Right then – it’s the Final Countdown to June 11th.

And I’m well up for it, albeit nerves are jangling (I wish those butterflies would fly in formation !) and joints are  creaking … BUT preparations are well nigh complete and it’s soon time to take on my biggest physical challenge in many years – Hadrian’s Wall.

What a fun journey so far …  900 miles, more than 250 hours of walking, since the adventure began in mid-August 2011 – and much of it alone. Although I must mention three people who have made the course more enjoyable.

  • My indefatigable companion, John Games (who also faces the challenge with me on the 11th) joined me on several ‘longer’ walks – when we talked of family, church, sport, politics and numberless other matters.
  • My long-suffering wife, Sue, occasionally came for shorter walks, and her untiring support throughout has helped to get me this far.
  • On one memorable 3-hour jaunt in the wolds of North Lincolnshire my fellow traveller was good friend, Dominic O’Connor, priest of St Mary’s RC church in Brigg.  So engrossed were we in sharing life-stories, theological perspectives and personal aspirations, that time flew by so swiftly.

After pounding pathways and country lanes around my home town, Brigg, and further afield, I can heartily recommend walking for its countless benefits. In addition to the physical exercise I’ve found walking to be emotionally releasing, intellectually expanding and spiritually enriching.

As I’ve walked alone I’ve pondered, prayed, sung, wondered & worshipped. I’ve composed speeches, sermons, poems; constructed conversations and crafted social network comments; replied to letters; drunk in the beauty of the surroundings; taken photographs; worked out civic & personal problems; vented my frustrations and disappointments – many truly cathartic experiences; and for the most part simply  enjoyed ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’.

NOW – with all that behind, I’m pressing on to the goal, which means covering approximately 15 miles each day for 6 consecutive days, across some of the most glorious landscape in the UK. Our starting point is Bowness on the west coast, with Wallsend, near Newcastle as the finishing line –  (see map below)

https://i1.wp.com/www.bestwalks.com/images/Northumberland/hadrians-wall.gif

WHY, WHY, WHY !!!

What possesses a reasonably intelligent 60-year old to push himself to such extremes ?

Well, my driving passion is to generate funds for the work of Fresh-Hope Ministries International, working with orphans (among other things) in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Hopefully as the sense of need touches peoples’ hearts, they will be inspired to give generously in order for the set target of £2000 to be met, and even exceeded.   In the UK we’ve talked of ‘austerity’ over the last few years, while in Sierra Leone ‘austerity’ is a way of life permanently !

Below is a link directly to Fresh-Hope’s website,  where details of my walk appear, and which also provides an option of donating through Paypal

http://www.fresh-hope.org/walk

A paypal account is not required, and credit or debit cards are accepted.

In conclusion I’d like to express my gratitude to all those who have contributed to this point … so far, at publication the amount raised/pledged stands at over £750. The response, encouragement and support received so far has been truly amazing – and I THANK EVERYONE CONCERNED.  Let’s go on now and do this together !

https://i2.wp.com/www.visitcumbria.com/simon/willowford-2765b.jpg

Advertisements