Thursday, May 19, 2011

Do you need an excuse to trek through Spain?

If so, follow Bob Carr's lead and gain inspiration from reading As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee. In his memoir, Lee walks from his tiny village in a remote corner of Gloucestershire to London, and knowing one Spanish phrase, he decides to take the ferry to Spain. Unbeknownst to Lee, Spain in 1934 was on the verge of war, and, inexorably, he becomes entangled in the passionate, violent and bloody confusion that was the Spanish Civil War.

Carr, a native of Basingstoke in south central England, is now taking off in Lee's footsteps:

Reading a book has inspired a Basingstoke man to quit his job and take on the challenge of a lifetime.

Bob Carr, 53, has left his job as an IT consultant at the AA in order to complete a 810-mile trek through the length of Spain.

He started off in the northern town of Santander on Saturday, May 7, and aims to finish in the southern port of Algeciras, near the British enclave of Gibraltar, on Saturday, July 30.

Before leaving, he told The Gazette: “It’s a demanding challenge. There’s a certain amount of fear and trepidation but I cannot wait to get started. I am bound to get lost. It is going to be boiling hot so I need to keep myself hydrated.”

Mr Carr said he came up with the idea after reading Laurie Lee’s As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – a memoir of a year spent walking around Spain just before the outbreak of the civil war in 1936.

He aims to walk 70 miles a week, with occasional rest days, and stay in villages and camp out in fields along the way.

Mr Carr also hopes to have company on sections of the route, and has advertised for companions on his website.

Money raised from the trek will go towards Cancer Research and its Spanish equivalent, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas.

To donate money, visit

(Article by Chris Gregory, from the Basingstoke Gazette)

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