Why? – afterwards

And afterwards?

I was fairly fortunate that I didn’t seem to suffer many after effects immediately once I’d completed the walk.   I did get a strange case of restless leg syndrome, which kept me awake in bed at night, and worried me a bit until I realised it was actually a recognised syndrome.   It went away after about a month.

The thick skin on the soles of my feet eventually rubbed off, so that just a few weeks later they were pretty much back to normal.

And I still get the occasional twinge in my lower back and hips – probably as a result the heavy pack i was carrying.   I just hope it eventually gets better – but it may just be that the hike accelerated a condition I was going to get anyway as i got older.

Brilliant neighbours had decorated the house for my return.   I was so glad to be back!
Brilliant neighbours had decorated the house for my return. I was so glad to be back!

Getting back into normal everyday life didn’t prove too hard.   I didn’t have any difficulty at all in getting used to sleeping in a proper bed, traveling in a car, and being able to go to the shops whenever I wanted to.

It was almost as if it was someone else that had done the hike, not me.   It was as if the contrast between my life when walking, and my normal life before and after, was too great for my mind to accommodate, so they stayed in separate compartments.

As I’d booked 4 months’ sabbatical leave, because I finished the walk quicker than I had expected, I had six weeks to recuperate before I went back to work.   I enjoyed every second of it.  the summer weather was decent, and I was able to properly relax and catch up with family and friends I’d neglected while I was away.   As well as deal with the DIY items that had built up in my absence, too.

Perhaps one of the most surprising and rewarding post-return events happened in January 2015, when I found I had been awarded the “Shanks’ Pony” trophy for the best “End to End” walk of 2014.   A real surprise and honour.

Being presented with the Shanks Pony trophy by Jack Adams of the Long Distance Walkers’ Association. the trophy is now proudly on display in a cabinet at the Toorak Hotel, Torquay


In all its glory - the Shanks' Pony trophy (the trophy, that is, not me)
In all its glory – the Shanks’ Pony trophy (the trophy, that is, not me)

So the transition back to work wasn’t too shocking, though I do find myself gazing idly out of the window more often than I used to, wishing I was back on the road again..

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