As I have run down the UK, there are walls everywhere this brought back memories of running along the Great wall of China where I was totally absorbed in the magnitude of this feat of mankind, how and why was this wall build. Slowly as the facts unfolded, so too was the total awe of this feat and shear accomplishment, the biggest construction site in the history of mankind. I look across the landscape that I am now running, there is hardly and area that does not have some kind of wall, hedge or barrier that is man made.
Rolling green meadows everywhere, dotted the biggest and most healthy cattle that I have ever seen, this is interleaved with flocks of moulting sheep, their winter coat hanging off in tatters as the prepare for the warmer weather not only that, but muscular and fit. There is absolutely no shortage of good grazing here.
But as I look up to the sky the sun is quickly blotted out by massive low hanging low clouds rolling in over the ocean and enveloping the hills and valleys, leaving massive strips of mist that look as if they are torn off as the clouds roll on inland. The weather pattern is strange here, very unlike the winter that one sees back home. There one can predict what the day may do, especially when its going to rain and for how long. Here there seems to be no end to the stream of clods as they roll in day after day.
The first day on the road is always a difficult one especially with regards to your first overnight spot as one is not yet used to the system in the country and where you may and may not sleep. Darren had been driving around, looking for a camp site. Andy and I used to the life on the road said to him not to worry, we will find a spot. The day was coming to a close and we spotted something that looked like just the place. It was an old deserted Quarry, it seemed all fenced off and long out of commission. There was an office building in front of the rusty locked gate. The windows were broken and half boarded up. We sent Darren a locator and waited.
What a mad trip it’s been from South Africa. I awoke on Monday morning at 4, a friend of mine was going to Johannesburg on the early flight, so he offered me a lift to Cape Town international airport. I boarded the 6 o’clock morning flight to Durban, I still had to do 2 presentations that morning in Durban, then fly to Johannesburg and then only catch the evening flight to London Heathrow. Then the next morning catch a flight to Edinburgh, landing there at 11-40. Andrew and Darren were then to meet me there and we would do the 500km drive to John O’Groat’s to the start of the run.
Its been a roller-coaster few weeks getting everything ready for the UK run. To say the least it has been a bit of a surprise that its all suddenly come together, but the opportunity was there and if you don’t act on it you going to regret it for ever.