Archives: Diary


Week 10

I always think there is something very significant in numbers that end in a zero. They are landmark numbers of sorts. And that’s true of our Chaparda Challenge as well – here we are, now at the end of week 10.

It’s been an amazing journey to chart on our Mission Page and I’ve enjoyed highlighting in our diary pages some of the landmarks passed. But most of all it’s been an amazing journey by those taking part – 23 people of all ages and physical abilities, doing so because they care about a hospital and its people in far away India. On week 10 it’s maybe an opportunity to take stock and reflect a bit.

For me, this Chaparda Challenge represents many different journeys. It’s a physical journey, since you’re all walking many miles a week. It’s a virtual journey, since you’re reaching places on a map that you’ve never been to before and may never really visit. It’s a journey of compassion, as it’s being done to support old friends who are in need. For some it’s a spiritual journey, for others it a personal challenge to find time and physical energy to get out and exercise. For everyone it’s a team challenge and though you never meet together, nonetheless you’re in something together. And doing the diary I’ve discovered that it’s also an historical journey.

That’s been true this week more than most perhaps, when I reflect that all of our teams end the week in places that evoke darker times in the history of Europe, and it’s made all the more striking by the fact that these places of darkness are in fact very beautiful. What am I talking about? Sadly, it all boils down to a small word with a massive impact: war.

A Lancaster Bomber

The tigers have just passed Bonn, the capital of West Germany for over 40 years after the division of Germany in 1949.  The snow leopards and wee monkeys are close to Nuremberg, a favourite place for the Nazi’s and home to their biggest rallies in the infamous ‘Zeppelin Field‘ (pictured at the top of the page). Nuremberg was 90% destroyed in just one hour of aerial bombardment in January 1945 when over 500 Lancaster bombers dropped nearly 2000 tons of explosives on the historic city centre. It was no accident that the War Crimes of WWII were tried in this city, as it was such a Nazi showcase.

And the peacocks have just passed through Belgrade, a stunningly beautiful city, but one with a tragic and more recent story to tell of the horror of war. Like Nuremberg, Belgrade was heavily bombed from the air for nearly two months in 1999 by Nato forces. It was also home to the headquarters of Ratko Mladić, who earned the nickname ‘the Butcher of Bosnia’ because of the horrific war crimes he ordered and oversaw. Just to remind us that this is no ancient history, only two weeks ago he failed in his final appeal against his life sentence for genocide at the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague,where it was determined that he will serve that sentence in a prison in the UK.

So it’s a bit of somber old time this week. 

HOWEVER – places and people heal and rebuild, and that’s true of all these places – Bonn is lovely. We’ve mentioned in a previous diary that it’s the birthplace of Beethoven and the museum to his memory is a great attraction. It has beautiful gardens, cultural life and much more. I hope the tigers took advantage and had some time off!

Nuremberg too is an absolute delight. On my first visit there I was stunned to be told that almost all of these beautiful ‘old’ buildings were rebuilds using the original designs as much as could be found. Quite remarkable.

belgrade night
Belgrade at Night

And Belgrade – I’ve never been but the photographs show it as a beautiful place, and the websites and blogs tell of its welcome and atmosphere. Maybe the peacocks can tell us more…? 

In fact, if anyone who reads this diary can tell us about real visits to places passed through virtually, then do, please, write something! Or you’re stuck with me prattling on week by week…!

What about headlines for the week? We’ll the peacocks have covered more than a quarter of their total journey so far. If you click the ‘flag’ of each team on the Mission Page map you’ll see some basic statistics and it tells us that the peacocks have covered 1,555 miles, 27.3% of the journey. Try for yourself on your own team and give yourselves a pat on the back for making it that far. Remembering that this is a collective effort, between everyone taking part we’ve travelled 3,867 miles to date –  amazing!

Don’t forget to log any miles you’ve done and haven’t yet posted – enough to just note on the upload page that they are carried over from previous walks, bike rides, runs, etc – just so we don’t think you walked 200 miles in one day!

Have a great week and I promise to be more cheery in the next diary!


Week 9

Emma, one of our peacocks, is on the Isle of Iona and clocking her miles for team peacocks while there. Iona is a stunningly beautiful part of Scotland, steeped in history and significance not only for Scotland but far beyond- as our wee monkeys and snow leopards are finding out in far-away Bavaria!

