Subject: Fascinating, detailed and informative
Thank you for creating such a detailed record and resource of your LEJOG walk.
I often pondered doing it; I work for myself, am more or less semi-retired these days so time and finances wouldn't be an issue. I solo hike over 2000 miles a year, mostly 8-12 mile walks over trails where I live in the Cotswolds with no ill effects, so the physical side would probably be doable with perhaps a little extra training beforehand. I also zone out on my walking, I don't even need music; I just walk and enjoy, so I'd be fine with the sheer amount of miles and time involved.
However, I'm very much a creature of habit, organisation and structured living, and what your account made me realise was the amount of uncertainty, unpredictability, and sheer 'unplannable' situations in such a walk as this! I realised I would definitely struggle mentally worrying about such things as: where my accommodation might come from in a week's time, or whether there might be aggressive dogs or cattle in the next field, or if I can wash my clothes that night, or....and so on. I'd most likely get through it, but I for sure wouldn't enjoy that side of it, and I do my best to avoid stress now in my otherwise settled life.
Little gritty day-to-day living elements such as above, I'd never really even thought about, so I'm very grateful that your site covered all those angles. I applaud every single person that achieves LEJOG, but for myself, I'll now be content sticking to my 'back home by sunset' day hikes and reading sites such as yours!
Thanks, and best wishes.
Subject: LEJOG thoughts
Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you found my site useful.
I totally understand the stresses that come from not having accommodation booked, and the unpredictability of weather, fitness, equipment... the list goes on! I wrote about it often, which just shows how much of an obsession it became. But on the other hand, dealing with those obstacles was all part of the challenge, and it wouldn't be a challenge if it were easy, I guess.
One thing that would have really helped would have been a smartphone. These days you can book B&Bs and campsites and pubs and all sorts of accommodation from your phone, whereas back then I had to rely on my girlfriend (now wife!) to hunt down B&Bs near to my end point. That was really stressful, but these days you wouldn't have to convert an OS coordinate into a postcode to find B&Bs near you - that information is one click away, so in this instance, life has become a lot easier. I'm not sure there's ever going to be an app that tracks down aggressive cattle, but life has to have some surprises!
I guess what I'm saying is that some of the concerns in my writing are obsolete, particularly when it comes to logistics, map-reading and so on. Though yes, LEJOG can be stressful at times, of course; it makes reaching the end that much more of an amazing experience.
Just a thought, anyway. And thanks for taking the time to post your message; I really appreciate it.