Mark put this out as an email, and I asked if I could reblog it because I think it’s a great example of doing your druidry, and quite literally walking the talk. So, with his permission, here we go…
By Mark Lindsey Earley
Well, I just about did it! I had foot problems leading up to the walk, so A/ wasn’t able to train very well, and B/ started the walk with very sore feet, which didn’t bode well!
Towards the end it made sense to stow my boots and I did about six miles (where the route was over soft grass) barefoot.
This made it feel even more like a pilgrimage (which in many ways it was, to me). Arriving at the Avebury stone avenue felt very numinous, and being barefoot, walking at a very sedate and measured pace, holding two staffs, I felt like a bronze age high-priest making a very dignified entrance (and for a while, a bit less like a fat, middle-aged bloke stumbling along like a slowed-down Ozzy Osbourne).
As I approached the Avebury henge I came over all unnccesary. This was probably a combination of relief & achievement; the poignancy of my 300- odd comrades, who were nearly all walking in memory of someone they had lost to dementia, and the sheer magic of having physically linked two of Wiltshire’s (and the world’s) most magical places.
The walk was stunningly well organised and the route was fantastic. I would have expected a few dull bits, or maybe a few short spells trudging alongside busy roads, but we had none of that. The route led through the wild, martial expanses of Salisbury Plain, past barrows, ancient earthworks and target zones (!), down into the vale of Pewsey, through water meadows, parkland and picture-postcard villages, along the Kennet and Avon Canal and then up the huge and dramatic escarpment onto the wonderful Marlborough Downs. We passed Adam’s Grave, a chalk White Horse, walked along the amazing Wansdyke (the West’s answer to Hadrian’s wall) and past West Kennet Longbarrow. I absolutely love this part of the world.
A huge thank you to all who sponsored me, spread the word, dog-sitted etc. and to John for the loan of two trecking sticks which saved my life.
Anyone who still wishes to donate has until Halloween. I’m 48 % of the way to my target, so please keep the sponsorship coming in. Thank you.
Lots of love