Hi everyone, this month’s blog is about “experiences”. The definition of which can be described as “an event or occurrence which leaves an impression”. The experience I’m going to chat about today definitely left an impression, but what kind of an impression I’m about to share. Apparently it’s better to spend money on experiences than on material stuff as it makes you happier. I had to question whether the £2.00 I spent on this particular experience made me happier than if I’d bought a bar of chocolate, but here we go.
As readers of my blog know, Jamie and I are currently walking the entire length of the Cornish coastal path. It’s nearly 300 miles in total and we’re attempting to finish it this Summer. We’ve 5 more sections to walk but they’re the most difficult and logistically challenging from where we’re based in St Agnes. Last week we completed one of them – from Polruan to Polperro. It’s an 8-mile stretch which sounds relatively easy but the total ascent was over 610m which is also the height considered necessary to be called a mountain as opposed to a hill. So, in short, we walked 8 miles up a mountain.
This particular segment was also challenging to plan. We often do a circular walk or even a return but because this walk was classified as strenuous and it was hot, we decided to park in a National Trust car park in the middle of the two destinations. We would then walk the 4 miles to Polperro making sure we arrived in time to get the bus to Polruan. There are only two buses a day so it was vital we didn’t miss it. Once off the bus at Polruan we would complete the remaining 4 miles back to our car park thereby completing the whole section.
So, what’s the problem I hear you say. Well, the day started off wonderfully, the coastal views were magnificent and with the sun shining brightly, the water was a stunning turquoise. The 4 miles to Polperro were exquisite, albeit with lots of large climbs. We arrived in Polperro surprised to see the bus appearing round the corner right on time and this is where the fun starts. Those of you who read my blog about our Satnav know I don’t like small roads. If you want to drive to any of the beauty spots in Cornwall, small roads are a necessity so I was gradually getting used to them. That is, until the day of our walk when I was so traumatised its set me back years. The first thing I noticed when I boarded the bus was a seat belt. Now, whilst I don’t take the bus regularly, I’ve travelled on them enough to say I’ve never seen a seat belt until now. I also observed I was the only one who fastened mine. It’s also fair to say that the narrow roads are supposedly two-way and whilst the Yorkshireman driving our bus didn’t say “brace yourself, its going to be a hell of a ride” I did think it might have been appropriate to provide some warning.
We set off on the 8-mile journey with not an “A” road in sight, in fact I’d be surprised if we made it on to a “B” road. For me, I kind of expect a road to be tarmacked, but I can only describe the first part of the journey as a track with grass in the middle. It didn’t stop the Yorkshireman from hurtling along without a care in the world, despite the potholes and blind bends and zero knowledge of what could be lurking around the next corner. I asked Jamie a couple of times to wear his seatbelt much to his amusement. We weren’t wearing masks either as these appear to be obsolete on this particular route in Cornwall but I did think my mask might have been useful to throw up in.
Eventually about halfway through, around the 4-mile marker someone rang the “request to stop” button. Now, imagine this, we’re in the middle of nowhere, not a shop, pub or house in sight and the Cornish lady who’d been chatting away merrily to the Yorkshireman wanted to get off. Everyone remaining on the bus looked around and I’m pretty confident, that, like me, there was nothing that resembled a dwelling within view and we could see an exceptionally long way! The only thing I did notice was one of those little signs indicating that the road was going to get narrower ahead. WTF I thought privately to myself.
On the entire 8-mile expedition we only passed 3 other vehicles hurtling towards us in the opposite direction. I’m not kidding when I tell you it was a bloody miracle we didn’t crash. Unbelievably there were two places on that 8-mile trip that were wide enough to paint a white line in the middle of the road. Well, when I say wide enough, it still wasn’t my idea of a road. We met a “smallish” removal lorry in one of those places and a DPD van in the other. The third vehicle we met was a car. The Yorkshireman driving our bus wasn’t impressed with the car driver and called him an incompetent “so an so” who didn’t know the width of his own bloody car. At this point we were nuzzled closely into the hedge while the poor chap driving the black Mazda was in shock at meeting a bus, being driven at 60 mph by an irate Yorkshireman on a track in the back of beyond. To my amazement, we arrived at our destination at the scheduled time. Really? This was the norm! I’d been convinced we’d be at least 10 minutes early.
Whilst I lived to tell this tale I did feel like a cat on its 8th life when another crazy thing happened that day. After we’d completed the remainder of our walk and relaxed into the car for our journey home, we only went and met the ONE remaining bus of the day hurtling towards us in the opposite direction. Fortunately, Jamie does know the size of our car and we were able to nudge past by tucking in the wing mirrors, without too much squealing from the passenger seat.
Movng on, walking really does help with my AS. I write my blog to help raise awareness of autoimmune disease and it regularly makes the top 5 read on my blog site so I do get a lot of traction. I also get loads of questions about why walking helps so much. Those who live with AS mostly have joint deformities, fused joints like my sacroiliacs and further fusing of the spine, so fear of getting hurt does discourage people from exercising. However, walking is mostly minimal impact so helps to maintain joint motion and function. For me it also helps ease pain and improve my posture. It tackles muscle imbalances and helps with my breathing. It definitely improves my quality of life with the added bonus of keeping my weight down so a winner all round really.
Before I sign off I want to quickly mention trolls as they are becoming more commonplace. People can be so horrible on social media and I’ve often said they must lead incredibly sad lives to be so angry all of the time. LinkedIn has become the same, people are so rude to each other even though it’s supposed to be a professional platform. This is why I found this Ricky Gevais quote funny..
“A troll is someone who wants you to feel, for a few seconds, as miserable as they do for their entire existence”.
I know I harp on about it but why can’t people disagree politely? Why is someone wrong because they have a different opinion to you? We don’t need to share the same opinions as others but we do need to be respectful. You don’t have to disrespect and insult others to hold your own ground. If you do, it shows how shaky your own position is..
On that note, fill your life with experiences, pay 2 quid and take the bus 😊
Have an amazing day, until next time xxxxx
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