Monday, June 13, 2011

A few post-SWCP thoughts

Great hike, great group of people to hike with. Leaves me looking
forward to the H3H next summer... and hoping that everyone who came
along on the SWCP will also want and be able to come along next summer

First, a weather summary. Since I have heard from many of you that my
posts gave you the impression that the weather was poor, I feel I need
to set the record straight. Of the 26 days hiked (actually 24.5 -- we
skipped one and a half days due to the weather), 12 were lovely, 10
very windy and another 3 fairly windy, it drizzled for most of 4 days,
we had a few showers on 4 others, and only one day (the last, short
one) was there rain, and that was light. All told, I think that we
were pretty lucky with the weather -- except if you, like Lidia, don't
like wind.

Next distance for the top three participants. I reckon I did about
375km and 16,000 meters of ascent and descent. Russell did 250km and
9,500 meters. And Lidia did about 110km and 5,700 meters. Not H2H
figures, but not bad either. For those who might be considering
coming along on the H3H next summer, here are some comparisons:

o Porlock to Lynton was around 21km and 1,050 meters ascent/descent.
o Clovelly to Hartland Quay was around 17km and 900 meters.
o Newquay to St. Agnes (Driftwood Spars Inn) was around 19km and 740
o I expect the average day on the H3H to be about 18km and 1,000

As to whether the hike lived up to expectations... yes, I'd say that
it did, at least for me. The coast was as beautiful as books and
people had said. The food was the best I've ever had on a long hike
(including hikes through Switzerland and France) -- I put on about
three pounds! The other hikers were well prepared (well, almost all
of them :-) and universally cheerful. There was no significant strife
that I am aware of, and people seemed reasonably happy with Yours
Truly's choices of accommodation, restaurants, and hiking stages. No
one got injured (wear and tear doesn't count :-). The weather was
pretty good. The only thing that I would have liked to have done more
of was visiting stately homes and gardens, but weather got in the way
a couple of times and there aren't that many of either on the North
Coasts of Devon and Cornwall -- when we do the South Coasts in a
couple of year's time (Penzance to Poole) we'll pass (and visit!) many
more. No mines there though :-( (I like mines :-).

And now I'm looking forward to spending the summer in Provence... and
planning the H3H!