“Walking with the Wounded”: A Charity with Team Spirit

charity walking with the wounded south pole

What was initially a 335-km race to the South Pole between British, American and Commonwealth teams had a surprise ending. The fierce but fun competition was suspended due to dangerous conditions. The teams merged into one group for the last part of the trek.

Each of the soldiers on Prince Harry’s team had lost a limb in action, and one lost both legs in Afghanistan. Yet, each would haul a 75-kilogram sled. They had a serious goal: to raise money and awareness for “Walking with the Wounded”. This veterans’ charity helps retrain soldiers for life after the military.

Ed Parker, director of the expedition, told the press about the moment when the teams reached the South Pole: “It was very emotional. We took off our skis and hooked off our sledges and stood together before walking up to the Pole as one.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/prince-harrys-party-team-race-to-the-south-pole/article15644570/

http://parade.com/243138/roisinkelly/prince-harry-and-teammates-reach-the-south-pole/

Photo Source:  http://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/southpole2013/category/south-pole-2013/

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Walking Japan’s Ancient Highway – The Nakasendo Way

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Walk the route taken by feudal lords, samurai, traveling merchants and pilgrims in seventeenth-century Japan. The Nakasendo Way literally means ‘the road through the mountains’. These days, this well-preserved path is a quiet respite from the busier roads of life.

It is an easy journey, meant to be taken at a comfortable pace. The walking tour begins in the ancient capital of Kyoto, passes through picturesque old towns near Nagoya and finalizes in Tokyo.  Accommodation in traditional Japanese inns, transport and assistance with baggage are all part of the experience. 

http://www.walkjapan.com/tour/nakasendo-way/

 

See also:

http://travel.cnn.com/tokyo/play/road-trip-nakasendo-highway-%E2%80%93-japans-version-route-66-623992

Photo source: 

https://www.google.ca/search?q=nakasendo+highway&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=9MsPU-SzA5LuqwGj0YDABg&ved=0CCgQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=566

“Walking with Storks” on Portugal’s Rota Vicentina

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The southwest coast of Portugal’s Alentejo region is a new destination for walking vacations. Complete with meadows, valleys, stunning views of bays and sand dunes, it is sure to please. There are turtles, eagles and storks for company.

The 350 km Rota Vicentina Trail features two main footpaths:

  • The Historical Way, the inland trail
  • The Fishermen’s Trail, the coastal section for on-foot travelers only

 http://www.rotavicentina.com/the-route/como-percorrer-a-rota-vicentina/?lang=en

 

For a travel writer’s description of day-long walks along the well-marked trails, check out:  “On foot in unsung Portugal – walking with storks”  by Roger Bray (www.thematuretraveller.co.uk)

 http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/index.cfm?v=Roger_Bray_StarWriter&fkArticleID=97&fuseaction=pubDsp.dspStarWriter

 

Photo source:  http://www.rotavicentina.com/?lang=en

Alert Eye Picks Next Foothold

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“There’s all sorts of walking –

                                                from heading out across the desert in a straight line

      to a sinuous weaving through undergrowth.

          Descending

               rocky

                   ridges and talus slopes is a specialty in itself. 

It is an irregular dancing – always shifting – step of walk on slabs and scree. 

           The breath and eye are always following this uneven rhythm. 

                  It is never paced or clocklike, but flexing –

                              little jumps –         sidesteps –

    going for the well-seen place to put a foot on a rock, hit flat, move on –

                            zigzagging along and all deliberate.

 The alert eye looking ahead, picking footholds to come, while never missing the step of the moment. 

      The body-mind is so at one with this rough world

              that it makes these moves effortlessly once it has had a bit of practice. 

    The mountain keeps up with the mountain. 

 

Quote by: Gary Snyder “Blue Mountains Constantly Walking”

Quoted in:  Rebecca Solnit’s “Wanderlust” http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1419449-wanderlust-a-history-of-walking

Picture source: http://www.123rf.com/photo_1498523_trekkers-walking-along-a-mountain-path-mont-blanc-valley-west-alps-italy.html

 

The Lévy Walk

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What do hunter-gatherer groups foraging on foot for food have in common with sharks and honeybees?  What do they have in common with you and the way you move about? 

According to anthropological studies, we follow a similar mathematical pattern of movement.  It is “called the Levy walk…a series of short movements in one area combined with a few longer treks to more distant areas.”

(Now you know what to do with that GPS wrist-watch that was under the tree.) 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/science/what-works-for-sharks-and-honeybees.html?_r=0