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Details of Nick and Roger's walk to raise money for the Bungoma Lent Appeal
- Monday 30th March
Day Two - Tuesday 31st March
- Wednesday 1st April
- Thursday 2nd April
- Friday 3rd April
Total ~ 84 miles
If you would like to contribute to the Bungoma Lent Appeal please send your donations to
Rev'd Nick Wills
Morey picked us up for the journey to Anyho to start our epic walk
We left Aynho church with a send off from the local congregation and headed off to Charlton School. Here Nick led a short assembly before we continued on our way
We then walked steadily via Farthinghoe and Radstone to Syresham, where we arrived over half an hour early - it was such a great day we just kept walking and did not even stop for lunch
At Syresham school Nick again led a short assembly. By the way did you know Nick is a famous footballer? Well the children thought so!!! We were then able to relax for a few minutes and ate our late lunch before the whole school wished us a safe journey onward.
It was then the final leg of the day - 8 miles into Towcester. This was the hardest part although we only arrived a few minutes behind schedule. By the end Nick was having a few problems with his feet! but Penny met us in Towcester and we were able to relax on the journey home. However we have completed the first day, all 22 miles of it, and although we are both feeling a bit stiff, tomorrow is another day and we have actually now covered 1/4 of the distance to Peterborough
More tomorrow - watch this space
The start of Day Two - Morey picked us a little later today as we did not have quite so far to go. After being mistaken for a footballer yesterday Nick could well have been a geisha today. Following Monday's walk he had acquired no less than 10 blisters and by the time he had treated them his feet were totally swathed in bandages. However he was determined to carry on so we set out for Towcester Junior School where Nick was to lead the morning assembly.
Our next school was to be Milton Malsor so we set off trying to avoid the main A43 road taking a track that was shown on the map to be roughly parallel. Unfortunately after about half a mile it turned into a private road and we found ourselves having to back track. As it turned out there was a very good footpath by the side of the main road which was was ideal for Nick's feet. We then took a bye road trough Blisworth and over the Grand Union Canal before arriving at the school just in time to do an assembly before their lunch break.
One slight hitch was that Nick kept calling it Thorpe Malsor rather than Milton Malsor but I think we were forgiven. We stopped at the school for a drink and some lunch before continuing on our way, with a few hints from the school about which route to take. We went through Collingtree and then cut across the golf course to Wootton. We should have found a footpath to go to Great Houghton via Hardingstone but when we met the main A45 realised we had missed it! However we had only gone slightly too far so we we able to follow the road into Hardingstone and pick up the footpath there. The footpath, which was very good, led us round the back of Brackmills and into the village of Great Houghton. As Nick's feet we playing up a bit we stopped for some liquid refreshment in the local hostelry - well we needed to keep up our fluid intake anyway. It seemed to work wonders as Nick's pace quickened and good progress was made for the next few miles.
Continuing on via Little Houghton we joined the Nene Way for the final leg to Earls Barton. This section following the River Nene was the epitome of English countryside scenery with much birdlife including swans, mallards and even a heron.
Just like Monday this was the most difficult leg for Nick who was all right uphill but found down hill more difficult - as he was compensating for his aching feet it was putting more strain on his knee and hip. But we got there on time and found Penny waiting in the car to pick us up - a most welcome site.
So we have now covered approximately half the distance to Peterborough and we are still going - maybe a few aches and blisters but that is not going to stop us. Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting day's events.
I know many of you will believe what Roger is telling you about my blisters after day one, but to those who say "I will not believe until I see the wounds in his feet." You can click here for a photo of one of them. Thanks for your support, Nick.
As Nick had other commitments this morning we did not start until lunch time - this gave our feet a bit of a rest for a few hours and so today's route was only 12 miles. I took the opportunity to go for a swim (it is now free for the over 60's) and this helped to ease my legs back into action again.
We started off doing the afternoon assembly at St Andrew's school, where one of the pupils though I was Nick's Dad!!! - do I really look that old? Penny then took us to the point she had picked us up from in Earls Barton yesterday to begin today's leg!.
We started off by continuing along the Nene Way which went across a field of bullocks. They decided they wanted to follow us and only stopped when we went through a stile. The rest of the route was on roads which being flatter helped with Nick's knee problems. We went via Great Doddington, Little Irchester, Irthlingborough, and on to Little & Great Addington.
