We have been and are continuing to be really moved by the phone messages, emails, texts, and cards that people have sent to support us! Also the donations are steadily building so thank-you all. I am setting out shortly to collect Felix and Bridget from Plymouth Station… then the team is in place!
Buster has been busy getting used to his backpack, ready for the mountains. Yesterday he managed to lug, two bottles of water, two pasties (his and mine), a tuna baguette, plastic bags, a diet coke and a pair of Croc’s…
Ruth has been busy getting the graphics sorted out for the cars. They now have some very smart magnetic signs ready to be attached to them. We are hoping that this will at the very least get people curious about the Railway Children and at best get some donations coming in! A big thank-you to Michael Evans and his team at Carousel Digital for these.
The final bits of kit are also starting to arrive and so the stage is about set. Just need Felix to arrive from his teaching duties tomorrow night and we are then ready for the off on Saturday morning.
Forward Operating Base Padstow is now established! It’s all getting very close now, ahead of Saturday’s start we have travelled down to Padstow which aside from being our favourite holiday spot is where we are basing ourselves for the first couple of days of the Ultimate 3. We have just had the great news that St Modwen are sponsoring part of our team back-up in the form of Richard Popple, so pleased about that. We are closing out the final issues now like our guides for Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, and I am about to send out a message looking for support (and of course donations) to my address book, which is about 1200 strong. Public apology here to those of you who get sent the same message a couple of times… sorry in advance!
Thanks to my wife Ruth and her team at Motorail (UK) Ltd we have over £10k to go towards our efforts. Hundreds of people turned out across the weekend to see our trains in storage on our home site at Long Marston in Warwickshire. We were also joined by Dave Ellis from Railway Children and by his partner Jules and their son Fred… who had his first experience of a train ride! Great day, thank-you all
There is no holding a good man down and despite nursing a cold and dodgy tummy, Felix was off first thing today to collect his new bike from Zurich. It has been built specifically to his specifications and has a steel frame and Rohloff hub gears. More to follow from Felix!
Now that we have both boats we thought that a photo opportunity was too good to miss! The dogs like the idea too. Both Billy our miniature English Bull Terrier and Buster the Boxer will be with us on the adventure
Sunday saw Felix, Colin and Isaac taking part in the Stratford 100, which to say it was undulating and windy is an understatement! It is difficult to see how an essentially circular route can result in a head wind virtually all the way (with the notable exception of the rise out of Milcote). Great day out though, with Hidcote Hill being conquered and legs in good order at the end (about 5 hours). Most vital of all was the Baklava which provided a late energy boost for the last 10 miles, I believe that a big thank-you is due for that to the Turkish Students on Felix latest course!
A busy Saturday as Colin and Felix come together professionally with the Team Building visit of the latest cohort of Post Graduate Students from the University of Birmingham to Long Marston. The weather was kind, the lunch courtesy of Joy and her Mother was outstanding and the end result was a course that have got to know each other and some brilliant track work… Well done all!
Final decisions have now been made on the kayaking part of the challenge. We did not know quite what to do so said “SOT it”! For those of you still in the dark, SOT stands for “Sit On Top” a popular choice of canoe or kayak for the novice (which we most definitely are). The modern boat is however much more than a comedy craft designed for splashing about at the beach. Ours have hull profiles which are identical to the more conventional sit inside craft and cut the water in very similar fashion (a Perception Freedom – Expedition and a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120). They are however easier we believe to manage as capsizing is more a case of falling off, rather than an upside down underwater oddessy; although we are rather hoping that it is not something we will have to worry about!