Wuerzburger_DomWhat’s the connection, I hear you ask?  Well, the wee monkeys have just passed, and the snow leopards have just reached, the Bavarian city of Wurzburg. Dominating the centre of the city is St Kilian’s Cathedral. That doesn’t sound very German now, does it? That’s because St Kilian was an Irish monk who began his missionary life on Iona in Scotland! Iona was founded in 563 by St Columba (and this week, on Wednesday 9th June, we celebrate the 1,500th anniversary of his birth). It remained a centre for monastic and missionary training for hundreds of years and (probably) in 685 Kilian left Iona for Rome, where he was asked to found a church in Franconia, now modern day Bavaria. He befriended Gosbert, the Duke of Wurzburg, hence the connection with the city and the Cathedral. But it didn’t end well… Gosbert’s wife, Geilana, had Kilian beheaded along with two of his companions, while Gosbert was off fighting a war! Grizzly stuff… But the Cathedral seems very beautiful! Anyway, who’d have though the wee Isle of Iona would link the peacocks, wee monkeys and snow leopards in such a way?!

DSC4761Our tigers have had a great spurt of energy in the past week, and well done to everyone in the team. Having changed their mind about getting on a plane in Brussels they’ve zipped through the rest of Belgium and are about to cross into Germany. But for tonight they’re in Liege. Now, what to say about Liege, except that the best internet guide for the city that I could find is on the website ‘’ – does that tell us all we need to know?!! You tigers….! And come to think of it, India’s famous beer is ‘Tiger Beer’! You tigers…!!

The snow leopards have a new team member – Alison’s granddaughter Hannah Kate has joined the Chaparda challenge – welcome Hannah Kate, and thanks for taking part! We look forward to hearing from you and learning about your marathon running… should come in handy for the snow leopards!

The wee monkeys have really been getting out and about this week – among other adventures Amir and Saifidin have been walking in Buckinghamshire, Najma has been walking round Regent’s Park and Sofie, judging from the photo posted on 1st June has been somewhere beautiful but secret! Keep checking out the ‘Comments and Updates’ section of the Mission Page to see what people are saying and where they’ve been – and do please keep posting photographs (and captions!).

The peacocks have had quite a remarkable week, in reality and virtually. Emma and Niamh have climbed a mountain – the Cobbler, Niamh has also walked the length of the Crinan Canal, and Emma, as noted above, is on Iona – mind you, since it’s only 3 miles long she wouldn’t be taking many long walks there, unless she can walk on water… she worked miracles for me when I went to her for acupuncture but THAT?  Hmmm…. I wonder….?

Stained Glass Window forming an eye of a Peacock’s Feather

unnamedIn their virtual world the peacocks have crossed from Hungary into Serbia, so a huge congratulations on doing so. Clearly the baths of Budapest didn’t entice them to spend very long there. Tonight the peacocks are in the city of Subotica and it seems like an amazing place. If you like your Art Nouveau, then this is the city for you… The highlights have to be the stunning Synagogue, the City Hall, and the Art Gallery – just look at some of the amazing photographs to see for yourself. And would you believe it, a famous feature of the Subotica Synagogue is the peacock feather designs used throughout the building on the walls, ceilings and even the stained glass – maybe this is their spiritual home!

All in all this week our teams  have covered 546 miles between them – an amazing achievement. We’ve added £70 to our fundraising target and as ever, we are very grateful to our donors.

Have a great week ahead, and don’t forget to add comments and photographs when you post your miles – it’s great to see where people are in reality, not just virtually!


Week 8

Steady progress this week as our teams have clocked up another 361 miles between them, as of 6.00 pm on Sunday. that’s really great, bringing everyone that bit closer to our target of reaching the Jay Ambe hospital. It’s a solidarity visit to them, suffering as they are through the pandemic, a reconnection visit for us, since we couldn’t hold our annual clinic this year, and a practical work of support, as we’re raising money to fund Worlds Medicine’s work there and elsewhere.

