I love being outdoors and really enjoy walking but have never walked at night (unless you count staggering home from The Six Bells every beer festival). So I was really pleased when my friend Fran suggested for her 50@50 challenge to me that we attempt the 8 mile moonlit walk in aid of The Heart of Kent Hospice, a wonderful charity and such a worthy cause.
We arrived a tad early (sorry Fran) after she had cooked me a great pasta tea and we had warmed up by playing tigers with her son James, but no, being a newbie to these things we had not factored in the wonderfully exuberant Ricardo who was to guide us through a Zumba workout…we managed to complete this avoiding sprained ankles from tripping over the numerous backpacks, heart attack from over exertion and overheating by divesting our fleeces to proudly deploy our purple decorated t shirts. Our flashing bunny ears were donned and lit and we were off. The party-like atmosphere was amazing, we found our pace (fast enough to take us near the front, but not too fast that we could not chat the whole way). The road part sped by as cars tooted and revellers called support. The half way mark greeted us with smiling volunteers (in fact it was so well organised and there were marshals the entire way round) offering water and chocolate fudge brownies…oh go on then…if I must!! Pub goers in West Malling high street ( I had forgotten how quaint it is here) were surprised by our constant streaming past and heckled in a fun way. My favourite part however was walking through a field, the moon had dropped, the Stars were out, an ethereal mist clung to the grassy edges. The path in front was illuminated by pale blue tea lights and flashing bunny ears, so beautiful and moving..a time to reflect and ponder just how lucky we are.
The time flew by and we were back in 2hrs 25 minutes to cheers and clapping. The walk was in aid of a good cause, I chose to donate rather than fund raise, which I did on just giving today. I would most definitely do it again too. However, I have to say one of the best parts was being able to spend such a lovely long time with Fran, chatting, catching up, laughing and talking seriously. This was another aim of my 50@50 to re-engage with my friends in a memorable way and simply have some ‘time’ distraction free to do so. So far all of my challenges have achieved that and I feel more connected to each friend, family member because of it.