I stopped walking on 25 April having got to Alston. About 650 miles done and another 500 to do with nearly seven weeks available in which to complete it. My knees had been painful for a week and for the last two days had made any progress uncomfortable (and sometimes rather slow!). I hoped a few days rest would solve the problem but this has proved not to be the case.
Physios have explained that the blood supply to ligaments is not good and consequently healing is relatively slow, up to 6-8 weeks. They were encouraging though that I might get back walking sooner than that. Each week I hoped they would be good enough to initially do some local walks with just a day pack, perhaps then further afield but staying in B&Bs to save carrying camping equipment, and only later carrying a full load. I have now been resting and receiving physio treatment for five weeks. The knees have improved such that I am no longer woken at night or need painkillers but walking remains painful. I tried 40 min last week and spent the rest of the morning moving around very gingerly. Clearly I am not going to get any walking at all done before my return to walk on 11 June. My LEJOG walk has therefore definitely paused for the foreseeable future.
I do intend to complete it.
I hope that later in the summer I will be able to do some of the nearer route, perhaps as far as Jedburgh, using weekends. I might manage a week in the autumn if the weather is reasonable and I can take the necessary leave. That would get me to the start of the West Highland Way. 24 more walking days would get me to John O’Groats-perhaps I could get a good bit of that done in May of next year. The weather in Scotland is often relatively settled then and it is a quieter time of year for me at work.
So, I may finish in about a year’s time. That would mean using another year’s annual leave on this project, leaving nothing for holidays with the family. I think I would like time with them-in which case I might finish in May 2014! All very speculative but at least possible.
During the next week I will post my remaining photos and later, add more to my blog as I resume the walk.