Walking back to Englandhttps://img.withvolo.com/BTdnBSeAVwALSl3ChrYpDZTo5K4=/218x164/smart/d0e8db4bdc2ee37638c854e5e5991628%2F448d2a13-a66b-45a2-be68-93ed18a334b7-a939c9b2a648f91f3722fee03919a0c63c706007.jpg

Walking back to England

Last day of cylking to England I arrived in Calais yesterday and although I only had 40k to do, it was a monster with headwinds of up to 22mph and hill after hill. With 8 miles left I felt like calling John and giving up (a rare occurence) but I persevered and I was so pleased to get to Calais. It was good in a way because it made it more satisfying to finish because I was thinking that a mere 40k was a little bit of an anti-climax. I got to Calais before John and the van, but when he arrived he put up a banner and I DID get the balloon I had been anticipating. I arrived in Calais a day early deliberately because we both volunteered with Care4calais today. I have often been asked if I am doing the ironman/walk/cycling across America for charity and the truth is I never intended to. It has always been a personal challenge because I hated the unhealthy state I was in. However, 3 weeks back I saw sights that changed my mind and there are far bigger problems that need addressing. There are children living in cardboard houses, and I have seen refugee camps throughout my walk that question belief and break your heart. I have often thought of refugees on my walk. At times when I have moaned, I have reminded myself that I choose to walk, I am not fleeing persecution....I carry my lunch in my rucksack, not my worldly belongings. Everyday, I have food to eat and a warm place to sleep. I know I can knock on any door and most people will help me. I know where my family are, I know they are safe. I have a home at the end of my journey and I know I can get a job, money and food. Most of all I am not in Limbo land and I know I have a future that is happy if I make it so. Today I had the sad pleasure of meeting some refugees at Dunkerque. It was a bad day for them as the police were threatening to destroy what little they had. And get this...the gentlemen I met had already been granted Asylum. It is recognised that they have no choice and yet they are treated like parasites. families were bussed off to other places and the police arrested any people without documents, then destroyed the 'homes'. I has shocked, and a little scared, by the huge presence of police with guns. It was hard to hold back the tears as a man my age, but had the face of a 50 year old, wept and told us that he wasn't an animal. Story after story strengthened my will to do something to help them. There is a real humanitarian crisis on our doorstep. So if can be so bold as to ask my family to donate any money they would spend on my birthday and christmas presents to this instead....plus a bit more...why not? and if I could just peesuade everybody I meet to give at least one pound than we can at least make a seemimgly hopeless situation a little more humane. https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/catherinepotter1 I am signing off now as I will soon see the white cliffs of Dover and this particular chapter has come to an end. But never fear....Ironcat and John bus boy will return soon in another epic tale of 'whose stupid idea was this?' as we try coast to coast America on a tandem.

France

Apr 13 2018

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