Interview with Sally Kelly on the GR20

Sally Kelly, a keen walker from England, did the GR 20 trek with her friend Geoff in June 2007 and started to post an interesting travel report on her blog Sally in Norfolk. I've asked Sally a couple of questions about her trek and she was so kind to share her Corsican experience with you.

Q: I know from your blog, that it was your friend Geoff, who convinced you to do the GR20. However, who or what did attract you to the long-distance walking in general?

I started walking as a way to get out the house into the fresh air, the more miles I walked the more miles I wanted to walk and I often wondered how it would feel to walk for days and weeks. I read alot about people doing long distance walks and my dream was to do one.

Q: Can you compare the GR20 to any other experience from your rambling history?

The GR20 was my first long distance walk and compares to nothing I have ever done before. Even giving birth to both my sons was easier, but I enjoyed every second of it and the feeling of achievement at the end was fantastic.

Q: What place on the GR20 did you like most?

I really liked all the rock pools along the GR20, they were great for having a dip in, far better than the cold showers at the refuges that you had to que for. I also enjoyed the stage 14 walk the alpine variant over to the village de Bavella.

Q: What part of the GR20 was the most difficult one for you and why?

Stage 4 and the Cirque de la Solitude was the hardest day for me both mentally and physically. It was very scary as I had never experienced anything like it... it was like climbing with out the safety of a rope... and at times I did feel that one false move and I would have fallen.

Q: What would you do differently either in preparation of your journey or on the trail now, after you are back to home?

I did a lot of training before I went but wish I had done a little more to strengthen my arms because they ached alot from using them to pull myself up the rocks. I also wish I had more experience on walking downhill over all the boulders as I lacked the confidence to go fast.

Q: What do you consider to be the most important advice for people planning the GR20 trek?

Keep the weight of your rucksack as light as possible, make sure your of reasonable fitness but most of all go with the right frame of mind. If I can do it as my first long distance walk, with most of my walking done on the flat, then anyone can do this walk. Also go to enjoy it and don't rush it.

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