The first time I heard about the Folk Trail, my reaction was, as I suppose most of reactions, ''they are crazy'' !! »
The first time I had a look on their website, facing all this work and this organisation, understanding their motivation, admiring their courage and determination, I said to myself : ''I want to be there at one moment or another''. This website is like an invitation to join them !!
And I did it !!
I joined the Folk Trail at Blackwell for a week. As I am not a good long distance walker, I choose to walk with them every two days and, fortunately, the stages were under 15 miles (24 kms) . The only thing that I had not check up before was : this area is like that /\_/\ !!
As English is not my firs language, how can I describe you this fabulous week...
Just picking up a few moments :
- my first day of walk : we stopped and Chris write with chalk on a tree : FT 2011 500 MILES 800 KMS
- my last day of walk : we stopped and hugged and kissed for the halfway (600 miles)
- Naomi’s raised thumb to tell me ''well done'' after a hard climbing
- the silence of the early waking up in the tent only broken by the ''zip'' noises
- the small breaks to wait me when it was a little hard to follow them
- the fabulous landscapes in the middle of nowhere
- the hot meals waiting for us : thank you Jennie & Pat (specially for Jennie’s birthday party at Haworth Youth Hostel)
- my first experience of driving an Irish car : thank you Victor for trusting me (but in fact you had no other choice :-)
- the fabulous sessions, all different but always so welcoming and friendly
- This evening (with no session) in the pub in Malham, to tell and to laugh at funny stories
- And so, and so...
Even if my English is not so good to have long conversations with all my friends, some moments didn’t need words to be shared : just sitting with them on a bench, near the ruins of an old farm in Brontë area, facing the wild landscape and feeling yourself so well. Sharing a smile, a hug to say ''well done'' or ''courage'', enjoying the music and the atmosphere of the pubs...
This Folk Trail is a great experience. If you can join them (even if you are not an English speaker) for a day or more, no hesitation DO IT !! You will come back richer than before... But don’t forget to take a good and warm sleeping bag !!
For Clare, Naomi, Moira and Chris I think that they will have a before and an after the Folk Trail. I think that their friendship shall be indestructible, built with courage, joy and also sadness because of the loss of their fellow traveller, John Hesdon (RIP)
May the road be not too hard, the wind in their back, the rain staying in the clouds, the nights not too cold and the music still alive.
My thoughts are with you every day, I can see each or your steps who move you closer to John O’Groats.
WITH ALL MY LOVE