Sunday, 15 August 2010

Only 5 days to go! Last minute preparations.

Hello everybody,

I'm delighted to report that very generous donations continue to come in for MacMillan, I've been overwhelmed by the generosity shown by people before I've even made my first step. Every mile along the way is now going to feel more worthwhile than ever. If you would like to make a donation please visit my Just Giving page by clicking here.

On Monday and Tuesday 15th/16th August I'll be working on my milkround as usual. My Journey begins on Wednesday 17th when I travel to the New Forest for an overnight stay with relatives. They live close to Southampton Airport where I'll need to be first thing on Thursday morning to catch my 7-00am flight up to Wick (via Edinburgh). A bus will take me the last 20 miles from Wick up to John O'Groats. After a night in a B&B my walk will officially begin at around 9-00am on Friday morning.

At the moment I'm very busy with last minute preparations, tying up all the loose ends at home and liaising with the MacMillan and Milk & More teams to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible while I'm on the road.

I will start my walk feeling I've prepared as well as possible, more than a year of planning has gone into this event. There has been no compromise between price and quality when it comes to kit, I've only bought tried and tested hi-tech lightweight gear specificly designed for long distance walking. My route planning has gone into much fine detail for the whole journey. As for fitness, I've put in at least 500 practise miles over the last few months, always carrying the full weight of kit that needs to go on the walk with me, I feel in great shape and can't wait to get going. There are many very good websites that have helped me prepare for such a daunting task, travel journalist Mark Moxon's excellent website about John O'Groats to Lands End walking has been particularly useful.

Though I will I begin full of confidence I'm certainly not making the mistake of underestimating my task. Good fortune will have to be on my side, I'm aware that injury and illness could strike me at any time. There are many other things that could affect my progress, severe weather events for example. For these reasons I have chosen not to commit myself to a fixed timetable, my walk will take as long as it takes. If I reach the point of exhaustion or I'm suffering from injury I will stop and take rest days to give me the best chance of  lasting the entire distance.

Click here to see an accurate map and graphs of my final practise walk; a 10 mile stroll around Exmouth completed after work on Friday afternoon. This data was recorded on my hand-held Garmin GPS device. I'm hoping to post similar maps and graphs for my entire walk on this blog, however this will only be possible if I can get occasional access to a PC, unfortunately the data cannot be uploaded via my iPhone.



  1. Good luck Gary,looking forward to seeing you when you get to Bristol xx

  2. Good Luck Gary. I hope all goes well hun.
    I have posted your blog on Twitter xx


About Me

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Exmouth, Devon, United Kingdom
Hi :) I'm a 49yo father of three from Exmouth, a lovely seaside town in Devon. In parts of Exeter I'm well known as the local milkman where I've been making traditional doorstep deliveries for 15 years.