The day after Raynor and Moth found out they were going to lose the Welsh farm where they had brought up their two children, a doctor told Moth that he had a rare and incurable degenerative brain disease. Within days the bailiffs came knocking and they were homeless.
So what do you do when you’re in your 50s, have lost all your worldly possessions and been diagnosed with a terminal illness? Naturally, you decide to walk the South West Coast Path, from Minehead in Somerset, through north Devon, Cornwall and south Devon, to Poole in Dorset, via Land’s End. A 630-mile walk, equivalent to climbing Mount Everest four times... Filled with wry humour, this is a wonderfully uplifting and touching book, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Costa biography award.
The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn, was published earlier this year by Penguin’s Michael Joseph imprint. It is an astonishing narrative of two people dragging themselves from the depths of despair along some of the most dramatic landscapes in the country, looking for a solution to their problems and ultimately finding themselves. But writing was not high on Winn’s agenda when they began their monumental hike.. Given that Winn is living in an apartment in Fowey, and has a book on the shelves about her travels, you would be right in thinking that the story ends well. But, like so many things, it’s about the journey, not the destination, and that’s what The Salt Path tells in sometimes painful detail.