Q.Did you follow the Godavari River all the way?
A.No, I followed its route but not by its banks as it was too remote.
Q. Did you walk all the way?
A.No. I walked all that I could and every day that I could. But after hearing about the dangers of wild leopards, I had to get rid of the tent. This changed the whole trip from as early on as day three. With no tent, I then had to make sure I could walk to a town that had accommodation. This then meant that sometimes the towns were too far apart for me to walk without anywhere to sleep. So, after walking up to 25 km, I would have to get to the next town anyway that I could. Another problem was a large part of the route was dense forest with no accommodation and no place to get water. I was advised to miss this part out. There was also a risk in this area of terrorist attacks. So this made the walking part of this trip shorter than I had planned.
Q. Why did you not walk any more distance in a day?
A. The reason for this was the temperature, which could reach 45 degrees by 11.00am. So I had a time frame of when it was safe to walk, starting at 5.00am finishing before 11.00am.
Q. What else stopped your walking progress?
A. Blisters. I had two days where I could hardly walk at all.
Q. What was your worst moment?
A. Sitting around in a hotel, waiting for my blisters to improve so I could walk again.
Q. Was the trip still unguided and unplanned?
A. Absolutely, every day I would revise the route, meet people and change the plan again.
Q. Did you break any records? Were you the first person to walk the whole length of the Godavari River?
A. Hand on heart, no, I didn’t break any records. It was impossible for me alone, unguided, with no tent, to follow the river the whole way. Most of my walking was done following its path, but walking on the roads.
Q. So did you walk across India?
A. Yes I did, to the best of my ability and I covered 584kms in 31 days.
Q. Would you do it again?
A. No way.
Q. What did you enjoy and learn from the trip?
A. Most people in the world are good, and that is something we all easily forget. I was lucky to meet total strangers that have become my friends. They fed me, gave me shelter, given me sound advice and made me happy.
This quest started out as a physical challenge and a way to promote walking, something we can all do. It was certainly the hardest physical thing I have ever done. I hope people will read my blog and will feel motivated to enjoy the natural freedom of walking and being outside. But meeting all the different people that helped me during my journey is what made it for me.
Q. Will you write a book?
A. I really hope so. I just hope someone will want to publish the journey of a lost teacher walking across India wearing a pink hat.
Q. What is next?
A. To spend some time with my family. To carrying on walking as much as I can, but without a massive heavy rucksack on my back!
Thanks to all my friends and supporters