The 2012 Haven Sponsored Walk

Record number of walkers face the freakishly drought like conditions in South East England

Weatherwise, Sunday 25th of March began much the same as all the previous days of this month: a chilly morning covered in mist, forecasted to move away and leave behind a sun drenched day with temperatures rising to 22 degrees Celcius! All the walkers had been warned and very sensibly had turned up with plenty of water for themselves and their dogs, who were also doing their four-legged bit for Haven. The 10am start was slightly delayed for a good reason; this being the very large number of people expected. In all, there were 45 names to tick off before we could get going. With such amazing support, what could go wrong? In fact, the signs seemed favourable right from the beginning...could the mark left behind by jet streams in the patch of sky just above our walkers be likened to "fingers crossed" for good luck?!

As the walk progressed, we noticed the ususally wet and muddy track was no where to be seen and, as temperatures rose, shade from the trees proved welcome relief especially for the five dogs who, in true dog style, were doing the walk three times more than the rest of us by constantly running forwards and backwards. A particularly large, foul smelling stagnant puddle proved too inviting a way to cool off for Bazil and Todd; they both emerged delighted, stinking, and with the bottom half of their body no longer matching their top half! At least the humans were slightly more sensible and waited for a cold clear stream to cool off their steaming feet.

The scenery and views along the North Downs Way are always breathtaking and contribute so much towards the enjoyment of the event. The atmosphere was great, with so many people walking there was always someone to talk with, something we rarely get a chance to do with the busy lives we seem to lead. Although, it has to be said, that talking was at a bare minimum for some of us during the very, very steep climb at the final stage of the walk when we needed every breath to make it to the top!

All worth it at the end though as, sat on the grassy slope, we picnicked on brimmingly full delicious bacon butties and feasted our eyes on the glorious views below. It had been a marvellous morning, and hopefully enjoyed by all. Haven would like to thank everyone who took part either by walking or by sponsoring. Being such a small charity, your support means a lot to us and we thank you for giving up your time to join in and ensure the success of this year's sponsored walk.

It would help us if you could use our preferred method of supporting Haven by sending your sponsorship monies or donations directly to Angela Gamble at Haven by the end of April. How to do this is detailed in our web site, just click on the Donate to Haven link.

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