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  • Eliza Bartlett

Day: 133 - Location: Sudbury, UK Distance: Approx 3400km

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

The last week has flown by and has dished out every possible emotion and challenge that I could of imagined.

From watching one of the greatest cricket test matches I’ve seen to mistakes, tough weather and dangerous roads.

I had a fantastic time off in Birmingham!m and was lucky enough to watch most of the 1st Ashes Test Match! What a game/result that was, and to be there, felt almost worth walking 3300km to see it!

Celebrations were large, with Australia taking over Birmingham for the night. I was lucky to meet plenty of great fellow Australians and catching up with many I already knew! I had to head off walking again the next morning, but worth every bit of pain I was feeling the next day!

I was also very lucky to meet the lovely JDRF team in Birmingham! I’m so grateful for how helpful they have been and the continual support, promotion, and also organising media for my journey. I look forward to catching up with more of the team in Leeds!

To top off a fantastic week, I walked out of Birmingham towards The Belfry - A resort/hotel/golf club. A beautiful hotel/Resort, but more importantly home/host to many Ryder Cup’s (Golf tournaments for non golfers)! I booked this a little while back as a little treat to myself for making it this far! I loved every second of being here, and managed to fit in a round of golf while I was there. For those of you that know me well, golf is something I’m pretty passionate about (if not addicted to), so four months without a club in my hand has been tough! I definitely won’t let that long pass again!

Leaving the Belfry, as tough as it was, I was feeling mentally refreshed, although still physically exhausted! It didn’t take long for that mental exhaustion to return. The roads here in England have been really difficult to walk along. It takes almost twice as long to walk in some busier parts due to having to stop and jump out the way of every incoming car. The option of quieter roads or footpaths are not as they were throughout Europe. The pathways along the side of the roads are also very soft and unravel, making it hard on the feet, with some very close calls to a few ankle injuries.

Having to concentrate and watch for any cars, and surfaces of the road, at all times certainly has taken its toll a bit. There has been less chance to tune out to music or podcasts and take my mind off things, instead needing to try to keep safe and be able to see and hear anything/car that could cause danger.

After another couple of days walking I made it to Derby. Before leaving Derby, I was fortunate to catch up with Ty Watson and Hannah Custancewho had been up in Scotland and were driving down to south of England. Such perfect timing! It was great to be able to spend the morning having a relaxing breakfast in the town with them, with plans of a slightly shorter day (21km) of walking.... (but if I’ve learnt anything it’s that plans never stick.)

So after leaving Ty and Hannah, I set off! After a few KM I decided to double check details about my hotel for the night. This was when I realised I had booked a hotel, 20km South of where I was heading, not only In the wrong direction, but adding an extra 30-40km onto my journey!

To my defence when you type the address into google maps, it takes you to directly to where I thought I was going, it just happened that I didn’t type the postcode and the town name was not the town the hotel was in..

It took me quite a while to decide what to do. After speaking with the hotel, no chance of a refund, and no other accomodation closer available, I had no choice but to walk there. 😫🤦🏼‍♀️

It took me a few moments where all I wanted to do was cry, I was so exhausted already and could not imagine walking this extra amount that wasn’t planned for.

Instead, I chose to laugh. I knew that I would laugh about this in the future, and despite being exhausted, it wasn’t going to impact me massively.

I also know how much harder it is to push through boundaries and any pain, when you aren’t positive. I wasn’t willing to make it harder than it already was going to be, so chose to laugh at myself and push through.

I’m lucky that stress is not an emotion that comes easily to me, so situations like this rarely cause too much distress. Keeping calm has certainly helped me on many of the challenges I’ve faced over the past four months. I managed to arrive at my hotel, ordered a lovely meal and big glass of wine to help with the situation!

Unfortunately I am aware that tomorrow is going to be a whole lot harder as I had booked accomodation ahead of time. Because of my mistake, i will therefore need to walk around 40km through the Peak District to get there. This means plenty of mountains to hike during one of my longest days.

I just have to keep reminding myself, “pain is temporary, but a cure for Type One diabetes will last forever”! This is what is getting me through!

Every step I take, will continue to be worth it as I tackle the Peak District on my way up to Leeds, for the third Ashes Test (Cricket)!

A long way to go, but thanks for the support over such a long time already! Just under 8 weeks to go! 😬


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