After doing the Randonnee last weekend, I thought I was plenty prepared for Walking the Wight. So now I feel a little sheepish in admitting to hobbling around the house since arriving home a few hours ago, nursing sugary tea and tiffin cake. Whenever I stand up for a tea top-up, my legs quickly remind me that I walked 26.5miles today (and yes, that final 1/2 mile has to be counted.)
Walk the Wight is a big annual event on the Island calendar, with thousands of walkers trekking across fields, through forests, and over downs, to raise money for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice. This year was the 21st in its illustrious history, originally started by two local guys and now drawing crowds over 8000. I don’t know the official count this year, but with sunny skies and light breezes, it seemed that everyone was out soaking it all up.
We had the best weather in years, with a misty morning start at Bembridge. We walked with the sun at our backs, amongst crowds of people strolling on morning-fresh legs and gently chatting. And with blue skies all day, the Mountbatten’s sunflower emblem seemed particularly fitting.
The fresh legs didn’t last, and the moan-to-chat ratio was a little higher by the end of the day. But, chivvied on by friendly faces, local ice cream and the end in sight, we made it up over Tennyson Down and in to the cheery finish at Alum Bay. Across the Island in 8 hours = muscle ache and a proud grin.