Their story, in their words….
On our hiking challenge, although tiring, we were able to trek the long distance along the beautiful idyllic coast of Cornwall. It was an experience we will never forget! Prior to our challenge we both practised walking long distances, we walked twice around Richmond Park for preparation. Both of us, Stella and Esmahan met up with each other at Victoria coach station on the day at 10pm, an hour before our coach departed at 11pm. These were the most appropriate timings as the journey between Cornwall and London took 7 hours so when we arrived there it was 7am morning, the start of the day. After eating a hearty breakfast at a nearby cafe to fuel us, we started our hike at 8am in Hayle, St Ives. To reach the coast we navigated our way there by reading the map, where we walked uphill through the woods of a nature reserve. When we reached the coastline we trekked to the town of Porthreath, with two 40 minute breaks in between to rest and admire the breath-taking view. We arrived at the YHA at 5pm, but after the long coach journey and hike we were pretty worn out and fell asleep fast! We felt that this would happen as a result, so in advanced we planned that we would start our challenge with a sensible distance for the first day so we would have more energy for the second and third day where we would walk longer distances.
On the second day, we woke up feeling refreshed and started our hike at 8 ‘o’ clock in the morning where we walked for the whole day to Newquay. We remained hydrated throughout the trip and when it got very exhausting we took 10 minute breaks in order to regain our stamina which was needed for us to go on and reach our goal. It was truly an amazing view and at one lunch break we went down to the beach, rolled up our trousers and took off our shoes to dip our feet in sea. It was very relaxing! We then resumed our trek, stumbling upon some historical landmarks such as Wheal Coates, a clifftop tin mining complex remains. There were some hills of sandy terrain, which made it slightly harder to walk through as it was steep and a bit more slippery, however we maintained our balance as we were carrying walking sticks which helped stabilise us to not fall down. After staying at another YHA, we set off the next day for our last day of hiking. Luckily, for all three days we did not have any rain and it was sunny. At one point, one of us started getting blisters so using our First Aid kit, the cuts were sterilised and plastered over so we could continue walking again. On the final day we trekked to the destination of Padstow, we arrived a little later in the day than expected (off by an hour) however we had managed to accomplish our goal in the three days. We left for London the next day in the morning, having completed the challenge tired but pleased with ourselves.
There was a lot to organise in terms of transport, walking routes and accommodation. Sharing this planning as partners, we feel we gained valuable experience in team work- in sharing and allocating the tasks between us fairly and communicating. Both of us learnt that it is really important to pace yourself using time management skills. We also learnt the importance of timetabling, scheduling specific tasks to be completed by certain times to ensure that you don’t end up having to rush everything last minute. It was lovely being there and learning so much about the area, when planning and deciding our route we read a lot about the different attractions there and the area’s history. We are very thankful to the Mark Evison foundation for this amazing opportunity.