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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!

Some more about Rose Road…

I have written before on the site about the work of two charities I support, Niños Tercer del Mudo and the Rose Road Appeal.

But this year wanted to find out a little more about the people involved. Having already written about Christopher David, the lovely man behind Niños Tercer del Mundo, I emailed Rose Road with some ‘interview’ questions for a couple of the personalities behind this incredible service.

Here’s the answers I got from Con, who is the current chair of the trustees, and Neil, who has a huge hand in helping keep the centre running day-to-day;

Alan: “Con, how did you get involved with Rose Road, and what does it mean to you”?

Con and Katie

Con: “I did a presentation at the Bradbury Centre for Rose Road called ‘Living with Autism’ as part of an Autism Awareness day, that charity was hosting. My daughter, Katie, is autistic. I got to see the fantastic work Rose Road do and when approached to be a trustee I jumped at the chance.

I have been involved with Rose Road now for about 6 years, the last year as the Chair of trustees.

My daughter Katie, now 17 years old, has been using the Rose Road services for about 5 years. She attends the Oaks and Acorns short break facility at the Bradbury Centre as well as receiving ‘Outreach’ care to help her access the community. Katie also attends an after school play scheme. Katie is really flourishing and Rose Road is certainly making a big difference and is proving to be an invaluable service to both Katie and family! My wife Julie also has a disability and so when Katie, who can be very demanding at times, is with Rose Road this enables me to give much needed dedicated time to Julie even it is just to sit and watch telly together in peace and quite”.

I also had a couple of questions for Neil at Rose road about the day to day running of the centre…
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Training update – does this mean I’m making progress?

As part of the training for my walk of all seven of the main islands that make up the archipelagos next spring I’ve been working with Mitch Mitchell on getting my fitness levels sorted out having let myself go the last few years! After my last session with Mitch I felt like I’d taken a beating when the next day came along!

But, by way of accidental encouragement recently, I bumped into a friend in our local supermarket who said, “You’re looking fit”. (I’m sure he meant ‘fitter’, and was politely over stating!). Coming from someone who does actually know what they are talking about, I was rather pleased to hear that the efforts I am making (with much help and gentle encouragement from Mitch) may have made a visible difference, even so early on in the process. Continue reading