Readers of this blog will recall that last year – some 50 weeks ago, I attempted the gigantic but flat walk along Southport’s Coastal Road starting at Woodvale and all the way to Banks. Last year the pain in my feet was so great – owing to a bad decision to wear walking boots, that I had to bail out at Marshside and regretted it for the rest of the year.
This year I am very pleased to announce that I have now completed the entire route of 17+ miles yesterday – Sunday the 30th of March, 2014. The description of the walk is pretty much the same as for last year save for one minor venture on to the seafront, “sandy” path for a couple of hundred ‘wonky’ yards – even drying out sand is a bit of a nightmare upon which to walk. The weather was beautiful – blue skies, somewhat hazy. It was fantastic to see so many people out and about cycling and in the town centres – I don’t recall seeing any other walkers but then this route is not a popular route for walkers. The coastal road was not the usual cycling danger-zone (unlike last year) and I had no near-misses.
The entire journey took 6.5 hours with something like five and an half hours of this actual walking time – the rest was either sitting down with burning toes or visiting shops to buy more refreshments. The oddest thing which I saw on the day way a snake-stick! As for wild life there was one rabbit, two donkeys, too many geese, magpies, crows, one swan, some wading and coastal birds of which I do not know the names and sadly – no alpaca at Marshside.
The final stretch after leaving Marine Drive and buying yet more drinks at the BP service station was where the agony of too many blisters in one locale kicked in and after roughly one more mile, opposite the Spar on Preston New Road I decided to wait for the number 42 bus to cut out the next .85 miles. So in essence I didn’t walk the complete 20 miles circuit which I had mapped out beforehand – however I have now completed this wonderful stretch of road and the Marshside Coastal path cutting through the golf links and some marshes. This has been the longest that I have ever walked and although I do hope to even build upon this distance, there is a small amount of glory basking to be done in the interim! For now here are some more of the day’s pictures: