So... 'The Coast to Coast'. I thought everyone, by now, would know what we meant by 'doing the coast the coast' - thanks to the ubiquitous Ms Bradbury et al striding across the country in Wainwright's footsteps, in the company of camera crews and TV production assistants. But no. It seems not.
'Which bit of the country are you walking across - the narrowest part?' (A question which may be more about their perception of my walking ability - natch, narrowest part = fewer footsteps = less effort.) 'Which coast to coast?' (How many are there I wonder? Although, as we live on an island, I guess it's not an unreasonable question.) Or just the vague, 'Where's that?'
So I start to explain... it's 192 miles from St Bees in the Lake District to Robin Hood's Bay on the Yorkshire coast... and the questioning turns from the sublime to the ridiculous...
'You're WALKING 192 miles? Are you stopping anywhere along the way?' Oh only the odd butty break and call of nature, should be there by tea time... OF COURSE we're stoppping on the way.
In fact, we're taking thirteen days to complete the challenge – setting off from St Bees on the Bank Holiday Monday, 2 May – waved off by members of Wasdale MRT – and meandering our way via Ennerdale Bridge, Rosthwaite, Grasmere, Patterdale, Shap, Kirkby Stephen, Muker, Reeth, Richmond, Ingleby Cross, Blakey Ridge and Grosmont to Robin Hood's Bay, where we'll be met by a motley collection of friends, family and the Scarborough and Ryedale MRT. Hopefully still capable of putting one foot in front of the other (us that is) and walking to the bar to order a celebratory drink!
So, yes, we'll be stopping once or twice along the way – the B&Bs are booked (no tents or jetboils on this trip) and, thanks to Sherpa Van, our bags should miraculously arrive at each destination ahead of us. Ooh... maybe we should hitch a lift?