‘Now I was finally out of the force of the wind, my body began to warm – the part where the real pain sets in. I’d felt it plenty of times before on this journey, but this time it was different. As I began to regain feeling in my fingers and toes, it burned so strongly that I just sat in tears of pain.’
Christian Lewis had hit rock bottom, suffering with depression so severe he would shut himself in his bedroom for weeks. Then, in August 2017, while surfing – his only respite – he cast his eyes along the coastline and realised it was the only place he really wanted to be.
Making an impulsive decision to set himself a challenge – walk the entire coastline of the UK – he gave himself a few days to rustle up a tent and walking boots, then left for good with just a tenner in his pocket and two days’ worth of food. Little did he know at the time just how long it would take to cross the finish line – and the encounters that lay ahead that would turn his life around.
Five years later, he has navigated the West Coast, Northern Ireland, the hard-rock cliffs of Scotland and the perimeters of the Scottish Islands – where he spent three months on an uninhabited island called Hildasay, where there was no fresh water or food. It was there, the most barren his route had become, that the more pride and respect he found within himself – and the more remarkable his journey became. Happiness and hope was just around the corner.
With a foreword from long-time supporter Ben Fogle, Finding Hildasay is a brutal and beautiful true story of depression, survival and the meaning of home.