I have always wanted an adventure. As far back as I can remember I’ve thought of travelling to the Himalayas to climb some snow peaked mountains. It was only when my father Bernard Hedges, died in February 2014 that it dawned on me that adventure might lie a little closer to home.
Dazzling Cricket Career
He was a professional cricketer for Glamorgan Cricket Club with a dazzling career between 1950-1968. After his funeral, I felt a strong desire to do something in his memory and very quickly.
Walking the Idea
The idea of a walk around the whole of Wales called The Boundary of Wales’ took hold in my head. The walk would match the grit and determination my Dad had shown in his cricketing career and inspire friends, family and the general public to donate.
For the love of Cricket
All the money raised from the walk will go the National programme ‘Chance to Shine’ via Cricket Wales to promote the game of cricket in Welsh schools, specifically in the area of Dad’s birth, Rhondda Cynon Taff.
Start Date: 5 July 2014 . With my son Ellis, we started off in Swansea, (my Mum and Dad’s home for the past 25 years) and followed the Wales Coast Path clockwise up to Chester.
We travelled down the Offa’s Dyke Path from Prestatyn to Chepstow and re-joined the coast path for the journey back to Swansea.
End Date: 24 August 2014 at Mumbles Cricket Club
My highlights of the walk included:
- meeting my childhood rugby heroes Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams and Graham Price in Solva (they were part of a celebrity group of 'extras' being filmed for a new interpretation of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood).
- I was also delighted to meet local cricketers at Neyland CC, Aberystwyth CC, Menai Bridge CC and Pontypridd CC, who demonstrated the strong love of cricket that exists throughout Wales.
- Then there was Wales itself - the beaches, castles and cliffs.
- The weather was kind with less than a full day’s rain for the whole journey. It was, at times, like walking along the cliffs of some Mediterranean country or the beaches of California. From Bracegirdle Bay to Bosherston, from Newport to Nant Gwrtheryrn, from Caernarfon to Cardiff there was always something fresh and interesting to see.
The 50 days went by in a flash but the memories will stay with me forever!
None really, although the amount of road and tarmac walking did take its toll! I never lost sight of the goal and my guidebook and OS maps kept me focussed on each day’s target.
My Lightbulb Moment
Walking the Wales Coast Path was like looking at a fabulous menu in a restaurant when you have no time to stay - you’re going to have to revisit the restaurant many times to really savour everything it has to offer!
It helped me come to a deeper understanding of my Welshness and the Welsh. I will always be eternally grateful to the path for that.