This was a long, tough day. From Coldingham the road climbed upwards seemingly forever, high into the hills forested with evergreens.
Then it descended again past Eyemouth and Pease Bay. I was quite surprised as a turn in the road revealed sweeping vistas of the sunlit coast stretched out beneath me to discover how high I had climbed. I could see clear almost twenty miles to the power station and cement works just south of Dunbar and the town itself beyond them.
The view took my breath away. It is one of those moments where the much-used Americanism “awesome” would have been appropriate.
This gave way to another kind of moment: a “maybe I should cheat and take a bus” moment because the trouble with breathtaking vistas of the far distance is they reveal to you just how far you have still got to walk and sometimes the heart quails at the prospect, especially when you are already tired and your feet have been hurting all morning.
You will be pleased to know the ” maybe I should cheat” moment passed and I kept walking.
And then walked some more.
I ended up again on the dreaded A1′ whose engineers were obviously strangers to concepts such as pedestrians and pavements. The A1 runs along the coast here for miles and miles. Yesterday it also did it in uncomfortable heat.
The day ended up all right in the end as I am very lucky to be staying with the cousin of a very good friend in her gorgeous home on the outskirts of Dunbar. I would like to thank Fiona sincerely for her hospitality as by the end of the day I was exhausted and the weather took a turn for the worse so she saved me from a horrible night in a tent and a ghastly start to Day 65.
At the moment I am struggling to keep up the pace I set in the first weeks and the soreness and discomfort in my feet is unrelenting. I am into my tenth week away from home and have walked 975 miles. I thought it would get easier as the weeks went by but that has not been the case. If anything, despite the compensations of the wonderful people I have met, the kindness and other confirmations of hope for the future I have witnessed, this task is getting harder physically and mentally.
There have been many times when all I wanted to do is go home, wake up in my own bed, sit in my own kitchen chatting with my wife, see my kids and grandkids, have the relentless discomfort cease and this task is testing my ability to persist more profoundly than I could have imagined.
What keeps me going is the good will and encouragement so many people have given, and the generous donations so many people have made – and the purpose of this whole escapade, which is to give all our children a fighting chance of surviving the drugs epidemic in good shape and living happy drug-free lives.
I am willing to go on putting myself through this for that purpose.
So please don’t hold back. Make a donation through our GoFundMe web page now. We have a million kids to reach with the truth about drugs and we need your help now.