Updated: Feb 26, 2021
The first few days of my South West Coast Path adventure were a bit of a shock. After a long, hot summer, I re-discovered what it felt like to be cold.
Just to put this in context, I feel the cold more than anyone else I have ever met. I get cold quickly and take a long time to heat up again. I can be wearing multiple layers of warm clothing and still feel cold, while my husband Mike is perfectly comfortable in short sleeves.
But this summer had lulled me into a false sense of security. For months now, I had sometimes been cool, but never really cold.
I started walking the South West Coast Path at the beginning of September. The days were hot, but on those first few nights, the sky was clear and temperatures plummeted. Because of the coronavirus, it was hard to find anywhere that allowed customers inside. I ate pub meals in their gardens, layered up with all of my clothes on and shivering.
And I panicked. Why on earth was I starting this adventure in September? If I was struggling so much now, how would I survive the cold when camping in October? This was the first time – of many – on the walk that I had to give myself a stern talking-to. I would never live it down if I ducked out now; I would just have to find a way to manage.
I packed an extra fleece into my rucksack, thanked my lucky stars that I had invested in a really warm sleeping bag and steeled myself for whatever temperatures lay ahead.
Feeling cold at lunchtime - on 2nd September!