So the tension and excitement is really starting to build now. Only 12 days until we set out on probably the toughest physical challenge I personally have ever undertaken.

Over 4 days, I and 15 other worthy souls will trek over the Pyrenees from France into Spain, following in the footsteps of our parents’ generation escaping the Nazis during the war. Not for them, the proper walking boots and all of the creature comforts that will make our journey that bit more bearable. They walked, through the night, often avoiding German patrols. We walk with the greatest awe and respect for what they had to accomplish.

At this point having walked probably the best part of 20 – 30 miles in training, in addition to my general fitness work, I’m pleased at least that I have put in the hard yards I have done, but very nervous that it won’t have been enough. The challenge will be in 30 degree heat with treks of 10 -13 miles per day. So far my feet are virtually corn and blister free but let’s see what happens when we’re trekking for real.

Last night we heard Joan Salter speak about her story of escaping the Nazi’s across the Pyrenees. She went across at virtually the same point that we will be walking. It was so inspiring to hear her speak – not just about their crossing – but also her family’s epic and life-changing journey to avoid internment or worse. It made us realise that whilst our trek will certainly be a challenge, we can only wonder at the courage and tenacity of so many people who had to face the perilous journey through the night to escape capture.

I have been truly humbled by the generosity of so many people who have sponsored me and am delighted that to date, I have raised just short of £5,500. I would love to do more so if you haven’t yet sponsored me, there is still plenty of time. Just click here.

So I’m off to Boots to stock up on yet more creams, after sun and plenty of corn plasters!!!
Freedom Trail group photo with Joan Salter