Hi to all of my friends,
I have sent you this link because it is easier than confessing my crazy idea to you all individually.
My plan is to walk all around the coast of Britain. You may well wonder why, and in fact, I have no good answer to that question – I just want to! I am not doing it for charity, although if my insanity moves you to make a charitable donation, my preferred destination would be The Guide Dogs Association – you can do it through this link to http://www.justgiving.com/Melita-Thomas
The first question everyone asks is “how far is it?” Bizarrely, owing to “fractal behaviour” the coast is infinitely long! See this explanation at http://www.cartography.org.uk
However, for practical purposes, it has been calculated at 11,072.76 miles (17,819.88 kms). This figure is derived from 1:10,000 maps, and represents the length of the mean high water mark. I guess I could round it up to 11,073 to be more impressive! I shall be using a handy little map measuring device from Silva to measure my exact distances.
The second question, is “how long will it take?” A few people have done it, and if you google you come up with people who have done it all in one go, and some who do it in pieces. For the single trip brigade, it takes about 10 months to a year (although the quoted distances seem to vary wildly – I have seen both 4,500 and 6,700 miles given as well as 19,000. I suppose it depends on the exact route and whether you include islands.) Other people have been at it for years.
I am planning to do it as quickly as I can, but, since I can’t practically take a year off I will have to do it in chunks. The benefit of this is that I can ask people to join me, and I will be posting a list of anticipated times and stretches for people to volunteer themselves. I would love to have all or any of you join me – the more the merrier. I am starting with a couple of days on 26-27th January, and aiming to do at least one weekend per month, with longer stretches over Easter and other holidays.
“I can’t imagine Melita camping!” is another cry, and you are absolutely right! I am certainly not planning to camp if I can possibly avoid it – it’s all very well camping in South America, which I did for 12 weeks (accompanied by a large van to carry the stuff) but my only experience of camping in the UK with my friend Vicki resulted in a sodden tent and a quick dash back to her mum’s for tea! I will be using B & B’s, Youth Hostels and, if any of you would like to offer me a bed, or have a friend with whom I could “sofa-surf” at any time I would be grateful.
I will be updating my progress each time I complete a section and tweeting when I have updated. Follow me at RemitMT #mtwalk