Tuesday, 21 May 2013

15. Land's End to to John'O'Groats..Day 20. Monmouth to Pandy via the Brecon Beacons. £4,165 for Emmaus Oxford raised so far by David Sansom and Robbie Brough.

Monmouth to Pandy (in red).
 Shrewsbury by Friday 24 May 
Pandy to Hay on Wye
via Offa's Dyke and 
Black Mountains 17.5 miles

Heading for the Brecon Beacons

Beautiful View in SE Wales taken by Robbie Brough

White Castle and David
20 May Email from Rob Brough

"Hi Mary, thank you for advice on blisters.  Both pairs of Brasher's boots are holding up well and neither of us has developed big blisters yet.  David has a few which might be painful looking so I will ask him to send a picture of them through. 

Today we walked from Monmouth to Pandy, along the Welsh border.  The walking is easy at times and tough in some places mainly covering deciduous forests carpeted with bluebells or farmland.  
Dinefwr is famed for its White Park cattle, an ancient breed
Brecon Beacons from the highest point Pen y Fan, 886 m (2907 ft),
to Cribyn, 795 m (2608 ft)
We passed some rare cows (White Park cows - picture attached although I would look on the internet for a better one!) which I was interested in but David showed little enthusiasm for!  The route was 16.5 miles and leaves us with the longest and toughest day tomorrow from Pandy to Hay-on-Wye over the Black Mountains which are a part of the Brecon Beacons National Park.  Here the path remains over 500m altitude for most of the day and summits at 608m.  (the highest on the trip so far!) 

I have emailed Dave Perry to get some pictures of us at Emmaus Bristol which they took as both our phones were flat that day! 

We've been in Wales for 3 days now and have noticed a dramatic change in people's attitude.  Walking through north Devon and Somerset some of the towns were very threatening and I was tentative and reluctant to stay in them (Highbury, Bridgwater etc.) but over these towns like Chepstow and Monmouth there are only friendly locals who not only fill our water bottles up but come out and offer to do so!  They are never intrusive and it is obvious living in the remote areas of Herefordshire and Monmouthshire shows people what is really important in life!  Good friends, beautiful scenery, good food and an interesting conversation. 

David will update you tomorrow on this evening with his father!" 

21 May Facebook: "I dunno why the SAS train on the Brecon Beacons...we were on it all day...clearly a bunch of pussys."

Robbie and David, both 19,  are currently raising money for Emmaus Oxford in their gap year prior to going to university (Robbie) and Sandhurst (David) by walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats. 

Emmaus Oxford began housing homeless people just over three years ago.  Since then it has provided over 25,000 nights of accommodation to a total of 69 homeless people.  Of those that have left 72% have moved into satisfactory/non-emergency accommodation and 33% have found alternative employment and/or training.

Donations please to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/tradingplaces

They give their aims on the Virgin Money page April 2013: 

"Hi, Thank you so much for visiting our page. As you may or may not know we, David Sansom and Robbie Brough, are going to be walking from John-O-Groats to Lands End starting on 1st May 2013. We're raising money for Emmaus Oxford, a local charity that does really incredible things for the homeless in Oxfordshire.

The distance is over 1000 miles and the walk will take us about two months.To make things relevant and a bit harder we are going to be sleeping rough the whole time; taking only a small Bivouac and a sleeping bag each. We would really like to raise £5000* for Emmaus and any donation makes a difference! Emmaus gives the homeless a chance to rebuild their lives by providing them with a room and food, and a chance to be a part of their charity owned company (a furniture refurbishment business.) This provides vital work experience which leaves a chance of getting a job in the future and reintegrating back into society. Just £10 could make a real difference, and its only a few beers or a takeaway exchanged for being a part of someone's new life.

If you'd like to know any more about the walk or the charity please don't hesitate to email us on rambrough1994@hotmail.com and davidsansom@hotmail.com. The website for the charity is www.emmausoxford.org. Our charity representative is Wyon Stansfeld who can be contacted on wyonstansfeld@emmausoxford.org. We also have a twitter page @DRTradingPlaces where we will be giving updates throughout the walk on where we are and how we are doing! 

With just under a month to go we have been informed that an anonymous body has offered a match donation up to £7000! which means that anyone who sponsors us from now on has effectively given twice as much! David and I are deep in preparation for the walk at the moment coordinating where we will be and when and getting together all the equipment we need! 

Along our journey we will be sending out emails and tweets as to where we are because many of our families, friends and even some of the companions of the various Emmaus communities have expressed interest in coming and doing a few days walking with us on the way! This is a great way to get involved with the fundraiser (and give us someone else to talk to!) and we welcome anyone who wants to have a pleasant days walking anywhere along the route. So please if you do let us know and we can tell you roughly where we will be and when!"

* The boys are now aiming for £25,000