A long-distance charity walker has described herself as feeling ‘on top of the world’ as she crossed the mountains into Lewis from Harris yesterday (Monday October 21st).
Karen Penny, from the Gower peninsula in South Wales, has left her husband, son and cat behind as she set off in January on a charity marathon she’s called ‘the Penny rolls on’. She’s trying to complete a continuous walk round the entire coastline of Britain and Ireland to raise £100,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK (ARUK) and has already raised over £45,000.
Her first exposure to Harris yesterday impressed her so much that she has changed her route to add an extra day in the island. That’s despite the fact that strong winds have been knocking her sideways as she walks.
This morning (Tuesday) she wrote: “After a dawn sprint for the ferry, I arrived in Leverburgh on a crisp and windy day, stopping at the care home …so welcoming, a huge thankyou to all at the home who looked out for me on the long walk to Tarbert and brought me soup and sandwiches, which warmed me up a treat.
“The temperature is dropping every day and the sea is now icy. On my travels I took an hour out to paddle at Horgabost beach and cool my feet…sandy, deserted beaches, just perfect.
In Tarbert I was put up very kindly by the Backpackers Hostel...home from home, with many walkers staying loving the facilities and beautiful Islands.
“Sometimes we don't hear enough about everyday kindness. Yesterday on top of the mountain, whilst holding onto my hat, Ali pulled up with a bag of fruit and a donation, having come out to find me in the bad weather.
“Last night I stayed inside at the Scaladale Centre, set up to get young people out into the local environment. First class facilities packed with youngsters who had been out gorge scrambling in the winds and rain..they loved it...what a place for the community.
“I am feeling on top of the world and, in the strong winds on the mountain,with no-one about but a few sheep I listened to a wonderful playlist on my ipod. I couldn't be happier.”
Karen is set to arrive in Stornoway tomorrow (Wednesday) and plans to return to Tarbert on Thursday, before heading back to Skye on Friday. You can support her efforts in aid of Alzheimers UK at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thepennyrollson.
Pictures show Karen with staff at the Leverburgh care home and the welcome she had from youngsters at the Scaladale Centre last night.