A few landmark mileposts this week. The tigers have reached Brussels, and in fact they’re just outside the airport – makes me wonder if they’re going to do a runner and hop on a flight to overtake everyone…! Don’t do it! It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part! It’s not the destination, it’s the glory of the ride! Anyway, I’ve checked for you and there are no flights to India from there…! Having said that, though, it might be time for the tigers to call in a few favours and get friends and family to join the team – the snow leopards and wee monkeys have shamelessly done that and look at them fly!

Speaking of new team members we’re delighted to welcome Hannah Kate Downing who joined the snow leopards this morning. WELCOME! And thanks for being part of our Chaparda Challenge. We can’t give credit (yet) to Hannah Kate for the phenomenal progress of the snow leopards but she’s certainly joined a team that’s on fire! In the past week they’ve travelled from Liege in Belgium to not far from Koblenz in Germany.

Koblenz is one of those places that if you’ve never visited, you really have to – it’s the location of the photo at the top of the diary this week. It’s an ancient city, steeped in history. There are records of a fortification there as long ago as 1000 BC. Julius Caesar established a Roman garrison and built structures that exist to this day. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site because of its strategic position on the Rhine – all in all, not a bad place for those  snow leopards to paying a visit to!

beethoven-600x600jpgThe wee monkeys are also now in Germany, and also on the river Rhine, a few miles behind in the city of Bonn. Bonn is one of Germany’s oldest and most important cities. Until   reunification in 1990 it was the capital of West Germany. It’s the birthplace of none other than Ludwig van Beethoven – a place well worth a visit.

The peacocks are romping ever onwards. They’ve now left Austria, resisting the temptation to visit beautiful Bratislava in Slovenia (a bit too much of a detour, unfortunately) and instead they’re now in Hungary en-route to Budapest. I’m handing over to Emma for this part of the diary:

Budapest is probably one of my favourite cities. What not to love?, beautiful architecture, rich culture, exquisite thermal baths, good food and wine, friendly locals and a history that can’t fail to draw on your curiosity and empathy.

Budapest’s famous cathedral St.Stephen’s Basilica is right at the heart of the city, a magical construction ( and huge.. it can hold more than 8,500 people). It boasts a bell tower with the biggest bell in Hungary, 9 tonnes of iron in fact. It also holds the mummified hand of St. Stephen who was the first king of Hungary and was widely thought to be responsible for the conversion of the Magyars to Catholicism. It also holds the tomb of a Real Madrid player, Ferenc Puskas!!

My recommendation for a thermal bath would be the Gellert Baths, an art nouveau landmark since 1918. It’s beautiful inside..a bit like swimming in a cathedral!

Dinner? So many choices, fantastic bistros to fine dining….I have just read the menu for Babel Budapest.. looks amazing. Stand Etterem also exciting..

However, Niamh and I liked the food market near the Gellert baths best! Lots of breads, cheeses, fruits, smoked paprika sprinkled treats!

We may hang out here for some time in fact, and take in some culture at the opera house. Peacocks will blend in very nicely here!!!!

Thanks Emma! Feel free to spend a few days to let the others catch up a bit!! I’ll post some of Emma’s photo’s at the bottom of the diary as well.

So that’s it, another week of our Chaparda Challenge. As ever, keep talking to each other via the Whatsapp chat or on the Mission page when you post your miles. And if you feel inspired by Emma then why not add something to the diary? Everything welcomed!

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Week 7

Jet Propelled Monkeys

Whatever those wee monkeys have been taking, I want some of it! From sunning themselves on the beach in Dunkirk this time last week they’ve crossed the whole of Belgium in seven days and are now in Germany – das ist wunderbar! Though one might want to ask what they have against Belgium, that they didn’t spend any time there? Not fans of the moules-frites I suppose! No doubt they spurned Alison’s invitation to tea in Brussels – on too much of a mission to stop for tea I guess! Of course the wee monkeys do have a secret weapon – Sofie Robinson joined the team on Tuesday 18th and has already covered 33 miles on her exercise bike. Welcome Sofie – thanks for taking part and helping the wee monkeys along the road. Let’s not forget Amir either, who is clocking up enormous distances pounding round London. Living in the Highlands I always think you should get double points if you can cope with London! But sorry, Amir, I can’t give them to you…

The snow leopards have also made fabulous progress, spurred on by the boys down under, and are spending tonight not far from Liege, a very pretty city as you’ll see from the photo at the top of the diary. The Belgian tourism board calls Liege ‘a fiery city that never sleeps‘ – oh my! I hope you all behave yourselves and remember that snow leopards are very shy and don’t like crowds!

