Recap: Catch 22’s 11th Charity Challenge – Guernsey – 28th April to 1st May 2017

20 experienced and not so experienced walkers descended on sunny Guernsey (well it was on Friday 28th) to take part in the 11th Charity Challenge to walk the entire Guernsey coastline over the first May Bank Holiday weekend

9 intrepid souls decided to actually knock off 6 miles on Friday afternoon in the sunshine., Vince, Clive & Susan, Kevin & Helen, Rudi, Sue, John and Nick Moore all walked from Portelet Harbour to Crabby Jacks, Vazon Bay. With the tide out, this included quite a lot of beach walking, meaning it was pretty difficult to get lost!

Most walkers stayed in the Havelet Hotel St Peter Port, a Best Western Hotel, which did us really proud. Everything was very good, particularly the service and food. Rudi and Guy, staying elsewhere, were not so impressed, their hotels had showers rather than large luxurious baths AND they had to walk up a significant hill to join us each evening.

On Saturday, the advanced party of Kevin (again), Bill, Cathy, Justin, Sean, George, Ang, and Guy started from Portelet Harbour, whilst Monica, Ella (aged 11), Mum Helena and Linda joined the 8 from the first day to walk from Crabby Jacks round to St Peter Port.

C22 Guernsey charity event

The tide had made an appearance so very little walking along beaches but those that we could walk along were lovely; the Moores even managed to pick up their dinner. It was an exhausting day which nearly finished Guy off before we even started. In glorious weather, Sean lead the way for the 22-mile crew and took the whole of the sun on behalf of his team! A tough day all round but the beautiful scenery of this pretty island kept people going. Guernsey is battle-scarred, to say the least, with evidence of defences going back thousands of years up to the occupation by the Germans in the 2nd World War.

Young walker of the day was definitely Ella, who did the whole 16 miles; no doubt a Challenge Star in the making. She will be warming up to do the whole thing in 2 years time!

Mention too for Guy who did the whole 22, somehow or other; his sponsorship was going up every minute, thanks to his mastery of social media. The more pain, the more gain!

Day 3, Sunday, and as predicted the downpour started during breakfast and stayed that way, if not all day, certainly for the first and last couple of hours. We walked along the southern coast, very much the up and downside of the island. It’s said that the beaches, cliffs and views are beautiful, but it was impossible to see them! ”Just like the Lake District” was a fair and oft used comment.

Anyway, it persisted down; we were soaked, exhausted and relieved when we go back. Some didn’t even make as far as the Bar.

The walk itself was very well marked for about half the distance; at other times it was a lottery, not unlike a maze, and not really possible to take shortcuts. Generally speaking, if you took a wrong turn, you ended up either cutting back on yourself or simply walking even further!

We all got down for Dinner at 20.00 though, where we were joined by the 21st and 22nd members of our party, who opted to walk no distance at all, but enjoyed the craic whatever. We welcomed Alan and Carol, but next time these two will be doing the whole lot!

C22 team

A highlight of the weekend was young Nick Moore completing his 100 miles in a month (2.5 marathons and this coastline walk taking him to just over 100) all for the Lords Taverners. He’s off for a scan on his knee and has promised not to go through the front door for at least a fortnight. Massive congratulations to him.

Memories from the charity challenge walk

  • Lovely company, lots of lovely, different people!
  • Varied weather; no point in walking in nice weather when you can suffer extremes like Sunday
  • Clive’s navigational skills, including friendly banter with the locals
  • More sad news about Leeds United on a walk!
  • Wet feet
  • Dramatic tide changes
  • Blisters
  • Youngest walker Ella (11) and oldest John at 68
  • We have been doing this for 20 years!
  • Guy’s shriek (he had actually cracked a rib) and his sense of humour
  • Nick’s knee (he did his 100 miles in a month)
  • George and Kevin’s banter about who walks furthest
  • Vince finally nearly grasped what George does for a living
  • Helen and Kevin AND George and Linda’s Anniversaries (17 and 33 years respectively)
  • Friendliness of the people of Guernsey

Quotes from the charity walk:

Bill Heath, Managing Director, Mace Macro International: “Really enjoyable time the whole weekend but the best moment was taking my wet socks and boots off on Sunday. Back in the warmth of Dubai 39 degs today.”

