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north to south

Day 22. El Hierro. AND HE’S DONE!!!

Here is a recap of Alan’s Day Twenty Two of his Siete Islas Charity Walk. It is the final part of the entire walk.

If you would like a more “as it happens” update… then go to his Facebook page HERE and click “like”

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Day 10. Gran Canaria. Aguimes to Playa del Ingles

Here is a recap of Alan’s Day Ten of his Siete Islas Charity Walk. It is the second part of the Gran Canaria section.

If you would like a more “as it happens” update… then go to his Facebook page HERE and click “like”.

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What next?

The question I have been asked most since I completed the north to south walk in February is… What next?

The answer so far is that “I haven’t really thought about it”. Which isn’t strictly speaking true. The fact is, that despite the discomfort at the time it was one of the things on my mind. I didn’t then, and still haven’t come to any conclusions, but I have no doubt there will be a follow up at some time – exactly what I’m not sure yet – I’m currently mulling it over.

A couple of people have suggested I do the same in Fuerteventura (which is somewhat longer than Lanzarote), but I feel I’ve done the walking thing now and if I’m going to do something I fancy doing something different, and maybe more ambitious. I really don’t know what to do yet though.

I do have a couple of (frankly, vague so far) ideas – but I’m open to other suggestions. I’m looking for ideas for a new challenge if you have any? Continue reading

Just Giving total

The Just Giving page set up for the recent walk I did to raise money for, I happy to say, has topped at out just over £1300 for the two very deserving charities – Niños del Tercer Mundo and The Rose Road Centre.

I’m very proud to be associated with both of these charities and also planning on helping them both more in the future whenever I am able. Continue reading

Back to work!

So it’s the Monday after the weekend before and I’m feeling so much better than I expected I would after walking the 70 plus kilometres from Orzola to the lighthouse at Playa Blanca. The blisters  healing quickly and hardly a twinge from my legs and back.

Just before setting off

As I’ve written before, the walk is something I’ve had in mind for some time. And I have to say, despite the blistered feet and inevitable aching legs I really, really enjoyed the experience. I wanted to take some time out, clear my head.

It was hard work to do – but incredibly rewarding. It’s given some perspective to life here, and highlighted to me some of the good (and bad) things. I’m not turning into a hippy or anything – so don’t worry I’ve not come out of it a changed man – it just adds some clarity.

Starting early and getting ready about 4am, I was carrying my stuff downstairs and nearly took a tumble missing a step on the corner where our staircase turns. I didn’t know if I should read it as a sign – was it a sign? Was it telling me I shouldn’t do this? Or was it that the very fact I had failed to tumble down the stairs a sign that I was meant to do it? Actually, as I’m not one for signs, I ignored it as such – the only thought that went through my head was “Sh*t, that was lucky, how would it look to everyone if I’d cried off with a twisted ankle or broken leg before I even start”! Continue reading

Alan’s Charity Walk – “live” updates

Hi everyone – it’s Elle.

Keep this page handy during Alan’s walk today and tomorrow (4th & 5th February), and his location and comments will be updated each hour. There is also a map below, so you can see exactly where he has been… almost in real time.

If you haven’t already donated, and would like to do so… then you can do this via the Just Giving banner here:

Click the map and drag it with your mouse to see how Alan is getting on.

And see below the map for ongoing comments from Alan.

7:30am – Alan sets off from Orzola. I asked him if he had any comments at this point… and he gave me a simple “No. Am sure I’ll be feeling the pain later though!”

8am – just leaving Orzola

9am – halfway to Haria. Alan would like to warn anyone planning to walk in this area on foot. It has just cost him 10 minutes and not inconsiderable effort to scramble around rocks to avoid two German Shepherds that are loose in the grounds of the Aloe Vera shop on the hill going into Orzola. He says that although the place is walled… the walls are low, and it wouldn’t contain the dogs if they wanted to get out.

10am – In Maquez now. Just some little statistics for you now:
Maximum speed – 8 kilometres per hour
Average speed – 5 kilometres per hour
Moving for 2 hours 11 minutes
Stopped for 11 minutes

11am – Currently Alan is sat in “Dos Hermanos” in the market area of Haria… where his Dad has met up with him for a quick coffee. Short stop, then he’ll be off again… heading towards Teguise

12 noon – an uphill slog now! he’s going cross country on the footpaths, but avoiding that treacherous zig zag hill road. He’s still feeling positive, and thoroughly enjoying himself. Onwards and upwards!

1pm – walking on the high ground now… and heading towards Los Valles. Give him a wave from the lower villages! Still going strong!

2pm – Alan can now see Teguise – so is happy to be going down the hill now, to go get some lunch. His Dad will be meeting him again and will be checking his feet for whether he needs any plasters etc. 22 kilometres done so far.