7087The tigers are, well…., prowling rather than zipping along, and why not? Let’s not forget that they have only 4 in their team – the smallest team we have in the Challenge, so don’t be put off, dear tigers. You’ll be roaring soon enough (do tigers roar, or am I confusing them with lions?). OK, just googled it: ” Tigers generally only roar at other tigers. It’s part of a tiger’s communication system.” Tigers – who’s your roarer-in-chief? Anyway, you’re enjoying the delights of Ghent tonight, so have fun. Strange to say, Ghent has what is described as the world’s most stolen piece of art – the Ghent Altarpiece. Don’t embarrass the team by giving it a go yourselves…

The peacocks continue to set a fierce pace and are now strutting their way through Austria. They’ll spend tonight in Vienna but let’s hope, unlike how it was for Ultravox, that it means something to them. (am I showing my age?). We cater to all tastes in this diary, though so just in case Ultravox is not to your liking, you may prefer the Vienna Boys Choir. Or, getting into the mood this Eurovision Song Contest weekend, head back to 2014 and Conchita Wurst (though it turns out he was the best).

So, well done as ever to all of our Chaparda Challengers – this week, as of 6.00 pm Sunday, you’ve clocked up an amazing 477 miles between you, and the distance covered in the last 7 weeks by our 4 teams is 2,517 miles. this week we’ve also added £105 to our fundraising target, bringing the total raised to £848. Don’t forget to point your family and friends to our fundraising page on the website, and why not do a little push for donations on your social media? Here’s the link.

31483308_1532161235724866_rSpeaking of the website we have two excellent blog posts this week, one from Sasiki of team snow leopards, recalling her time volunteering in the Refugee Community Kitchen in Calais, and one from Barbara of team wee monkeys, updating us on the oxygen generator in Chaparda. Read all our blogs here.

If you have miles that are not yet recorded on the Chaparda Challenge Mission page could you get your details up to date this week please?  It’s good to have an accurate record. If you’re adding a lot of miles in one go perhaps also leave a note in the ‘Comments and Updates’ section  so people don’t worry about you having a heart attack brought on by over-exertion!

Have a great week ahead, and thanks again for all you are doing for the Chaparda Challenge.


Week 6

R-shutterstock-1219762903-2Well, Vive La France didn’t last long – Only the wee monkeys hung around in France – visiting the beautiful beaches of Dunkirk no doubt. But they’re in Belgium now, thanks to a big effort by Amir.

The tigers briefly parted company with the wee monkeys, but they’re catching up with each other again – what are friends for, eh?! So that’s them both now into Flanders, where it’s nice and flat and easy to walk.

bruges-destination-guide-canalAnd the snow leopards – well, they’ve had a bit of a boost this week. Two new members of the team, Mike Freeman and Andrew Harvey, joining in the Challenge from Australia. Welcome Mike and Andrew, and thanks for taking part. How about a few words of introduction so the others get to know a bit about you both? In your first week you’ve clocked up 70 miles between you – Strewth! Blimey! Ripper! Sorry, that’s about all the Aussie I can manage…. Methinks you’re not dealing with as many showers and cold snaps as we have to over here in the UK! With this new energy the snow leopards are already well past Brugge, but it doesn’t look like you’ve been hanging around to enjoy the sights – which is a pity, since Brugge is a stunningly beautiful town, one of my favourite places.

48db05ed-087a-84f2-535f-3d511154ed9d-6Speaking of stunningly beautiful towns, the peacocks have passed through two in Bavaria since we last heard about them – Nuremberg and Regensburg. Two medieval cities, but with very different stories to tell. On January 2nd 1945, 90% of Nuremberg was completely destroyed in only 1 hour of bombing raids by the British and Americans. After the war they took the decision to rebuilt much of their medieval heritage and today it’s a strikingly beautiful place to visit. Regensburg, another medieval city, was largely untouched during the war and has a wonderful university and a glorious city centre, unspoilt over centuries. And… they have very famous…. SAUSAGES! They’ve a sausage kitchen that is 870 years old! I presume the sausages are a bit younger than that, though. Not only sausages – Regensburg happens to also be the most northerly point of the Beautiful Blue Danube – cue the orchestras, ballgowns, white ties and coat tails. But can any of the peacocks manage more than a disco shimmy, I wonder? Video evidence, please.

