Friday, 28 May 2010

The Background

Many years ago whilst on a family holiday in the Pyrenees I foolishly said that when I retired I would walk through the mountains on the GR10, a long distance footpath starting at Hendaye, on the Atlantic coast and finishing at Banyuls-sur Mer on the Mediterranean coast. That's a distance of 570 miles and involves 49,700 metres of up and of course what goes up comes down as well. Having been retired for some years, at last that time has come! It is about 50 days of walking so I am allowing up to 60 to allow for rest days, but no return flight or advance accommodation has been booked. So on 1st June 2010 I embark on the most strenuous long distance path I have yet undertaken. As a founder member of SARA, the Short Arsed Ramblers Association, I am used to long distance walking, but not on this scale.

It was at a funeral in June 2009 that Les Mattey a fellow member of the Stanchester Quire told me he was hoping to do the walk in 2010 so I volunteered to join him. It seems a little selfish to just do it so I decided to raise money for St Margaret's Somerset Hospice. They looked after Jude, my late wife, during periods of respite, so it seemed logical to select them. Many of my sponsors have asked me to set up a blog so they can keep track of my progress so here it is. If you haven't sponsored me yet and would like to, then please go to my web site

Why have I called it breathless on the GR10 you may ask? Well I some times use a Dictaphone when out walking to describe the route or the scenery for entering into a log or journal. After a climb my commentary sounds a bit like heavy breathing but I thought 'Heavy breathing on the GR10' may attract a different sort of blog follower. I do intend to keep a full journal as well as the blog and so will be utilising a state of the art digital Dictaphone during the trip and I will no doubt be breathless!

Les and I are flying out to Bordeaux from Bristol and then have a 2 hour train journey to Hendaye, where we hope to arrive between 7 and 8pm. We then have to find a cheap hotel for the night. The first day will be spent getting last minute things we couldn't take par avion, such as fuel for the cooking stove etc. We will also be dipping our feet in the Atlantic and having a photo opportunity to boot. Depending on time we may set off that day, or leave it untill 3rd. Well that's the plan anyway - you will just have visit this site to find out if that is what happens.
I am not sure how frequently we will find Internet facilities to update the blog but I am quite hopeful they won't be too scarce. So that's all for now, au revoir mes amis!!