Walking the Coast of Wales

Walking the Coast of Wales

Mona and David's Blog - to comment on a post, 'click' on any post heading!

JULY 18TH – HIKE TO LAKE HELEN [BANFF NATIONAL PARK]

On Friday, MaD, [Mona and David] with good friends and MaD Walking supporters, Anne, Fred, Marion and Harvey, walked the 14 km Helen Lake trail, one of the many beautiful trails in Banff National Park. In the photographs you will notice smoky skies that come from forest fires raging in British Columbia. On a clear day the views are even more incredible. The flowers along the trail were spectacularly beautiful. Thanks to Anne for identifying the flowers and thanks to Marion for sharing some of her photographs.
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MAD WALKING: BACK IN CANADA – AN UPDATE!

BACK IN CANADA – AN UPDATE
It’s been two weeks since our return to Canada and our return to the MaD Walking site. To update the people who followed our walk in Wales and who BECAME a part of our walk through their encouragement and support, here is some of the latest news.
• After we finished our walk on June 12th, we enjoyed the hospitality of friends and relatives in and from Borth, Ciliau Aeron, Carmarthen, Llangendeirne, Gilfach Goch, Cardiff and Tunstall, Suffolk.
• A get-together party of nearly 60 people in Carmarthen [organized by my sister, Margaret], raised over £1300 towards the 4 charities we are supporting. The total raised now has reached more than £10,000 [$18,770].
• To continue our quest and raise more, the website, Facebook Page, and donations sites will be open until the end of September.
• MaD [Mona and David] will have a Marketplace booth at the North American Festival of Wales in Minneapolis from August 28th to 31st where they will give a PowerPoint presentation of their Walk in Wales in the hope of reaching people who are hesitant to donate through internet.
• On September 20th, in Calgary, a similar presentation will be made to members of the Calgary Welsh Society and the general public at St Mark’s church hall.

I have posted some photos that tell a little of what we have been doing since the completion of our walk.
Once again, many, many thanks to our family, friends and Facebook followers who have supported us and continue to do so……..

3GilfachGoch 3iValleyView 5MaryStatuePenrhys 6CyfarthaCrawshaysCastle
1Aberfan
8CardiffFarewell 9StTeiloDescrip 10ChurchExterior 11ChurchInterior 12ChurchInterior2 14DavidHseExtGar 15DavidHouseInt 16StatelyHomeSuffolk 17StatelyHomeGarden 18iAlongDyke 18Suffolk Beach 19MartelloTwer2 20MartelloTwr 21FishCreekBikePark 24NoseHillBike 25Nosehill2
28CityViewNosehill2
29HealyPass 30HealyPass2 31ViewFrom HealyPass

THE QUESTION: WHY WALK ?

I’ve been asked why walk the coast of Wales as opposed to touring it by bike or car. The following North West Territories of Canada experience comes to mind and perhaps helps answer the question.
A leader within the Tlicho First Nations felt the need for his people to get back in touch with their traditional hunting, fishing and trapping lands. To help do this he came up with a plan for an annual canoe trip that followed the river and lake trails of their Tlicho ancestors! His idea, back in the mid-1990s was to purchase canoes that could be paddled by people – youth, parents, teachers, guided by elders, to rediscover these trails.
In seeking money to purchase the canoes it was suggested that he purchase motors to put on the canoes as these would help ease the process and move the canoes more quickly along the ‘trails’.
His explanation as to why people needed to paddle rather than motor has stayed with me ever since, and is one of the main reasons I wanted to walk the coast of my country of birth!
I can’t repeat verbatim what John B. said but in my understanding it goes like this. When you are paddling your canoe you can hear, see, watch and smell the things around you. You can look back! You can stop paddling and observe. You are able to talk to those with you about those things you see or hear, or simply, in silence, absorb them into your experience. On the other hand, if you are driving a canoe with a motor, you can only look ahead to see where you are heading to avoid rocks. The motor drowns out sounds, frightens away birds and animals and makes conversation difficult. And, of course, what applies to the motorized canoe also applies to the car.
Walking is a whole sensory experience, something that is difficult to attain in today’s fast moving, motorized world.

