This was Andy’s bedroom last night – Coombe Hill, just West of Wendover – and Andy sent me the photo this morning. Coombe Hill is the highest point in the Chilterns and about 11 miles from Ivinghoe Beacon, where Andy started. The hill has a very well-known Boer War monument on the top and, on a clear day, terrific views.
It’s on the outskirts of the Chequers Estate, the official country residence of Britain’s Prime Ministers.
Andy texts that the bivvy worked beautifully, but that a cow nibbled a bit on one of his feet. It didn’t hurt (him or the bivvy) and his feet are holding up well. His legs ache and he’s got a slight blister on his ankle (glad I made him take the blister plasters and paracetamol … wish I was there to make sure he uses them), but it seems to be going well.
Andy will need to pick up the pace if he is to accomplish what he’s asked of himself. He said Sunday that he’s not concerned with measuring how far he’s come. He’s using his Zen training: ‘No hindrance’ and ‘no making good or bad.’ ‘Just walk,’ he said, putting his hand between his eyes, and shooting it out in a decisive gesture. ‘I’ll just walk from early morning until it gets dark.’ But in his text message, he quoted the page of the trailbook he’s using to tell me where he was – and I know he’ll know exactly what he’s got to do to reach his goal. Today’s the toughest leg of the trail, with the largest ups and downs. It’s also due to rain heavily tonight. But nobody can help Andy get to his destination. It’s just his body and his mind that will get him there.
You can, however, help Andy with his main goal – raising £1000 for Rett Syndrome UK Trust. He’s got £622, including Gift Aid, so far.