Week 16

Niamh Brady

I said we’d mark a very special milestone this week. To be precise, though, we’re marking a very special one thousand milestone! Niamh, superwoman of Team Peacocks, has this week passed the 1000 mile mark on her Chaparda Challenge! As of today she’s walked 1031 miles! Well done, Niamh, and thank you, on behalf of all of the Challengers.

I thought I couldn’t let such an important moment as our first 1000 mile challenger pass by without saying a bit more, which will no doubt embarrass Niamh tremendously. What follows is highly trusted information, but like any good reporter I will never reveal my sources (but Niamh, it wasn’t your dad!).

What does this highly trusted source say about Niamh? Well, in a nutshell she is loving, loyal and incredibly committed to everything she does. She has lots of friends, likes to party  but also likes to be with her family. She is very funny and is known for her very Celtic hair. Once she was kissed by an entire school bus of Moroccan kids in Marrakesh! 

No doubt the entire team of peacocks also want to kiss her for getting them so far along the road to Chaparda. In fact she has single handedly (or more precisely, double footedly) contributed 45% of the teams distance. Amazing! Niamh, we’re very proud of you and thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do.

It’s also worth noting that Niamh’s fundraising page has raised £268 which again, we are all so grateful for. So Niamh (and Malky, her trusted companion on so many of her walks), please take a bow (a bow-wow from Malky perhaps).

So now, a little gallery to celebrate Niamh’s achievement…

Golcuk Lake, Bolu, Turkey

And what of everyone else? Well, our challengers find themselves all in different countries this week.

Team peacocks continue to amble through Turkey and tonight find themselves in the town of Bolu. It’s the regional town of the Bolu district, an area of forests, lakes and hot springs – so maybe a nice hot bath after a long day of walking. Looking at the photographs you could still be in Argyll (apart from the Turkish flags, of course!)

St Valentin, Austria

Team tigers are making their way through Austria and have reached Amstetten. Wikipedia tells us that Amstetten  has “several churches” and also “several bars and clubs”. Being Sunday maybe the tigers themselves have enjoyed both?! A few days before reaching Amstetten team tigers passed through the town of St Valentin, and I wonder if any of them though to look for love there? Well, too bad! The town website is very clear: “Our namesake is not Valentin von Terni, after whom Valentine’s Day is celebrated, but Saint Valentin of Raetia, first Bishop of Passau, then hermit and hermit on the Zenoburg in Mais, today’s Merano.” So now you know… get back on the road!

Monastery of St Roman
Monastery of St Roman

Our wee monkeys continue through  Serbia and we hope they’re enjoying the cooler climate in the mountains. Tonight they’re close to Mount Bukovic, popular with mountain bikers. Maybe for something a bit more peaceful they’ll spend the night at the Monastery of St Roman, a Serbian Orthodox monastery that looks very pretty.

106_507281752Meanwhile the snow leopards have crossed into Bulgaria and have already hot-footed it past Sofia but I hope they had the wisdom (see what I did there…?) to stop for a while and take it in. It’s Bulgaria’s Capital and its largest city. We’ll maybe have a chance to visit when other teams pass through. For tonight, then, just to the south of where they are is the ‘Spiritual Centre Nash dOM‘  so I imagine our snow leopards being there, taking some space and time to reflect on all that’s passed these last 16 weeks. Or maybe they’ve just gone to the nearby KFC which is where’ they’ve landed on the map! Opinion about that particular eatery is divided in the reviews section, as you’ll see if you click the link… Evg Gan says “My favourite restaurant”, while Dima Medvedev says “Wow, it’s soooo bad! Totally unedible, practically everything that’s what on the menu.” Hmmm – who to believe?!

So there we are – the end of another week. Historic, with Niamh passing 1000 miles (I’m tempted to link to a recording of me singing ‘I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more’ but I’ll spare you). Four teams four countries. 371 miles covered by our teams (I’ll put that down to being too hot to walk!). Another £25 added to the donations total, but also lots of great fundraising ideas have been pitched in the WhatsApp group. So let’s get to work on those.

Have a great week ahead.