Canitrekking the SWCP
Hi, I’m Pickle a 3-year-old Black lab. I live in a great home with my mum, dad, and human brother!
My mum runs a Canicross business @Paws4running which apparently is my fault as I can’t be trusted off lead if there are pheasants, squirrels, or cats around. Although sometimes I surprise her and come back when asked. In my own time of course!
That’s why we Canicross and I love it, I get to meet up with my mates and we have some great runs together.
This year my mum and her best mate Sal are starting to walk the South West Coast Path and me and Ella (Sal’s dog) are joining them too. I am going to be Canitrekking. More about that later.
They have a BIG birthday in 3 years so want to complete it before then.
Mum has decided we are going to Canitrek as I can be a real pain when just on my slip lead when there is so much to see and smell. She thinks it’s safer for both of us and for us to remain friends!
Although she hasn’t got a great head for heights so not really sure why she’s doing it?!
Before we started
We’ve been Canicrossing for over 2 years now, I’m quite good as I pull well, mum just can’t keep up with me! If you want to find out more about Canicross you can here.
Canitrekking is similar to Canicross we just walk instead, well mum does I still want to run.
Although I wear a slightly different harness
We did some Canitrekking for practise so we could both get used to it, but more about that later.
A couple of weeks ago we headed down to Minehead to meet up with Sal and Ella and get started. They found a great Airbnb that allows dogs. You can check it out here.
We started this in March 2022 so as you can imagine the weather can be unpredictable.
Minehead to Porlock Day 1
Not a great start as I was sick in the night, maybe it was nerves but I just wanted to stay in bed and stay warm. It was raining really hard outside too and I’m not over keen on the wet stuff.
The plan worked and we didn’t go out until it stopped.
In the meantime, Mum didn’t want to feed me but knew I needed something so she gave me some Hydrate+ which I usually only get after a race or long run. I love this stuff, smells so good. Ella wanted some too!
Sal and mum decided as they didn’t know how I was going to be they would park a car about 3 miles into the walk to see how I was. This wasn’t their original plan as they were going to take the car to the other end for us to walk to.
Minehead was interesting, I wanted to run on the beach
We found the start; well, you couldn’t miss it, and off we went.
I was a bit miffed as Ella was allowed off her lead, she looked like she was having a lot of fun. Although to be fair she kept away from me so it didn’t wind me up.
Off we went uphill, lots of steps and moorland, well we were on Exmoor. I was enjoying it and being quite good, think Mum was feeling sorry for me so being nice too.
She started to give some Skinners Get out and go Energy Bars which I love (Thankfully she has a large stock of these)
Mum and Sal were enjoying the views although they could only just see the outline of Wales as it was still damp and misty.
We were nearly where we parked the car when we realised, we hadn’t seen Ella for a bit. I couldn’t help mum wouldn’t let me off.
They called and called but Ella didn’t come.
Sal decided to retrace our steps while Mum took me to the car.
30 minutes later Ella still hadn’t turned up, I mean what else could go wrong. Then Mum got a call from Dad saying Ella had been found back in Minehead. The signals are not great upon the moor.
Sal came back and we went to collect her from a lovely lady who had found Ella looking a bit panicky by our car where we started.
She’d got disorientated and headed back to the car. Just as well I was sick and they had bought the car nearer, don’t think either of them would have been happy adding another 6 miles to our day.
We got back going after lunch the sun came out, Ella was good and we headed off back towards our Airbnb in Porlock.
We got into it that afternoon, the views were amazing, it was muddy in places, it was hilly (well it was the coast path) but nothing too challenging, the signage was easy to follow.
We are using the Official National trail guides for our trip which have loads of information for every stage of the journey, the maps are useful to have without having to carrying an ordnance survey map.
Useful tip No 1
Mum and Sal photographed the stage we were walking with all the maps so we didn’t have to carry the book as well.
My Daily Stats using a PitPat
Minehead to Porlock
240 minutes of exercise
18.1 miles (mum needed to adjust this considering I was attached and she didn’t go this far!)
Yes, I did enjoy my food that evening