All went well up to Irchester and we were making reasonable time although Nick's knee was by now playing up a bit, meaning we had to stop a few times en route. The next stretch to Irthlingborough was about 4 miles and this really played havoc with his knee and he had to stop several times to 'click it' back into place, meaning we were now running quite late. Consequently it was nearly 20:15 by the time John did the pick up at Great Addington school, which is just past the floodlit church. We are keeping our fingers crossed on how the knee will be after a night's rest!
Day four, only one to go, but would Nick be able to continue? The answer was, yes, now with his knee encased in a tubular bandage and a knee support it seemed possible. Penny did the drop off at Great Addington School and we did our first assembly of the day. All went well, the school music group sang to us before all the children did a count down to set us on our way. It was just a short walk to Woodford but how would Nick's knee hold up? We planned to divide the day up into short sections with a break in between to let the knee recover and then take stock. We had John as back up if Nick was unable to continue but you will have to read on to see what happened. The weather was a little misty but we were in good spirits.
The first stage went well - we actually arrived in Woodford ahead of schedule and there was time for a coffee before the second assembly of the day.
The next stop was Islip a longer leg this time but the knee was still doing fine and we arrived on time. A break for refreshment in the local hostelry gave the knee a rest and restored our fluid balance before we set off on the next stage to Aldwincle. Nick was feeling Ok here so we continued on the short stage to Wadenhoe. We followed part of the Nene Way along the river bank and arrived just in time to sample the local ale before closing time!
15:00 Two stages to go - did we make it?
The next leg was to Stoke Doyle, via Pilton and by now the knee was starting to feel a bit sore. However we slowed the pace a little, had a short stop and arrived in one piece. We sat on a wall for a well earned break in one of the brief periods of sunshine and were then ready to tackle the final leg into Oundle.
The knee did play up a bit towards the end but we made it, feeling a bit like the Oundle sign - in need of a bit of TLC. Penny was there ready with a lift home - we had achieved our goal which at the start of the day had seemed in jeopardy.
The end is now in sight and with just one day to go that is a good incentive - by the time you read the next instalment we shall have successfully completed our trek - we hope!
I am sure you are all eager to know if we made it - well read on.
Penny took us to our drop off point and it was rather misty like Thursday had been but we were in good spirits. Our first assembly today was to be in Polebrook at 09:45 but when we arrived the first part was still in full flow and it was well after 10:00 before we had a chance to talk to the children. On this occasion parents were also present and donations were offered to swell the funds.
Then it was off towards Ashton (home of the conkers!!) where we met up with the Nene Way again and followed it all the way to Warmington. Just like yesterday we split the route up into sections of a few miles at a time to give Nick's knee a regular rest with the hope it would last the day. Today he also had the assistance of a pair of walking poles and they seemed to do the trick (why didn't we think of them before!!) We made Warminton in good time - even before the local ale house was open so we had to settle for a cold drink outside.
We continued on the Nene Way passing under the main Peterborough road and then left it to follow a bridle way across Elton Park to the village of Elton where a rest was most welcome along with the local ale. The mileage was now in single figures (only 9 miles to go). The final part followed the Oundle Road into the heart of Peterborough via Chesterton and Orton Longueville. The section to Chesterton was rather undulating and the knee was starting to give up but we made it and then crossed the A1 before taking a rest sitting on one of the safety barriers.
Only 5 miles to the Cathedral and now we had a footpath to follow. We started counting down the roundabouts and just by Ferry Meadows who should pull up along side us but David and Harriet who said they would meet us at the Cathedral. You do not realise how big Peterborough is until you walk in from the outskirts, but with 2 miles to go and over an hour to do it we stopped for our final rest and topped up our fluid levels.
This was it - the final thrust - Nick had slowed down a bit by now but we managed the required 2 miles in just under the hour. The first sight of the cathedral was most welcome and we were soon walking up to Cathedral Square where we we met by our families along with David and Harriet.
We went to the Cathedral and were met at the door by the Dean
We had a welcome cup of tea with him in the vestry and then attended Evensong before driving home and the chance to give our feet a welcome rest - perhaps we can even have a lie in tomorrow!
We have achieved our aim - to walk the diocese from end to end - and like Nick's assembly theme 'partnership' helps you to achieve things you did not think possible.
Thanks once again for all your encouragement and support and all that is left to do is to collect in the money!! - we hope to see you all on Sunday.