Long way to go for a curry

On March 22nd, about midday, I'm getting on a Rail Air coach that is going to take me to Heathrow, then a big metal budgie is going to fly to Glasgow with me on it. Once there, I'm going to find a nice quiet spot by Loch Lomond to hang my hammock or lay down my bivvy bag. I'm going to cook a meal on my little stove (and I mean little) then get some sleep. I'm going to get up with the birds in the morning pack up my stuff into my rucksack and head off. I'm going for a curry  and a beer or two at the Jazz Cafe. There's going to be a comedian (I've no idea who) and a guest speaker, Lee Farmer, a mountaineer and fellow pastie lover (private joke) If you fancy joining me for what is going to be 'Another Good Night Out' you can phone the Jazz Cafe on 0118 9681442 and tell Chris that you want a couple of tickets for the charity event on April 4th, that's Easter Sunday. (I may even give one lucky person an egg) It's £15 for the night if you're eating and only £10 if you're not. If you don't fancy curry, there is going to be chilli also. I'm hoping there will be some other adventurer types there on the night, and also quite a few medical types too. Basically 'cos I'm an adventurer/medical type myself. So please join me if you fit into one of those groups, and join me if you don't to find out what makes us adventure/medical types tick. Either way, it'll be a good night.

Now, those of you who have your eyes open may have noticed something wrong with the stuff above. Maybe wrong isn't the correct word to use, strange is more fitting I guess. "What's the problem?" I hear you say. Well 0118 is the code for Reading, down here in Berkshire. So why am I flying to Scotland? Well I said that I'm a medical/adventurer type of bloke. I'm also a closet explorer, who loves walking.
I even ran once. :o)
Several years ago I did a marathon, time wasn't great but hey, I did it, have you done one?
Anyway, back to the problem... I'm going to be in Scotland when the night out is down here in Reading. No problem, not for me anyway. Why leave the UK to have an adventure when I can explore this country on foot? I'm going to walk to the Jazz Cafe in Reading, starting in Glasgow. I'm going to see Loch Lomond, The Bonnie Banks below the Braes, then take the high road, or is it the low road, I can never remember which is which. I'm going through the gentle hills around the Clyde and Scotland's Southern Uplands, then cross the wall built by the Emperor Hadrian around the year AD 120-something then head down to the lofty Helvellyn in the Lake District. "Yaay Mountains" Then after I've passed down the Eastern shore of Northern end of Lake Windermere, I'm going East towards the Yorkshire Dales, where if my timing is on track, I'll spend the night near Malham Cove. Then it's South again, past Skipton and onto Leeds to meet Alice. Alice is holding a charity ball to raise funds for Rays of Sunshine. More about them below.
After Leeds I'm off to the Slippery Stones above Derwent Water, then through Hathersage, Bakewell for a tart, before leaving the Peak District at Matlock. Then I'll pass by old colliery tips dotting the landscape throughout the area scarred by the industrial revolution. On then to Leicester with it's facade of Roman buildings. (I know there should be a 'squiggley wotsit' under the c in facade but I can't be bothered to hunt for one)
Sporty theme next as I pass the home of the game with an odd shaped ball, then onto Ashby St Ledgers where Robert Catesby hatched a plot in 1605, so the local legend has it, something about gunpowder and a big bang! It's here I'll follow the Oxford Canal all the way to... you guessed it... Oxford. I can almost smell that curry and chilli now. Change of waterway now as I start to follow the Thames. Hopefully it'll all be well in Wallingford, it won't be boring in Goring, and I can't think of anything to rhyme with Mapledurham, so I'll pass there quickly. Or at least as quickly as I can go having just walked 493.5 miles. Just leaving the final 6.5 mile 'sprint' for the finish. 'Sprint'? Who am I trying to kid?
500 miles covered, past some of the finest landscape in the UK, sleeping under the stars whenever and wherever I feel the need, cooking my own grub and washing when the fly's get too much. I'll get to climb a mountain, and walk along some national pathways. I'll be testing my stamina, my mental attitude and my map reading skills. Yes real paper maps, not your 'oh shit the batteries have died in my GPS' for me, oh no. Like I said, who needs to leave the UK for an adventure when you can have one right here.
So why? Why not? Do I know if I can walk over 50 miles a day? (that's going some believe me) Well to be honest, no I don't know, but then it wouldn't be much of a challenge then would it. But if you want to find out if I made it or not, you're going to have to follow me on twitter, I can't reply cos I'm leaving all technology at home apart from the mobile and a solar thingy to charge it. Better still, come to the Jazz Cafe and join me for that curry. Don't worry though, I may be walking 500 miles for it but you can get a taxi.
There are a couple of other reasons for me doing this...
Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity
As long as I can still breath I shall support these guys who do amazing things. Rather than try and explain what they do, take a moment to watch this film.



Then there are the Community First Responders who volunteer their time to help the Ambulance Service. I want to try and get enough funds to get another complete kit so that they can carry on doing what they do and save more lives. A kit can be seen below and costs around £2500

So you see, I'm not totally mad, I do have some good reasons why I want your money. So please part with some of it here, £1 will do, £10 would be better, £100 and you'll have a friend for life :o)

So go on, click on one or both of the links below then phone Chris at the Jazz Cafe and book your Easter Curry/Chilli that number again is 0118 9681442

http://www.justgiving.com/anotherlongwaydown-scas

http://www.justgiving.com/anotherlongwaydown

I may even let you know what I'm doing next!

Before I go, there are a few friends that have helped me get this together. Some have already had a sneaky link or two in the text above, some may not even know it but they have helped, whether they have been a supplier, a sponsor or just an inspiration. They all deserve a mention here. So not to be outdone by the telly, in no particular order are...

http://www.lushsoft.com/
http://www.1stresponsemedical.co.uk/
http://www.orbana.com/
http://www.getreading.co.uk/
http://www.thenextchallenge.org/
http://www.michaelbuble.com/
http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/
http://www.gofasterfood.com/
http://www.danmartinextreme.com/home.php
http://www.escapethecity.org/
http://www.alicehalstead91.moonfruit.com/
http://www.84kmbivvychallenge.co.uk/ (OK I'm doing 804km but so what!)
http://www.reading107fm.com/
http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/berkshire/hi/
http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/
http://www.livefortheoutdoors.com/

But mostly thanks to the wife, Ginny, for letting me do this and all the other high risk, high altitude, hijinks, that I get up to. Secretly I think she looks forward to the peace and quiet when I'm not around.

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