Dove Step 2 – day fourteen


Daily distance: 16.4 miles 
Duration: 08:12:07
Weather: 16 degrees, 10mph South Westerlies, overcast and rainy!
Best birds: Fan-tailed Warbler, Melodious Warbler, 1 TURTLE DOVE.
Cumulative kayak distance: 25.17 miles
Cumulative cycle distance: 569.75 miles
Cumulative walking distance: 137.8 miles 
Cumulative Dove Step 2 distance: 732.72miles
14 consecutive days – no rest days – a 732 mile triathlon for Turtle Doves – DONE!
Sir Robert Yaxley, walking team leader, summarises today’s proceedings:
‘The last day was not big on mileage, but with both of us, and Jonny in particular, getting to the limit of our endurance, even 16.4 miles was testing. Our pace had slowed to around two miles per hour from the usual three. Jonny’s feet and legs had degraded very badly, and it was painful to watch him struggling slowly onward, determined not to give in. Shackleton would have been proud! A welcome sight was the medieval bridge at Bayonne, but an even more welcome one was a very modern pint in the railway station! Cheers!’
Today was a suffer-fest! Across the eight hours of moving I only had small windows of comfort and various stints of considerable discomfort! 
At the worst moments I thought of our JustGiving total and the importance of not giving up – with so many people supporting our efforts for Operation Turtle Dove
To finish and see the our fundraising total hit 100% is pretty emotional! 

The brief sight of a Turtle Dove flitting over was a lift. Otherwise prolonged periods of rain, flooded footpaths and yet more tarmac and road-work meant we were tested until the bitter end!  


I type this as we speed back to Bordeaux on the TGV – the exact distance we walked over the last six days. The fact it is a two hour train journey is telling; the time spent enduring and the distances covered in the last two weeks are mind-bending! 
It will be odd getting up tomorrow without commencing the mental battle of putting on the boots and enduring!
I am incredibly proud of the team, across all three stages of this year’s journey. I am equally proud of the Dove Step supporters who have so whole-heatedly followed our journey and bolstered the fundraising total. Thank you – all.
As with last year these long journeys give a lot of opportunity to chat, daydream and conjure up new and more extreme journeys! Maybe one of these will come to fruition in coming years. 
Till then thanks for following Dove Step 2 and thanks for caring about Turtle Doves!
Jonny and the Dove Step team. 

1 Comment

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One response to “Dove Step 2 – day fourteen

  1. Hilary Milburn

    Will be entering you for French GCSE next summer with all the practice you must have had 😉 Congratulations to you all for seeing through such a gruelling quest. I’ve never met any of you (just heard of you through @jonnybirder, my patch mentor) but have followed your escapade with great admiration. Felicitations Messieurs! You’ve done yourselves proud.

    Liked by 1 person

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