Monica said: “Hi Everyone, I think everything’s been said. It really has been a great weekend. Only my second outing with you all, and once again I was filled with self doubt and trepidation!But in the end, I managed the entire walk!

Kevin, you are great!! thanks for supporting me on all those hills on Saturday – best back marker ever. Even the wind and driving rain on Sunday didn’t put me off and I’m looking forward to seeing you all again in 2 years time.”

Justin Penn, Principal Consultant, Asset & Facilities Management:A truly fantastic weekend!!

As the newbie, I couldn’t have asked for better company to share two days of walking the beautiful Guernsey coastline. I would like to thank George for his ’marvellous medicine’.  I’m not entirely sure what the pills were, but they certainly did the job! Thanks to those who organised the trip, and I look forward to the next.”

Rudi commented:Sooo many thank you’s! Thanks Vince for organising everything yet again, it was a truly wonderful experience. Thanks to everyone for their company at various times in the rain, sun, rain, wind, (did I mention rain?), bar and dinner table. Thanks to Clive for your company around Sark, and to John and Sue for your company around Herm.

As the ONLY person to actually do all 3 islands this clearly leaves me as the undisputed king of Guernsey!  Once life has returned to normal a bit I’ll get around to uploading the photo’s and share them.

Distance wise – final GPS count (corrected since getting a proper internet connection) is: 43.53 miles around Guernsey. And for the proper hardcore ones amongst us 6.35 around Sark and 5.37 around Herm for a total of 55.25. This, however, does not include that bastard hill up to the hotel several times a day!  

It was lovely seeing you all, I look forward to the next one. Kiss you on both cheeks!”

 Kevin Wideman, Divisional Director – Property and Asset Management: “Morning All, It’s all been said – but again – great venue, great people, great walk – thank you all!

Thinking caps on for 2019…………..Kevin & Helen.

Guy said: “Just to say a huge thank you to everyone for getting me through the walk – Kevin in particular!  

It was a memorable weekend in so many ways – loved a lot of the walking (including detours), did not enjoy the steps built for giants on the cliff walk (particularly going up hill!).  Loved meeting everyone, either for the first time in ages or for the first time ever – the company was great on the walks and at the dinners. I never thought I would say this, but Vince’s speeches could have been longer – he must have been tired……

Depending on how vertiginous the next walk is, I hope to see everyone in two years time…Vince, how about the North Norfolk Coast in 2019? Vince, happy to send any pictures and if anyone’s a facebooker, I have videos and pics up on my page – so get in touch. I should hit the £1000 mark on sponsorship this week, so the pain’s worth it…Much love to all,

PS The blisters are on the mend, but the cracked rib from a late fall is a bit less fun.  Didn’t realise I had done it at the time – oh the joys of adrenalin.”

Clive said: “A Great trip with people I actually really like. Lots of smiles and lots of memories. Rudi and I will take some time to dry out from Sark mind. Love to all.”

 Cathy: My personal highlight was the rather random café owner who put us with us draping our cold and wet selves and eating our own food in his rather odd establishment (lawn mower anyone?) but serving the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. Especially welcome after the snooty café who preferred us to sit outside/ or by the loos! Oh, and the deep fried brie on the first night. What a great hotel.

Thanks also to Ang particularly for the Nepal trekking advice. See you all in two years.”

 Helena, Sean and Ella commented: What a really lovely weekend Vince. Thank you so much for organising. Just loved the ‘being abroad’ even if the weather was typical Catch 22 Walk: sun, rain, everything! It was also fun enjoying the different atmosphere of a much smaller walk, got to know people I haven’t really had the chance to chat with before. 

Hope you got back safely and are eventually reunited with your car. Looking forward to the next one already!”

And 2019?

The South Downs Way for our 12th Charity Challenge – Spring Bank Holiday 2019!