Sunday, 10 February 2019

The Salt Path - Raynor Winn

A very readable tale of a married couple who somehow lost everything – the home they owned and all their money.  He was then diagnosed with a terminal illness and she just  had to keep going somehow.  So with an income of around £30 per month, they decided to walk the South West coastal path, from Minehead via Lands End round to Poole in the hope that.... well even they were not sure what they hoped for.   They couldn’t even afford camp sites, and there was a lot of wild camping going on.  
Her descriptions of daily happenings are both heart-breaking and heart-warming, but there were times when I struggled with their stupidity ( I mean, if you are wild camping that means no bathroom facilities, so why not ensure that a small garden trowel was part of your kit; and I understand that they are not youngsters and couldn't carry much, but surely a bar of soap. a couple more Tshirts and changes of underwear don't weigh that much more?).

And here's a strange thing.  Young people they met on the path were often more friendly, more kind, more accommodating than people their own age, who seemed to shy away from these grubby, smelly middle-agers.  Some lovely tales of kindness, some awful tales of thoughtlessness - all in all a wide view of human nature in all it's guises.  I particularly enjoyed the description of some walkers from the US who they met early on  who were doing part of the SW coastal path too, but on vacation, not out of necessity.  But there is a difference when you have to walk, pitch a tent,  and find something to eat on a daily basis;  and having your luggage taken by vehicle to your next overnight accommodation whilst you carry a water bottle for the day!

 I don’t think she has written anything before,  and I have no idea how much her editor helped out, but she should write some more. 


  1. I loved this book. Bought it on holiday last year from Padstow Bookshop. It reminded me of Wild and I love books about people doing things like this.

  2. Jen, thanks for your comment. Call again!


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