Posted on 12 09 2012
200 mile Charity Walk – Josie d’Arby
The idea of walking 200 miles in 8 days excited me, the idea of doing it through the undulating and richly green landscape of Wales sealed the deal.
In August 8 core walkers trekked from south to North Wales to raise awareness and much needed funds for our Air Ambulance service. The geography of Wales means that for many people an air ambulance is matter of life and death.
The Wales Air Ambulance service is funded solely by donations and every year they save countless lives. As we walked through Wales we were constantly meeting people who’s lives had been touched or saved by our heroes in the sky.
Now all walkers will know the bliss, the camaraderie and the solitude that happens spontaneously during group endurance events. It’s a really special thing and a magical way to spend time with people and yourself. Anyone who doesn’t do long stints through natural surroundings is really missing out in my opinion, being in the elements is a birthright to me.
So every night, exhausted and elated, the 8 of us would get to wherever we were resting our heads (many fine hotels donated to the cause) and by morning we could hardly believe we were going to do it all again. A fair amount of the journey was on tarmac and this isn’t always the kindest surface to the feet. Thankfully one of the core 8 was a Doctor and we certainly made good use of his day job. I saw blisters the size of fists and in one case someone who started with 10 toe nails in tact, ended the journey with just 9! The blister count was enormous BUT I have to say this was the only part of the adventure I didn’t participate in, after 8 days I was the only core-walker who was totally and completely and almost unbelievably blister free! I was also the only walker who wore Bridgedale socks for the entire walk .. coincidence – I think not. Thanks Bridgedale, the whole walk was all pleasure and no pain , well not on my feet anyway :)
And we managed to raise £30,00 and counting. Enough to save many lives. You can still donate and find out more about our walk here http://www.justgiving.com/cerddwnymlaen
As we Welsh would say cerddwnymlaen , which means walk on :)
Josie d’Arby is a broadcaster, writer, director and founder of several community cohesion and health initiatives. www.josiedarby.com