Packing for a challenge like this is key and Marco didn’t manage to forget anything. His advice on packing is to be brutal! He explains “Pack. Throw some things away. Pack again. Throw more away. Eventually you’ll get to a good size and weight ratio. I had everything I needed. I spent a huge amount of time planning my kit, getting my bag to be as light as possible and ensuring I had everything I needed to be totally self-sufficient. I could’ve gone for months without needing anything else.”
Marco decided not to take any food with him and to get this on the way. One highlight was, “I was stopped by an old lady in a mobility scooter somewhere in Wales who was very interested in what I was doing. It had just gone 5pm and I was very hungry. When I told her I was on the lookout for a place to buy some food, she said “Oh no. I think the cafe in the village has just closed”. At that, she sped off on her scooter. A few minutes later she re-emerged saying that the cafe was indeed closed but she went to the local shopkeeper and asked him to stay open for an extra 30mins to give me a chance to get there. It was a very sweet moment!” said Marco.
The biggest challenge for Marco was overcoming the pain caused by bad blisters on the first day. Marco said, “It was just really painful. I developed a couple of bad blisters on the first day and then a lot of knee, ankle and muscle pain. I’ve since found out from the local hospital that I have a suspected stress fracture and ligament/soft tissue damage from the repetitive movement. Putting blistered feet into boots each morning and covering 50miles was just not very much fun.”
There were two things that kept Marco going, he said, “The fact that I was raising money for charity and felt under a little pressure to not give up and secondly, a sense of perspective. We cannot forget how privileged we are to be physically capable of, financially able to and to have the support of so many people to pursue these adventures in life. There are so many people who would do anything for a week of adventure so I will never take these opportunities for granted.”
So far Marco has raised an incredible £5,000 including gift aid.
If you would like to donate to Marco’s fundraising for The Chiltern Centre for completing this amazing challenge click here