So you’re all progressing along very nicely, and well done to all our teams. This week you’ve collectively covered over 337 miles and raised another £95. Thank you to all our donors and do keep the donations ticking over like this. It’s great.

Have a good week ahead – not too many sausages, though! And thanks to the staff of the “Historic Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg” for our featured image at the top of the page.


Week 5

Congratulations to all of our walkers – undaunted by Brexit you’ve now all left Blighty behind you and are at various points of your journey through Europe! What an achievement in 5 weeks, to have walked pretty much the length of England. Well done everyone, and take a moment to reflect on what a great team effort that has been.

Added together our walker have completed, to date, an amazing 1703 miles!

A baby rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) plays with a tiger cub at a zoo in Hefei

The wee monkeys and tigers are on now on the ferry from Dover to Calais (but you can’t take it easy – the distance still has to be walked!). You’ve been true partners on this Chaparda Challenge because your two teams have kept pace with each other throughout the journey so far, and are separated by only a few hundred yards at the moment. That’s fantastic. The bible talks about a wonderful time of harmony when the lion will lie down with the lamb, but I don’t think it says anything about when the tiger walks alongside the wee monkey! But it’s just as harmonious!


Calais Monument_2The snow leopards are a shade ahead of the tigers and wee monkeys, having already reached Calais, and they’re now heading through the town towards the countryside of Northern France, bound for the Belgian border. If they wanted to have a little pause before setting off perhaps they visited the monument to Churchill and De Gaulle in Parc Richelieu, in the centre of the town.

Meanwhile, still setting an amazing pace are the peacocks, now making haste through Germany, and having reached Bavaria, the part of Germany famed for beauty and culture. As of this evening they find themselves just outside the town of Geiselwind, and I wonder if they took some time off yesterday to enjoy the cultural delights of Freizeit-Land Geiselwind? I’d love to see those photographs! You’ll need to click the link to see what I’m referring to… Trying to picture Emma and Dave joining in these cultural activities… hmmm.

e24d4ed7-0d9a-4424-bed5-d957e62d7d57This week we’ve had the bitter-sweet news from the Jay Ambe Hospital about the increased number of new cases of coronavirus, but alongside that the encouraging news that they have just taken delivery of an oxygen generator, thanks in some part to the financial contribution World Medicine were able to make to the hospital. We’re proud to be part of something so vital and life-giving – literally – and it’s all the more special for us because no doubt some of the patients who will be helped by this are patients we also treat on our visits there. It makes this Chaparda Challenge all the more poignant and vital.

We received some new Chaparda Challenge donations this week- a further £300, which brings our total raised to date to £649 – thanks so much to all donors, and do, please, keep encouraging your friends and family to contribute, and point them to our donations page if you can.

Have a great week ahead – vive la France, and whatever they say in Bavaria!


Weeks 3 & 4

Kiltwalk1First of all, sorry that there was no diary last week. I was taking part in the Kiltwalk (apologies – not for World Medicine but for a charity that my wife Sarah and I run), and Sunday was a recovery day after climbing my first mountain for many years! Emma and Jude will no doubt be laughing at my wimpiness, since they strolled up the same mountain a couple of years ago, and managed to then walk all the way to Fort William – 20 miles or so further on! Nevertheless, I’m proud of what I achieved, and I hope all of you, too, are proud of the progress you are making.

