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Today's walkitcornwall quote

  "There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." — Douglas Adams

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We had a great time with you as our fearless guide. Loved it all especially the colours of Cornwall. We really enjoyed the pace of the walks. It allowed me to lag and take photos and be one with the land. Also it allowed me to fantasize about the smugglers and customs men dashing along the trails.

–Pam V, USA

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Walking blog: The philosophy of walking

A reflection on walking at the end of 2015

phoca thumb l great molunan with walkers

Once again it has been a wonderful year of walking.

Body and Soul interacting with Landscape and shared with a variety of guests within and from different cultures.

“I walk therefore I am” to alter Descartes original thought.

Now if you Google that phrase some very interesting articles come up varying from modern day pilgrims pursuing “slowness” to the medical advantages of walking and from the philosophical to the physical.

This small phrase summarises for me a state of mind close to where I endeavour to be as much as possible. I am grateful that I get the opportunity to do this not only for a living but also that people trust me, that I can provide a key and literally a route to enjoy, rediscover and experience the one true and original human way of travelling from a to b.

In 2016 I am also rediscovering more of my roots (and new routes by the way) by recording and writing music that is inextricably bound up with my love of walking. I have been a composer since I was very young and a professional musician for 33 years. If I am out on a path during the day I can improvise and play and compose with a freedom not accessible if I was stuck in front of a screen. The Muse is on the footpath. As Nietzsche wrote “only thoughts which come by walking have any value”.

Last winter I put together a proposal for a PhD about how the network of footpaths of individual countries have a unique cultural footprint (for want of a word) dictated by its history, landscape and philosophy of walking. It did not get shortlisted for funding but I was encouraged to pursue it over a course of four years with the guidance and supervision of the Humanities Department at the University of Exeter Cornwall campus. There is such a vast canon of literature on walking that my future blogs, newsletters, website and general observations will be littered with quotes from the vast amount of literature I have been reading over the years and will be rereading.

It would be a pleasure, as it always is, if, whoever is reading this joins me on a week’s walk either here in Cornwall or abroad for our third years walking holiday in Corfu or on our new adventure in Menorca in May.

Whatever the weather, whatever the political, economic and intercultural interplay within our planet I look forward to the 21st December when the days start to draw out and the search for the first snowdrops begins. I look forward to the spring, the vibrancy of growth and the long days and relentless miles of beckoning paths.

Werner Herzog the German film director said “the volume and depth and intensity of the world is something that only those on foot will ever experience”. I need to add nothing else.