This summer, starting in June, I am aiming to achieve one of my long time ambitions, before I am too old. That is to walk through the Pyrenees Mountains on the Franco/Spanish border from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. The route is along the trail known as the GR10. It’s about 570 miles and will take around 50 days of solid walking, plus a few rest days. It involves 49,700 metres of ascent (that’s 161,525 feet) and 49,700 metres of descent, which is more than 5 times up and down Everest! I will be carrying all equipment necessary, including tent, sleeping bag, stove etc., and will use a mixture of Gites D’Etape, hostels and refuges as well as camping. It seems a little selfish to just do it so I thought I would use the opportunity to raise money for St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice.I chose the Hospice because, in 2003 my wife, Jude, was diagnosed with an untreatable and inoperable brain tumour. She died in 2007 and during that nearly 5 year period I cared for her at home. Caring 24/7 for someone you love sounds easy but believe me it isn’t and if it had not been for the periods of respite, when Jude went into St Margaret’s, I don’t think I would have survived. The care she received there was second to none, and the staff were fantastic. A year after her death I organised ‘The Jude Crawford Celebration Day’ at the Bridgwater Arts Centre. This was a day of Folk orientated workshops, song, dance and an evening concert which raised just over £3,000 for St Margaret’s. I was gobsmacked when I saw what my money had helped to achieve within a large modernisation/enlargement project. It seemed to me that every last ounce of value had been rung out of the available funds. I therefore think it appropriate to raise further funds for the Hospice whilst trekking through the Pyrenees, which Jude loved and where we had spent several wonderful family holidays.
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