Four inspiring speakers spoke about why they seek out the buzz of an adventure and the challenges they face at the Night of Adventure sold-out event in aid of the Chiltern Centre charity at the King’s Arms Barn on Tuesday night. The evening was to inspire others to take on the charity’s next fundraising trek to Morocco next September.
Marco Barcella opened the evening by telling the audience about why he challenges himself saying, “Because I can and I have the brain to do it. The more you deal with difficult things the better you are at dealing with things.” He spoke of his epic adventure he did in August 2021 when he walked from his house in Henley to the top of Snowdon in which he developed horrendous blisters and afterwards not knowing a stress fracture in his ankle!
Rebecca Watson who was diagnosed with epilepsy 22 years ago spoke next. When she was told of her diagnosis, the doctors told her of all the limitations that this would place on her life. She chose not to listen. She has taken a year to travel the world solo, done polar expedition training, worked as a rescue medic in Cambodia, volunteered in the Mountain Rescue team and worked as an outdoor instructor. Rebecca said, “Not all my adventures have gone smoothly, I fell down a rock face 20ft and when I woke up the medic questioned whether I was in the right career as a guide at the time. Luckily I was wearing a helmet. I’ve learned what I can do, I still push myself to try new things and love meeting new people. I know that one of my triggers of having a fit is if I don’t sleep well so I know I don’t sleep well when I camp so I no longer camp. I now have a fear of camping! Having adventures has given me confidence and a direction in my life.”
Hiker, adventurer and mountain climber Marta Mixel spoke next. After being inspired by a trek through the Inca Trail she has steadily stretched herself until finally in May this year, she climbed Everest. Her goal is to climb all Seven Summits (the highest mountain on each of the seven continents) and she is left with just Carstansz Pyramid to complete this goal. Marta described and showed pictures of her Everest climb. She spoke of the dangerous routes across glaciers, the exhaustion through the lack of oxygen and trying to acclimatise to this and weight loss she experienced. She however said, “It’s the most beautiful experience ever and it has the best view from the top!”
The final speaker Nicky Button told her inspiring tale of losing her sight suddenly. At the time she was working in the film industry, white water rafting most weekends and working as part of an urban search and rescue team. Over the course of 3 months she lost her sight which meant she lost her driving license. Because she lost her driving license she lost her job, and because she lost her job she lost her home. Her life was turned upside down. She returned to Devon and found solace in walking the coastal path. Feeling both the mental and physical benefits of walking she set up a walking group for people with sight loss, giving both herself and others a sense of purpose and adventure. She spent last summer walking sections of the south west coastal path wild camping along the way and carrying her own supplies. She was incredibly powerful and moving to listen to.
After the speakers, Harriet Barcella invited people to join the next Chiltern Centre Adventure to Trek Toubkal next September (19-24 September 2023) helping to empower young people with disabilities to live life to the full whilst having the most amazing week of your life.
The price of the trip is just £1225 including flights if you decide to pay the full amount. However, you may choose one of the fundraising options which mean that you pay a deposit of £475 and then fundraise a minimum of £1900. Of that fundraising target, at least 60% goes to the Chiltern Centre in funds whilst a maximum of 40% is used to pay the remaining trip costs. This is a really great option for those who may find the financial commitment challenging but have the time and energy to put into fundraising. There is also a third option that sees you paying the £475 deposit plus an additional £250 thereby reducing your fundraising target to £1250.
For the first 10 people to sign up in November 360 Expeditions and The Creative (Marco’s company) are giving away a Berghaus jacket worth £140.