Vix Even Bigger Walk

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Please click to open map for Vix Even Bigger WalkMapWHAT…
In 2011 soon after Vix’s surgery, she joined me (her Dad) and others in a sponsored walk from Portree Hospital on Skye, where she was born, to the Beatson Centre and Gartnaval Hospital in Glasgow, where she was being treated. Two years on, inspired by not only Vix’s personal determination and fund raising, but also by the memory of Dr Julian Toms, a local GP here on Skye, who died recently from a brain tumour, I’m going for something a bit longer… walking from Lands End to John O’Groats… all 1200 miles of it!

WHERE…
I will be following largely the route set out in Andy Robinson’s book, The End to End Trail, which follows footpaths much of the way, utilising existing long distance trails where possible. Starting at Lands End the route follows the West Coast Peninsular path along the north coast of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset as far as Bridgwater. The route then dodges between Bristol and the sea to pick up The Offa’s Dyke Path at Chepstow. This is then followed as far as Knighton where a network of footpaths lead across country towards Derbyshire, where I can pick up the Pennine Way. Three weeks later I should arrive in the Borders to join another linking section to take me along the Clyde – Forth Canal to join the West Highland Way in Glasgow. Then northward to Fort William. From there the route gets exciting, following a tortuous route along stalkers’ paths and over the trackless mountain wildernesses of the Western Highlands and Caithness. No shops or pubs on this last section so if you want to hide a few cans of beer for me en-route I shan’t complain. In all, it should take about ten weeks. Apart from the odd night of luxury at the homes of friends who live near the route, I plan the carry my trusty little tent and camp wherever and whenever can.

WHEN…
Date to be confirmed.

WHY…
A good question. I have done many long walks before – two or three weeks at a time – but nothing quite like this challenge. To be honest I do enjoy the process of long distance walking, the journey, the meditative process of just putting one foot in front of another and being self reliant; but I don’t know if I’ll enjoy this one. Am I biting off more than I can chew? I want to find out for myself, and before I get too old. One thing is for sure I’m going to need all the help I can get, and that is why I am asking for sponsorship. I am going to need the collective support and encouragement of all those who will be supporting me, whether it’s by sponsoring me or participating in their own parallel events. There are going to be times – tough times – I know, when the thought of letting down Vix and all those who sponsor me is going to be the only thing that keeps me going. So there you have it… I need you as much as Maggies Centres, Highland Hospice and The Brain Tumour Charity do. So please, please donate all you can towards these three wonderful, complementary causes.

 

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