Clive Wooster has been a staunch support of brainstrust since we set out to make things better for people with brain cancer 4 years or so again. Even now, after 4 years, Clive is finding new and challenging ways to support our cause. Here he shares with us his latest adventure.
How to find a novel fundraising event for brainstrust?
Well, completing the annual cycle event around the Isle of Wight, the Randonee, would provide the first challenge and so 65 miles of wet and cold island roads were dispatched on 2nd May. The second part would be the tough one though – how about walking around the Island Coastal Path in 3 days? Read on….
My serious walking pal James Watkins accompanied me and I’m glad I didn’t try it on my own – his encouragement and advice were priceless. On Sunday we set off along the pier at Ryde for day one – around a 20 mile trek to Niton.
With a 25c sun, it was a battle to keep enough water in the system – the more we carried, the heavier our rucksacks. We wound our way through Seaview, Bembridge, Sandown and Shanklin before plunging into the Luccombe Chine before finally getting to our Hotel at the end of a long day. Clive’s reward was a quick swim and the consideration this challenge might be hard!
The second day dawned bright and hot again as we left Niton and made for Yarmouth. For the most part the path wound along the cliffs and we passed many chines, gorges and sadly now forlorn Holiday camps which once would have resounded to the happy laughs and cries of families. A much needed break for Clive (James had barely broken a sweat) and it was up Tennyson Downs and the Needles before heading back to Yarmouth.
We met with brainstrust’s Helen and Peter in Yarmouth that evening and I noticed at this point my feet were starting to partially disintegrate! A reviving pint though, soon had us celebrating our 2nd days 20 + miles! and apart from general tiredness and sore feet, we seemed to be surviving.
Day 3 was to be the most testing. Not only the longest at close to 25 miles, it was the most irritating too as it skirted the Newtown Estuary with its interminable in and outs. 2.5 hours walking only had us about 4 miles away from Yarmouth such were the serpentine twists of our route. Eventually we wound through Porchfield and Thorness Bay en route to Gurnard and Cowes. From there our route wound less interestingly through Whippingham and Wootton which really dragged. At Fishbourne though, the impressive Quarr Abbey cheered us up and we realized unless we sped up we’d miss the Fast cat, so we jogged the last 2 miles and finally at 6.45 PM we arrived back at our starting point, 3 days, about 30 hours of walking and around 70 miles later.
Was it worthwhile? – definitely yes. Was it exhausting? – another overwhelming affirmative. Would we do it again?- youknow we just might!
Clive Wooster and James Watkins