Ten years ago I was working for an Overland Tour Operator taking groups of 24 tourists on 11 week long trips through East and Southern Africa. Whilst working on my truck in a small town in the north of Zimbabwe, a jack broke and the truck fell on me leaving me paralysed from the waist down.
My desire to travel has never left me, and my love of Africa was not marred by the accident. Within 18 months of being discharged from the hospital, I had bought a Landrover Discovery, converted for hand control use and returned to Africa where I travelled for 9 month with Ruth Fripp raising funds for various charities including Spinal Injuries Scotland.
Since that trip I have returned to Africa many times on shorter holidays. I have also continued doing various fund raising events for charity including spending a somewhat chilly 2 nights in a tree in during this last freezing winter to raise almost 4000 pounds for BBC Children in Need.
My experience of life changing injury, the fact that my return to the UK for medical care after my accident was delayed by the tragic events of 9/11, and being an ex-paratrooper myself have combined to make me wish to raise funds for the men and woman of our armed forces who are wounded whilst serving. It is for these reason that I have chosen to use my next adventure to try and raise funds for Help for Heroes.
Having been inspired by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's journey from John o'Groats to Cape Town as recorded in "The Long Way Down" I plan to travel from Scotland to Cape Town (approximately 15,000 miles) in the latest in my long line of trusty Landrovers. The twist in the tale is that this time I intend to travel alone.
I plan to leave the UK in September and to travel through Europe before taking a ferry across to Tunisia. From there I intend to travel west through Libya and into Egypt before heading south through Ethiopia and Sudan before reaching the countries of East and Southern Africa that are more familiar to me. The final route will however be dictated my the situation on the ground when I travel.
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