Thursday, 21 March 2013
Walking boots are expensive. I had to pick a lot of apples and shear a lot of alpacas to afford mine. And Jake, he had to spend a lot of days feeding sweet corn to turtles to afford his.
In Mid spring 2013, Jake and I will put on our backpacks, funded by apples and sweet corn, and leave number 29 Berkeley Road on foot. 2,000 miles later we hope to arrive in Menton, France, with blisterless feet and a skip in our step. The projected blisterless feet and skip in step may well be an ounce optimistic, but it pays to be positive.
By no means will we be tailgating the infamous crow; leaving Bristol we amble on to Bath, and then cut through the heart of the England’s south, dropping subtly south to Dover. A ferry crossing (in which we presumably have to circumnavigate the vessel, on foot, without stopping until it docks) will take us on to Ostende, Belgium. A brief section in the Netherlands then leads to Antwerp. It is here that we join the hiker-renowned GR5 trail, one of Europe’s most famous long distance paths. The GR5 heads south through Hasselt and Liege and into the south east corner of Belgium. Sandwiched between the border of Luxembourg and Germany, the GR5 then falls out into the Lorraine region of France. Sections in the Vosges and Jura lead us on towards Lake Geneva. From this point onward we gradually ascend into the mighty Alps. Several hundred miles through the mountains channels us to the Mediterranean, and Menton, our finishing point.
If all goes to plan we should arrive in the French Riviera just after the summer holidays, accompanied by a rather splendid short-shorts tan line.
Although this is a personal challenge, Jake and I are also trying to raise as much money as possible for Water Aid (see www.justgiving.com/awalktothewater). This is a fantastic charity and may well be the driving force that we need to help us complete our quest.
Map of the route - Map