And great progress it is! The Snow Leopards, Tigers and Wee Monkeys are all now close to Dover and everyone may be on the continent by the time of the next diary.  Those of you in those teams might be forgiven for thinking you’ve gone round in a big circle because tonight you’re all very close to Leeds Castle, and of course Leeds is one of the biggest towns in Yorkshire, where you left from 4 weeks ago! But fret not, Leeds Castle, confusingly, is nowhere near Leeds – it’s in Kent, and is one of the most spectacular castles in England. It’s a moated castle, dating from 1119, so home to 900 years of history. Well worth taking time from your Chaparda Challenge to take a look. You can do that virtually, of course – click here for a 20 minute video tour. Or visit the website of the Castle to learn more about its amazing history.

e650e107f7224136bf9ce99aa41a18e8_LARGE!_!560b5a5601aedba9dfa2898115762ed6The Peacocks, meanwhile, continue to stride out, having now reached the very pretty town of Wiesbaden / Mainz in Germany. You may never have heard of Wiesbaden / Mainz until now but it’s a place that’s had a massive influence on your life… It’s the birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the mechanical printing press, allowing mass publication for the first time. We have books today because of him! And as you can imagine, the Peacocks will have the opportunity to visit the Guttenberg Museum if they so wish – and why wouldn’t they! It tells the story of 550 years of the printed word. 

So everyone on the Challenge has the chance to take in a bit of culture – don’t miss it!

This week we had the very sad news from the Jay Ambe Hospital that coronavirus has taken quite a strong hold in the region and the hospital is struggling to cope, but doing magnificently in the circumstances. World Medicine are in the lucky  position to have been able to make a donation to support the hospital, and that’s thanks, in large part, to the efforts of all of our walkers and to the fundraising efforts of the past couple of years.

7c001b3e-b52d-4e37-918f-e00678591abbChief among the fundraising efforts has been taking part in annual Kiltwalks, an initiative of the Sir Tom Hunter Foundation whereby they pledge to give a 50% top-up of all money raised. This has been very welcomed by World Medicine and in fact the last one was only last week! You can read about the efforts of our team of walkers in our World Medicine Blog – and a special shout-out to young Rafe from our Wee Monkey’s team, only 6 years old, who walked 25 miles over one weekend! Go Rafe!!

All our walkers have their own dedicated fundraising page so do please let people know they can support you on your walk and that anything given can be put to good use immediately. Our fundraising is creeping up, so very many thanks to those who have donated and have encouraged friends and family to do so.

Have a great week ahead, and don’t forget everyone is welcome to add comments and photographs for the diary or blog.


Week 2

Imagine! There has been more distance covered this week than last. Week one the total covered up to Sunday evening was 375 miles, but this week our teams have travelled an amazing and collective 381 miles! Well done to everyone – what an achievement.

Our pace-makers were the first to dip their toes in the water by crossing the English Channel on Thursday. amazingly, and not very widely reported, that was the very same day that the long-forgotten first draft of the Dame Vera Lynn song was found under the floorboard of a house in Hastings – “There’ll be Peacocks over, the White Cliffs of Dover…” What a coincidence!! They made a brief sojourn in France and are spending their first night in Belgium, in the pretty town of Veurne in Flanders, with its lovely market square.


The snow leopards, tigers and wee monkeys are staying close together for comfort and companionship, and are spending Sunday evening in or around Peterborough, which many of us only ever pass through on a train! But by doing so we’re missing a lot.  Our  challengers are seeing the delightful town centre and it’s maybe not too dissimilar to where the peacocks find themselves – what do you think?


Well done again to all of our teams for making such progress in a week. Special mention goes to tiger Marta, who has moved home this week – Marta, welcome to Scotland! For those who don’t know, she’s moved to the beautiful coastal town of Findhorn, east of Inverness, with gorgeous long and sandy beaches – no hardship to walk there in any weather, so there’s going to be a tiger in the tank of team tiger (apologies to anyone under 50 who may not get that reference! Here’s an explanation…).

This week, even with so many miles covered, the trustees of World Medicine Alison, Barbara Emma and Najma managed to take time out to have their monthly Trustees meeting, taking the chance to plan for the Chaparda Clinic 2022, all being well. They’ve also been planning the new Refugee Friends project in London and have spent a lot of time getting updates ready for the website, all of which are now posted. So take a look around the site to see the changes.

As ever, the projects depend on volunteers, so pass the word to friends and colleagues to encourage them to become part of the fabulous team that is World Medicine.

Keep in mind too that a major part of the Chaparda Challenge is to raise some funds to help us do our work more effectively, so please don’t be shy about asking friends and family to sponsor you. It’s not money for you, it’s for patients in India and refugees in East London. Everyone has a dedicated fundraising page so feel free to point people there.

