Last Impressions And Thoughts

No broken bones, sprains or falls. No cuts or bruises, but a couple of minor blisters. Lots of bandaged and taped toes which kept them in fairly good shape except for some blood on my little toe. Muscles and joints are in good shape (except for the Swastika curse) and my stomach is a little flatter. I feel like I'm in better shape than when I started and certainly healthier after 16 days and 233 miles.

I'm very pleased with the routes I've linked up, an interesting variation of terrain, some very challenging days and some easy, and quite a few interesting geological features. I'm happy with that! I particularly like walking a linear long distance route where I have a predetermined destination each day. It provides me a certain motivation and, I think, keeps the adrenaline flowing to meet each days' goals. It's a whole different psychological feeling than day walks.

Cost of accommodation and food? Everyone is always interested in that. For the 16 days, £546 or about $874 for lodging. Of course, the hostels were relatively inexpensive, averaging £24.20 per night. The B&Bs averaged £38.64 per night. This does not include my last night in Leeds which was a splurge. I don't really count that as part of my walk lodging. Food costs will vary significantly with the individual, but my total came to £215 including a nightly pint, almost £13.50 per day or $21.50. This does not include breakfasts which are included in all lodging costs. Not bad, eh. But then, I'm not a big eater.

My friends in the USA, not having experienced walking in the UK, ask me why I do it. In short, as a retired American, I appreciate the convenience of carrying a light pack, landing in a village after a day of walking, eating and drinking in a pub and having a place to sleep at night. In the states, we are either restricted to day walks or we have to camp out on multi-day hikes. At my age of 73, camping is not an option anymore, both for pack weight and creature comfort considerations. That is why I appreciate the British national trail system and come back each year. Besides, I always have a great time!

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