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STATISTICS: MaD WALKING COASTAL PATH OF WALES

Well, we’ve reached the point in our walk around the coastal path of Wales, Mona and I, David, can say “We have finished!’ The statistics as of June 12th were as follows:

MILES COMPLETED ON OFFICIAL COASTAL PATH:
870 miles / 1400kms

START OF WALK Chepstow, March 1st, 2014
½ WAY POINT Borth, April 23rd, 2014
START 2ND 1/2 OF WALK Chester, April 29th, 2014
COMPLETION OF WALK Borth, Thursday, June 12th, 2014

LONGEST WALK: 16 1/2 miles
SHORTEST WALK: 5 miles
AVERAGE # OF MILES WALKED PER DAY 10 miles

APPROX # OF STEPS TAKEN BY MaD 3,480,000 steps [conservative #]
[based on 2,000 steps per mile]

APPROX. MILES DRIVEN BY OSCAR 2000 miles

FOOT EQUIPMENT
David: BOOTS/SHOES BROUGHT FOR WALK 3 pairs
BOOTS STILL USABLE 1 pair
Mona: BOOTS/SHOES BROUGHT FOR WALK 3 pairs
BOOTS/SHOES STILL USABLE 2 pairs

HEALTH
David:# OF BLISTERS DURING WALK 1
# OF INCIPIENT BLISTERS 2
Mona:# OF BLISTERS DURING WALK 3

# OF COLDS SUFFERED DURING WALK
Mona 0
David 0
Oscar 0

# OF TUMMY UPSETS DURING WALK
Mona 0
David 0
Oscar 0

APPROXIMATE # OF PHOTOS TAKEN 5000

MEASURE OF SUPPORT FROM FAMILY, FRIENDS [old & new], & ONLINE SUPPORT [perhaps the most important statistics] :
IMMEASURABLE, FANTASTIC!

CURRENT AMOUNT RAISED TO DATE FOR 4 CHARITIES APPROX £7500 or $14,000
[Charity donations will be received until Sept, 2014]

Map of Wales HILIGHTS FINAL

June 12th: Furnace to Borth [about 8 miles] THE END OF OUR 870 MILE/1400 KM WALK AROUND THE COASTAL PATH OF WALES –MAGNIFICENT WALES!

It was great to have the company of Lesley, our god-daughter, on this, our final walk. The walk took us through the hills to emerge at Tre’r ddol before heading through Taliesen to the great bog known as Cors Fochno. Now, David, the D in MaD, was on familiar ground that he enjoyed as a boy. After crossing the Leri River, walking towards St Matthew’s church, we were surprised by a large group of friends and relatives who welcomed us ‘home’. Thank you so much! Without the support of family and friends throughout Wales we simply could not have completed this walk. Thank you friends and hew friends who have followed us on Facebook and on our website…you kept us going! Thank you Oscar for giving us 4 months of your life to help us in this endeavor. Without you this walk would have been so much more difficult to accomplish!
Somebody at the beginning of our walk said by that by the time we would finish, if we finished, we would be calling it DaM walking rather than MaD walking! Wrong! Our walk around the coastal path of Wales has been the most challenging and enjoyable experience of our lives. Wales is a small, intense, magnificent country that offers so much and gave us so much – over each hill and around each turn, a new vista, a surprise, history, new friends, reconnections, journeys back in time, great beaches and most welcoming people!
TOMORROW: STATISTICS

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  • Mona and David Matthews from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in a ‘mad’ moment, have decided to walk the 1400km, 870 mile coastal path of Wales! They will do this to raise money for cancer research and related support in Wales, Canada and the USA. David, who was raised in Wales, will celebrate his 70th birthday on the walk. The official start date will be, from Chepstow, SE Wales, on St David’s Day, 2014. Please support the cause by donating and sharing this website with family, friends and colleagues!
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