16th November 2010

Nat’s Big Walk; the final stage, Folkestone to Portsmouth

Viv Alexander

A massive well done to Nat who, on 5 November, completed his huge challenge – a continuous walk around the coast of Britain, starting and finishing in Portsmouth.  The mega-trek took 10 months – here he tells us how he felt during the final stage:

So I have finished. On 5 November, just after 4:30 pm, I walked up to South Parade Nat_finish_004pier in some pretty miserable weather to be welcomed by a group of friends and family. I had been dreading the return slightly. Not because I wasn’t ready to stop, I was looking forward to being able to do something other than walk every day but I was not looking forward to the attention being on me. Luckily after an awkward 5 minutes, stood, having people photograph me, I was able to enjoy seeing the people that had come out and chat to them in a more relaxed way. Moving on to the pub helped that.

Nat at finishThe last 10 days of my journey took in some interesting places, not least Dungeness which is one of the strangest places I walked through all year. I don’t know whether the weather compounded the feeling but the place was very bleak with its power plant and dark flat surrounding landscape.  Getting closer to home meant that, just as with the first week, there were people to stay with most nights. My last ever camp spot of the walk was near Bracklesham but was disappointing in that it was definitely not one of the better spots. I think the increasingly urban landscape and contact with more familiar people as I neared home has meant that the transition back to normal life has been easier than I anticipated. I haven’t yet been home for Nat in pub with friendseven a week yet though so we shall see if it holds true.   As this is my last entry, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the people who have helped and supported me along the way. I have been lucky enough to not only have the support of my immediate family, but also of friends, acquaintances and strangers alike and without all these people it could have been a very different adventure. Thank you also to all those that have sponsored me through one of my 3 chosen charities, the donation pages are still open via my website for anyone still wishing to donate.

Lastly, thank you to GeoVation for your massive contribution to the walk.

Nat