3pm – had some problems with signal, which meant I couldn’t get hold of Alan straight away. But he has now reached Teguise… which is a big milestone for him. He’s going to have a bit of lunch with his Dad who is waiting there for him… and then crack on. A huge thank you to the lovely Lynne who is going to do dinner for Alan and give him a place to stay tonight too! Alan’s Dad can now come home as he’s not needed to meet Alan en route for the rest of the day. Next update at 4pm!

Apologies that the map hadn’t updated since the 1pm marker… the problem seems to be fixed now.

4pm – Alan has just spent an hour in Teguise for a bite to eat and to check for blisters on his feet. Setting off again in about 5 minutes for the next stretch.

5pm – about halfway between Teguise and the San Bartolome crossroads now – and still going strong!

6pm – he’s reached the Campesino. Not far to go for the end of today’s leg.

6:45pm – Stopping at Masdache. Overnight stop… then start again tomorrow! 40.1 kilometres completed… average speed of 4.9 kilometres per hour

Click HERE for photographs of Day One


07:50am – and off he sets on the second day of the walk. Masdache to start, from where he stopped last night.

09:30am – couldn’t get through on the phone because of bad signal… so eventually got him at almost 9:30. He was just passing La Bodega Stratvs (one of my favourite wines is made here). Still going strong. He can see the masts at Femes, which is spurring him on even further. A couple of blisters now… but he says he’s ok

10am – he has stopped for a sandwich that Stan has delivered to him and should reach Uga in about an hour or so

11:15am – making terrific time now he’s almost on the home stretch. Just heading to Femes now as you can see from the map, where he will be stopping for a coffee. Will update soon for those of you that wish to join him at the finish line!

12 noon – close to the village of Femes now! Rest stop approaching!

1pm – he’s really feeling it now. Halfway down the Femes hill. He’s going to go cross country now, almost in a straight line towards the lighthouse itself. I’m going to phone him again in half an hour… but we’re estimating that he’ll be at his final destination at half two, or just after.

1:30pmRight… almost there. He has decided that the road route is best after all… and so is currently walking down the Femes road and he’ll hit the seafront at the Ferry harbour before carrying on past Playa Flamingo etc, to the Lighthouse. A small number of us will be at the Lighthouse for about 2:30… waiting to welcome Alan home between then and 3pm.  Everyone is welcome to meet us down there. Thanks again for everyone’s support!

FINISHED! Alan arrived safely at the Lighthouse at about 3.35pm. It was lovely to see some friends turn up to give him a round of applause as he arrived. Oh, and we tried not to disrupt the Enduroman race too much either.

Thanks again everyone for all of your support!

Here’s the link to Day Two’s Photographs – enjoy! PHOTOS

A bit more about the Rose Road Appeal…

I asked Neil at Rose Road to give a little more information ‘from the horses mouth’, so to speak, about how the money raised through their fundraising are put to good use. I got this extremely nice message of support this morning… Thanks Neil – it’s an honour to be able to help you out in my own small way!

Hi everyone, I’m Neil Wilson the Fundraising Director at Rose Road and can I thank everyone who has supported Alan’s charity walk so far, it really does mean a lot to the children and families who we work with. We have been supporting children with the most complex disabilities for almost 60 years but 2011 is proving particularly difficult as it is for many people. The cuts to budgets are now being felt in the UK and we are doing all we can to protect frontline services even as our fundraising income comes under strain.

The money you donate will help fund respite and care in the community, services which are of vital importance if you have a son or daughter who may be blind and deaf, who may be autistic or epileptic, or have neurological problems linked to digestion and movement. Our children are very special and we aim to ensure they are able to fulfil their potential in life, and offer help for parents and families when challenges arise. Please support Alan’s walk and thank you once again for your generosity.

Neil Wilson

Thanks for the support Neil!

You can find out more about Rose Road and the fantastic work they do via their website at And, of course if you want to sponsor my walk on Friday – do click on the banner below!

More on sponsorship…

In addition to being able to make a donation through JustGiving, you can now sponsor me for my north to south walk in the ‘traditional sense’ at the following places on the island… Continue reading


I’ve just got back from the land of snow, darkness and airport chaos… And on the last day at my dad’s place a package arrived for me.

Inside were two t-shirts designed and mad up by the lovely Lou and Jo at Balan Sports. Seems Lou had taken it upon herself to provide me with them for when I do the walk on the 4th of February next year (which put that way sounds so much further away than it is!).

Here’s an unashamed plug for them! Balan Sports provide custom made branded and promotional leisure wear, work wear and sports clothing as well as trophies and all the other sporting paraphernalia you might expect. They supply throughout the UK and can ship internationally (subject to shipping charges of course).

Thank you girls! 🙂

Sponsorship for my North to South walk…

If you are here you probably know already I am planning on walking the length of the island on the 4th February 2011, and hoping to raise a bit of money for charity in doing so.

I’m raising money for Niños Tercer del Mundo, and the Rose Road Centre in Southampton. Both of which I feel are extremely worthy causes.

If you wish to sponsor me or contribute to the charities concerned, here’s how you can do so; Continue reading