Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I will be changing the focus of my outdoors blog for the duration of the UK government guidance to stay at home. For the latest information about what you can and cannot do, please visit the government website.
Instead of the usual content about my walks in the Brecon Beacons and further afield, I will be reviewing books with an outdoors theme. I am not receiving any payment for these. They are honest reviews of the books I am reading while we are all in lockdown.
The first book I have chosen is the Sunday Times bestseller, The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, published by Penguin Books (January 31st, 2019). This true story about walking the 630-mile South West Coast Path was shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Biography Award and The Wainwright Prize.
This book particularly appealed to me because I have walked along sections of the beautiful coastal path so I can fully appreciate how challenging their journey must have been.
Raynor Winn and her husband, Moth, embarked on their epic walk after losing their home and livelihood. This was very quickly followed by Moth’s terminal illness diagnosis. Their lives had changed significantly and they needed a new sense of purpose so they made the decision to leave Wales and ‘make it up as we go along’.
What follows is a story of pushing beyond the limits, searching for hope and never giving up. It also addresses what it means to be homeless, as well as the perceptions and judgements of society.
We read about the people they meet, the kindness they encounter and the hostility they sometimes face. The vivid descriptions evoke what it is like to live wild amongst nature in the rugged coastal landscape.
It is not a step-by-step walking guide to the South West Coast Path so it isn’t suitable if that is what you are looking for. However, it is an inspirational account that highlights the beauty and wonder of this National Trail.
I highly recommend The Salt Path and I am already looking forward to reading Raynor Winn’s next book, The Wild Silence, which is due to be published on the 3rd September 2020.
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