As is usual for me at this time of year (basically when its not summer) I start dreaming about what I want to do with my summer.
Two years ago it was my motorbike trip around Europe. Last summer I spent 6 weeks in India with two of my best friends from home. This summer….. Hiking in the Alps!
I’ve known about long distance European hiking routes ever since I learned about the long distance trails in the USA (namely the Appalachian trail, the Continental Divide, The Pacific Crest trail – watch the film “Into the Wild” to find my inspiration!). The one that struck a chord with me the most is the GR5 – “Europe’s most rewarding long-distance footpath”. It is part of the E2 which cuts south from Scotland all the way to the Mediterranean (E2 Route Map). The section that really caught my eye connects Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean via the Northern and Southern Alps. It ends (the GR52) in Menton on the French Riviera.
In total it is a 400 mile, 5-week trek over and under and round and through the French Alps.
I have dreamed for a long time of completing a long distance hike, carrying nothing but my backpack containing everything I need to survive. I am very lucky on this trip to have a very close friend of mine, Ben, to accompany me.
Our plan – to hitchhike to Geneva (#cheapstudents) before beginning our epic 5 week trek to the beach.
My friend has a twin brother, Mike, who is currently out in Visakhapatnam, India, teaching English at an Orphanage. This is the second time he has been out there and he is really making a difference to the lives of the children he lives with. The orphanage is funded by Children of Faith Missions, an American charity who are providing a great service and have been since 2003. A second charity has been set up, Children of Grace Home with the aim of building another orphanage to house the 15 youngest children from the original orphanage.
Our walk will help to raise money for this cause with 100% of everything donated going towards the charity. We are aiming for £2000 – a very large target but one we hope we can meet. If 100 people sponsor us 20p/mile we’ll have made it. We can fund our own food/accomodation/travel/etc but we feel by having a good cause behind us we will feel even better about what we are doing and will help support the lives of some very special children along the way.
For more information about the charity we are supporting please watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hqOBr3o7Qg
The route for our trek: Route map
I will endeavour to update this blog with further plans and ideas and start putting together a kit list of things we’ll take with us. Also as soon as it is set up (waiting for the Government to give us the green light) I will include a link to our JustGiving page so any one who is interested and passionate about what we are doing can donate.