Oh and not forgetting the fact that we raised £870 for the charity. A massive thank you to all who donated!
Here’s a synopsis of the day for you to enjoy over a cuppa..
Starting bright and early at 6am at Dental Design HQ our diligent MD, Nigel, delivered the intrepid team to their start position at Lulworth Cove. Full of high spirits (even at that time in the morning) and just a few butterflies, the team set off with a quick look at the map to ensure we had the sea on the right hand side of us.
Less than a mile in we encountered our first obstacle in the form of a 7 foot barbed wire gate which was locked. Joel, the mountain goat, was up and over in seconds, leaving Jamie, Jonny and myself performing less than elegant but successful attempts. This was the start to the Lulworth Ranges used by the AFV Gunnary School to train the British Army, and having established that they were in fact NOT shooting that weekend, the team pushed on to our first killer hill. References to other epic journeys were quickly formed, resulting in the revelation that Jamie has not seen any of ‘The Lord of The Rings’ films nor read the books, something his fellow designers vowed to change.
The first half of the walk was challenging to say the least. There is a fine line between the relief you get when coming to the top of a hill, and the pain you quickly experience going downhill again. With our knees starting to shout loudly at all the unnecessary strain, it was discovered that turning around and going down steep steps on all fours is not for the faint hearted, as whilst the relief on the muscles is brilliant, figuring out what’s sea, sky or land is a little harder. However it was at this point that Jamie and Carrie found time to marvel at a MASSIVE beetle. Turns out they don’t call it the Jurassic Coast for nothing.
We really couldn’t have asked for better weather, experiencing mostly unbroken sunshine and only a 30 second spit of rain was had.
A confirmed discovery of a path closure over Kimmeridge found the team sneaking past the big ‘PATH CLOSED’ sign and feeling very naughty. Along this 7k stretch of closed path we encountered the most number of people, so it really wasn’t just us sticking two fingers up to the nanny state. Check out our photos on Pinterest where you can see where the path falls away! For around 3K we opted to walk just inside the field off the path, lest we lost a team member into the sea.
As expected, the photos taken really don’t do the place justice and the perfect quietness – interrupted only by Carrie’s terrible singing – was in juxtaposition to the stress and noise of the normal day.
Another type of stress soon caught up with the group and a medical stop at ‘The Dancing Ledge’ was required. Compeed and Deep Heat applied and another photo op as we passed more humans.
Some fundamental life facts were learnt on the day. 1) Sticking to the path is for babies 2) Pub stops are motivational, but so is finishing in daylight. Lesson 2 quickly followed lesson 1, as the team fell behind ETA to the pub by a few hours. A ‘diversion’ (we clearly took the wrong path) meant that the Pub was a luxury stop that could not be afforded. Having found the path again and after Carrie’s Motivational Talk, which included the promise of buying the boys their own weight in cider afterwards, heads picked with a renewed determined step.
What followed was a much more sedate walk in the second half of the Trek, with gorgeous views and gentle slopes. The warm sunshine was spurring us on not least because it was also setting at this point, with our silhouette’s beginning to cast long shadows.
Tiredness kicked in at this point, but the thought of reaching ‘The Lighthouse’ in Swanage which Jamie had done a reccy too last weekend, lifted us again as we saw it in the not too distant view. Only to discovery on arrival that it was another lighthouse, with Swanage another 2 miles away. However, quickly realising that we could stop at a respectable seaside chippy and finish the walk full of chips, fish and ketchup powered us through this low point.
A climb out of Swanage towards The Old Harry Rocks was rewarded by seeing the finish point at the Ferry crossing in Sandbanks. The last 5K of the journey felt a little deflated. Perhaps it was the previous 7 hours of walking that made us feel this way? But like any long, epic task, it’s not until a few hours, or even days when you begin to appreciate what you have actually achieved.
Being thankful that it was too cold for the naturists to be out in full force on Studland Beach, the team expressed pure delight at the wonderful Nigel’s timing as he pulled off the ferry just in time to pick up his weary travelers.
A great day which was completely motivated by the support of the rest of the Dental Design team and the knowledge of the difference we were making to those in more dire circumstances then we were in!