beach 3 Miles of Golden Sand"
“Lelant Church viewed from Hayle side of the Estuary” / “Corbis Bay” / “St Ives”