Gravesend GP embarks on epic 800km mountain trek for charity
PUBLISHED: 10:16 14 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:16 14 June 2016
His six-week solo journey will take him the length of the Pyrenees
A Gravesend GP has embarked on an epic 800km mountain trek to raise money to help disadvantaged children get outdoors.
Chris Markwick, 46, has set off on a six-week journey across the Pyrenees to raise money for Wild Night Out, a project supporting the Youth Adventure Trust.
On May 23, he set off from Hendaye on the west coast of France, where he picked up the GR10 path and began his hike to the Mediterranean coast.
Following a mixture of the GR10 in France, the GR11 in Spain and the infamous high route between the two, he will complete his journey at Banyuls-sur-Mer on the east coast.
Mr Markwick said: “I’ve always loved being outside and walking in the fresh air. I love the challenge of long-distance walking as it’s a real test of your physical and mental stamina.
“More than that, when you are outdoors and walking it is time to think and be mindful of the world around you.
“Being a GP is a high-pressure job and I always feel relaxed after a long walk!”
During his trek, he will be accompanied only by his 16kg pack, nicknamed Beast, and a solar-powered radio for occasional music to boost his morale.
Camping wild, he will subsist on a diet of pasta and oats for the duration of his journey.
Wild Night Out is a project encouraging people of all ages to plan their own adventures and get outside to raise money for Youth Adventure Trust.
The charity was set up in 1992 to give young people the hope, confidence and life skills to meet the challenges in their lives and build trust and motivation through adventure.
“It is so important that children today have the opportunity to get outside and discover the world around them,” Mr Markwick said. “I always tried to get my own children outside as much as possible. We must pass on skills like fire setting, foraging and shelter building.
“The Youth Adventure Trust provides a great programme for children who may not have had the best start in life.”
Mr Markwick’s 16-year-old daughter India has also developed a taste for long distance walking, recently completing a 20-mile walk for charity.
You can support Mr Markwick by donating to his Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/PyreneesAdventure