Keeping it Quiet

In 2012 I wasn't prepared for the attention that the trip, and to some extent, the blog brought. I found myself in some quite strange situations, expectations and demands were unrealistic: people expected me to drop in for a brew miles inland – and took umbridge when I didn't; I was snowed under by well-meaning, but often misleading ‘local knowledge’; I had unsolicited media interviews arranged unknowingly on my behalf and plenty of demands for what time I would pass a specific headland - as they wanted to drive over to watch (Watch what? A dot on the horizon?) It has to be said that there were a few chancers who hung around to gain publicity for themselves or their cause too.

Most of it was well meaning and altruistic, but it all added to the pressure and it took a while but eventually it became a distraction – there was a job to do and at times to be frank it wasn't going all that well, I just didn't need all this s***. I had enough on my plate.

So in 2015 I decided I wanted to keep the trip quiet, very quiet, I just couldn't be arsed with it all to be honest – miserable I know, but I just wanted to go canoeing.

I knew that in our modern ‘connected’ world if anybody knew then everybody did – so the decision was made to tell no-one. That said, I figured it was only fair to tell the Team Manager, she was going to drive for me after all. I figured that eventually she would become suspicious as we woke up each day in a different place - so I accepted that she had to be told.

The Team Manager’s parents were also to be informed, I didn't want them to think I had kidnapped her or such like.

And that was it, no-one else was told – some twigged but many didn't, and I guess most didn't care anyway.

Initially it was done for a reason, but as things progressed it became a bit of a game, as we tried to see how long we could keep it all under wraps while we met people around the place. I felt a little guilty as we left a trail of obfuscation, frustration, vague answers and the odd white-lie in our wake.

I knew that a number of bridges would have to be rebuilt on my return...