For a book that was written by a self-confessed grumpy old man, this was an astonishingly refreshing read, and I really enjoyed it. Not only did I learn a good deal about the different islands, but it gave a real insight into the heart, mind and life of the author. I’m sure Alan would be the first to admit that he isn’t a natural writer (my red pen was itching), nevertheless, this book has genuine charm. And although Elle, the lady in the background, never actually appears, her character shines clearly through and softens Alan’s rougher edges.
And there is humour; this line made me smile… “Being on the seventh floor I locked the balcony door before going to bed and hid the key from myself, as I occasionally sleepwalk.”
Don’t expect a glittery guide to holiday sunspots, because you may be disappointed. No, this is an honest, big-hairy-warts-and-all look at the Canary Isles, through the eyes of an opinionated, but compassionate man. I soon gathered Alan’s no athlete, so, to walk the length of all seven of the Canary Isles for charity is admirable. Well done!
Victoria Twead (Author of Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools)
Want to find out more about my book or read it yourself – click here.
Without wishing to dissuade anyone from taking a look (being digital it’s cheap enough to take a chance :)) I have been instructed by Elle to point out at all times that it is honest and may offend some parties. It is also not a tourist brochure. If places I’ve passed along the way have been shit holes, I’ve described them exactly as they are… It’s just my opinion and I can not be anything other than honest!
I don’t know if people were expecting me to write all my experiences from the walk this spring down on here. But I decided against it. Rather than do it bit by bit here I decided to put it in the form of a book after it being suggested by several people.
The draft is now done, and in Elle’s hands as she sorts out my spelling errors and grammatical ineptitude with her metaphoric red pen.
I’d like to think I’m not so far up my own backside to think that the world is dying to hear my story. The reality of it is that I wanted to get it all down in one place, instead of in pieces on this blog, for posterity rather than reasons of vanity. On that basis, don’t expect the work of a literary genius, or indeed an in depth travel guide on ‘walking the Canary Islands’. It’ll be part travelogue – though I’ve tried to avoid ‘I passed a mountain, then another mountain, then went through village X’, part my usual rants, some old stories, musings on life as an expat, about the people I met on the way, and the kind of crap that goes through your head doing something like this….
I’m not expecting to make my fortune on the back of this, maybe it’ll just become a nice keepsake for my new grandson one day. It would be nice to recover our costs through sales, that’s the extend of my ambition for it. Though, maybe, who knows, it might just make enough money for my next planned journey. We’ll see. And no, I’m not saying what it is until it’s game on…. Continue reading
Just a short post as I settle back into everyday life! I’m back having finished the walk and feeling in great shape. Plenty to write about my experiences – but I’ll save that for later and instead, for now, sit back, watch some rubbish on TV and put my feet up! Business as usual tomorrow and I’m back to work.
In summary, I’m probably feeling fitter than I have for years thanks to the fantastic training provided by Mitch. The boy really knows his stuff! Instead of getting drained as the walk went on, instead, I actually felt like I was getting stronger each day! And, thanks to a fantastic pair of Berghaus boots combined with ‘1000 mile socks‘ not one blister or any issue with my feet for the whole journey!
But, right now, I want to get my thanks in to everyone involved, especially the ‘team’ that helped me most…
Elle: Who put her ‘Mel the Secretary’ head on, organised my travel and accommodation for me en route. Her constant unwavering support and encouragement spurred me on throughout. She kept the business running, and, lets not forget the fact that she ‘allows’ me to go off and do these crazy things in the first place. I do love you, you crazy bitch!
Mitch ‘the man’ Mitchell: So much to thank Mitch for; his encouragement, faith in me doing this, and his expertise and guidance really made this far easier than it might have. Mitch is a true professional and all round nice guy if you’re thinking of taking on some form of challenge, or even just want to improve your general fitness – Mitch is your man!
Irma from Yaiza te Informa: Who has been a huge help, and generating a huge amount of coverage in the Spanish media. Her enthusiasm for the whole project has really mean a lot to me.
Thanks for the practical support from,
Axia FX: Who covered the costs of my kit and contributed financially towards the day-to-day expenses.
ARMAS: The canary island ferry company who kindly provided my ferry travel between the islands.
Balan Sports: The lovely Jo and Lou gave me some top top notch t-shirts for the trip. Girls: They were fantastic the material was perfect for the job!
The people I met who helped me out on the way; Our friend Ray who ferried me around Lanzarote, Claudio, Annie, Sheila, Stephen and Cathy – and Oscar for providing me with some doggy company, and a very special local guy from El Hierro, Carlos, who will probably never know just how much he made my last day really quite special!
Thanks to everyone who’s donated, thanks to family and friends for all their support throughout, and thanks to Wax for staging the upcoming charity auction which will help boost the funds even further, and the local businesses who have contributed stuff to sell! Please forgive me if I’ve forgotten anyone!
Right, before anyone thinks I’m trying to imitate Gwyneth Paltrow accepting an Oscar – I’m off to kick back and put my feet up!
The fund raising isn’t over yet…
You can still make a donation on the Just Giving website
You can support the auction at Wax
…and you can help pass this around and make me look an idiot in the process!
As we speak… Alan is sat in the Temple Bar in Corralejo, with a well deserved beer in his paws… killing time before the 8pm Armas ferry back home to Playa Blanca. Apparently he has just tucked into a roast dinner, courtesy of John and Colin. Just as well I’m able to refrigerate the dinner I’d planned eh?! Moules Mariniere starter, and cebon steak main course for tomorrow it is. If you can get down to join us in meeting him off the boat… it gets in at 8:40pm – and then we’ll be nipping into Popeye’s Bar for a quick drinkie too. Continue reading