As ever, any contributions to the diary page would be appreciated so please share your Challenge journeys with everyone else by sending stories, photos, etc to Chris at

Enjoy the week ahead and thanks for all you’ve done this week!


Doncaster minster

Week 1

Talk about a flying start! All our teams have been busy this week, with activity for all teams every single day. Well done everyone! As of 5.00 pm on Sunday 11th, a total of 345 miles have been covered, which is fabulous. Standout in that figure have been the peacocks –  192 miles between them! Amazing!

That 192 miles has taken them from Alison’s house in York, following the route of the A1 south and past Leeds, Doncaster, Newark, Grantham, Peterborough, Cambridge, Stansted Airport, and resting tonight on the edge of Epping Forest to the north of London! If Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army had been able to walk south that fast you’d all be Scottish!!

As the peacocks leave behind only dust, all the rest of our teams are very evenly paced, and of course there’s safety in numbers! By the end of week one everyone’s camping out around about Doncaster, home to one of Yorkshire’s many beautiful Minsters, the image at the top of this diary post.

Our Chaparda Challenge will soon have a new challenger – Stuart Robinson will be joining the Wee Monkeys – welcome Stuart! His arrival got me thinking it might be nice for all our challengers to write a little something about themselves – some of you know some others but I don’t suppose there’s anyone who knows everyone! So a little something about yourself might be just the thing to help our team spirit grow even more. Feel free to write something about yourself and send it to me – – and I’ll include it in our diary. Meanwhile, here are some of the images from challengers posted this week… including the FIRST post, from Chloe – trailblazer!!

From Chloe – the first miles recorded!
From Emma – the Crinan Canal
Catherine’s 4 seasons!









Ramadan begins this week and we wish a very happy and blessed season to all of you who are observing Ramadan and taking part in the fast. Don’t do anything overly energetic in regards to  your walking during this time – we need you fit and well for the long haul!

Remember, any contributions to the diary are very welcome indeed.

Well done again to all our challengers, and have a great week ahead. Let’s hope for some sunshine…!


York 2

The Starting Line – York – Day 1

Our Chaparda Challenge is underway –  a team effort to walk exactly 5,686 miles from York, home of the World Medicine Charitable Trust, to our destination, the Jay Ambe Hospital  in Chaparda, Gujarat, in India. Work Medicine has been sending a team of acupuncturists and translators to Chaparda for a number of years and was all set to head there again in 2021 when the pandemic took hold and we had t cancel the visit.

Unable to travel, and missing everyone there very much, we thought “why not go go to see them virtually, if we can’t go in person?” So that was the starting point for the Chaparda Challenge, to make  virtual journey from our home to theirs.

We have a number of teams taking part and it’s never too late to join in! Through this diary we hope to follow the progress being made with stories of places we virtually visit and pass through en-route, some of the places we visit to walk in reality (!) and we’ll say something about the work we do here at World Medicine as well.

A virtual journey is a big undertaking and we’re most grateful to everyone who has agreed to take part.

How does it work? Well, people sign-on to take part and then they walk, cycle, run, swim, skip, get on a rowing machine, exercise bike, treadmill, or any other way they wish! The miles they cover on that exercise get recorded on the ‘Virtual Mission‘ page, which translates those miles onto a map that shows the distance from York to Chaparda.

We started today, Easter Sunday, April 4th, from York. Our Chair of Trustees, Alison Gould, has written the first of our diary entries as follows, and we’re grateful to her for the accompanying photographs as well.


We start in this famous and beautiful and ancient City of York with spring in the air. A journey of 5000 miles beginning with one step each.

Celts, Romans, Vikings, Normans and so many others have all walked to and from this place; to conquer, to trade to establish the great minster cathedral . Some en route like us to Scotland or Rome or Istanbul or the Silk Road. I think however that this is a unique journey; I doubt if anyone has chosen to walk from here to Chaparda in Gujurat, India before our brave and inspired group!

We hope you will follow our progress on this virtual adventure and support our efforts. We will bring you a regular update and flavour of our journey on the website.

York 3 York 2 York 5 York 4