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Canary Islands

I’ve been quiet on here for a reason…

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

Back to reality…

My Berghaus boots after just over 400km

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! 🙂

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Niños del Tercer Mundo – Christopher David

As a result of my latest and forthcoming ‘expedition’ – walking across, up or around the seven main islands that make up the Canary Islands I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Christopher David. Christopher along with his wife Gill and a number of other prominent Lanzarote residents founded Niños del Tercer Mundo, and is the current Chairman of the charity.

Meeting Christopher was an absolute pleasure. He’s such a lovely man and he and his wife Gill (who sadly passed away last year) have selflessly given their time to help others since retiring to Lanzarote  in 1995, having owned a place been regular visitors since the mid-80s. Niños del Tercer Mundo came about after their involvement with a project providing one room schools in Ecuador – and Christopher has not helping people since stopped since…  He is not – I am sure he will not mind me saying – a young man, yet still continues to dedicate his time to making the lives of others better. The world would be a much better place if it had more people like Christopher in it! Continue reading