Mick Donoghue fundraising for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis - as inspiration

Walking for APF

My IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) causes me the usual symptoms of breathlessness, tired muscles and inability to tackle hills and slopes. But I can still walk, albeit slowly and in stages, in the beautiful Norfolk scenery and this seemed the best way of setting a motivating challenge for myself while also raising much needed funds for the charity Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis. So, in World Pulmonary Fibrosis week, I decided to walk from Hunstanton to Wells-next-the-Sea. 

 I started from Hunstanton Lighthouse, with Wendy Dickinson from APF to see me off. And yes! I completed just over 10km, passing Holme and ending near The Orange Tree, in Thornham. Weather very good, tide was out and views great. Rhubarb & Ginger Icecream at Holme Dunes' Café was excellent and reviving. Towards the end I flagged a bit but once home, a glass, or two, of  fermented grape juice worked wonders.

 Second day was less pleasant as I had forgotten how long it can now take to recover from exertion, and my arthritic joints were complaining! Also the stretch through Titchwell is away from the sea and alongside the road, less pleasant. A stop for coffee at Briarfields helped me reach Brancaster and then Brancaster Staithe, another 9km achieved. Day off on Monday as Kay (porter, motivator, caterer and occassional photographer) had an appointment, and weather was a bit wet.

Third day, good weather although windy, and reached Burnham Overy Staithe via Deepdale after another 9 km.  Main problem was that most of it was along the top of the sea wall and there was nowhere to sit and rest.  Pretty tired at times but Kay kept me going, as usual. Weather holding up, keeping dry. Another day off tomorrow, as I have to lead one of my Easy Health Walks in Kings Lynn. A little emotional about several anonymous donations that have come in. Very humbling.

Next was Burnham Overy Staithe to Holkham. Bit of an error to spend so much time in the dunes rather than on the beach. They go up and down, in and out, adding to the effort required. As other IPF sufferers will know, the downs do NOT compensate for the ups!  Finally, getting from Holkham bay to the road (and bus) along Lady Anne Drive is lengthy, about a kilometre, so another 9km day.

Final day was just from Holkham to Wells. Should have been a short one, through woods then the beach, but as I had parked near The Crown, at the far end of Buttlands we just reached 9km yet again. This brought the walk total to 46km in 5 stages. Wow!, for me, now, that is an achievement. Difficult at times but helped by good weather, urgings from Kay and the thought of the donations received.  As I write, these total £1,029 – over a grand!  Absolutely great.