Completer

The best thing I could have done

This month we hear from member Chris Schmidt-Reid from Winslow, who explains why walking the South West Coast Path was ‘the best thing he could have done’ after losing his wife to cancer last year.

“In July 2017, my wife and I were on top of the Golden Cap and met someone walking the South West Coast Path carrying a fully loaded rucksack – tent, sleeping mat – the works! We chatted about it together afterwards and both agreed that we didn’t need to do that as we had done our fair share of hiking in New Zealand and Australia, when we met in the late 1980’s. Having later learnt about different luggage transfer companies, we both agreed that day packs were more the way to go!

SCHMEDIT-REID Chris
Chris & his wife Christiane together on the Path

“Sadly in March 2018, whilst undergoing intense treatment for cancer, my wife passed away very suddenly. Later that year as I continued to try to get my head around it all, I realised I needed to take some time away from everything, go on a journey and take some time for my heart and mind. So, on New Years Eve, I decided that in the new year I was going to have a go at walking the Coast Path – and yes with my rucksack and entire camping kit!
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“So it was that on July 15th this year that I found myself at the start of the Path in Minehead, on a beautiful sunny day with my daughter, setting off on a journey – with no idea if I could walk the whole thing or what it was going to be like. I certainly had far too much kit, including a travelling acoustic guitar, which I sent home after two weeks!

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Chris toasts his arrival at South Haven Point

“After 64 days I arrived at South Haven Point, accompanied by my son for the last day of the walk, once again in the sunshine! I was lucky enough to have only a handful of rainy days, otherwise it was glorious weather, I had numerous friends come to meet me and walk parts of the Path with me, as well as meeting great new people along the way too. What a wonderful Path to walk – dramatic cliffs, rolling hills, coves, beaches and wonderful wildlife. I made it through and it was really the best thing I could have done. Arriving home, I now feel so much lighter and ready to move on with my life – buoyed by successfully completing this amazing walk. ”

“I made it through and it was really the best thing I could have done. Arriving home, I now feel so much lighter and ready to move on with my life – buoyed by successfully completing this amazing walk.”

One comment

  1. Hello Chris, So glad to see your write-up! I’m the American woman whom you met towards the very end of the Path. We walked together briefly, and then I saw you with your son, just a mile or so from South Haven Point. I had just completed the path and was returning to where I was staying and you were about to finish it. It was great to meet you. All the best. Deborah Murray

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