These changes in altitude bring with them vast changes in temperature, the lower altitudes generally having much higher temperatures. The high temperatures tire me out very quickly, whereas at the higher altitudes with their lower temperatures my energy levels are higher and I enjoy the hike more. The longest trek I have done in Colombia is for nine days when I hiked from Envigado to Manizales.
Wales is going to be different, and bring with it its own, but different challenges. Certainly in Wales the altitude is on my side as I will be walking close to sea level all the time and there will not be any long climbs or descents, though there will be many short ones. Certainly the temperatures will be lower and this again will be a great help for me. The challenges are the weather, as it could rain for days on end, and if this is paired with strong winds it will be a battle to keep going. In Colombia I usually hike with between 5 and 8 kilos on my back, whereas in Wales, as I will be camping for the majority of the time, I will have to carry around 20 kilos including my camera equipment, food and water, and obviously this is going to make a huge difference, especially to the speed i walk.
The other factor that I believe will be challenging is the relentlessness of the trek, 1,400 Km is a long way, and maintaining the motivation to get up and walk again may at times be hard to find. I know I am going to have to dig deep on occasions, but the only way to find out if I can do it is to try and do it.
I am using the walk to raise funds for a charity here in Medellin, Corporacion Superarse, a non profit organisation that provides education, healthcare, nutritional support and psychological support to children and teenagers from impoverished families with socioeconomic problems who are in vulnerable situations. They also provide psychological support and solutions for the family unit. Many of the children are from one parent families where the family member has to work all day to try and scrape a living, leaving the child or children unattended, or families with social problems such as violence and abuse.
These families live in extreme poverty which is hard to imagine when you live in a developed country such as Wales. The charity has a boarding school for those who cannot live at home, a day school for those who can, a playroom and garden for the younger children and also provides help for those that graduate from high school to continue studying and become independent. They currently provide help to around 800 children a month and without this help these children could easily become involved in street crime, drug abuse or child prostitution and be at risk of being abused. It is not an easy task to help these children, but Corporacion Superarse do a great and admirable job.
My adventure starts next week. Follow my progress on Instagram and other social media and please help me by donating to the charity and sharing the link to the donation page with your contacts.
Thanks for your help!