Walking the Via Francigena for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

Hi to you wonderful people. So many fantastic things are happening that I want to tell you about!!!

There’s only 8 weeks to go until I start walking 999km from Aosta to Roma (alone!) to raise funds for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) - I can hardly believe that I started to plan this almost a year ago last February when things were very different, it has come around so quickly and in fact it was snowing then too as I remember!

In preparation I’m walking home from work once a week which comes to about 18-20 km depending on my route and I’m running a couple of times a week too because I want to be super fit by the time I leave.

And people have been so amazingly generous…..

A generous Canadian lady from a geo-caching company Landsharkz, Helen is sending me a GPS receiver and pre-programming it with all the way-points for my journey to minimise how frequently I get lost and she is sending it to me for free even though she is thousands of miles away and I have never even met – her how fantastic is that?!

My kind and patient Australian friends Flo and Sophie have offered to take me out walking around London with aforementioned GPS receiver when it arrives to help me learn to actually use it!

My son Benn and his girlfriend Mikki have given me an iPad mini so I can write and blog my story as I go along. Love them lots!!!! <3

My wonderful and inspiring Spanish friend Beni of Gigoing  has generously offered to set up and run the blog for me so I can post stories and photos as I go along this will also feed in to my website. (My nom de plume will be ’ProseccoMedic’ – details of that to follow…)

My blogging name was inspired by the lovely bubbly Dacotah of Nino Franco Prosecco because we started sharing lots of funny online tweeting conversations about Prosecco and she started to call me by that name! She is incentivising me on my journey by supplying me with Nino Franco Prosecco at various points along the way – including the promise of a Magnum of Prosecco for when I finish (on my knees and in tears) in Roma!!!! Now I just need to find a provider of chocolate – any suggestions…?

Doctor ‘feel-good’, otherwise known as Naeem has offered to repatriate me should I get injured or ill (I may at the least get a nasty blister or at the worst have legs that are worn down to stumps when I finally arrive in St Peter’s Square!) although I really don’t think that he needs any excuse to come out to Italy! :0)

Lovely Steve of SP Services  will kindly donate a medical kit bum-bag for me to carry with me (never off-duty!) and I’m looking forward to meeting him when he comes to London to hand over the goods! 

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have put the lovely anglo-italian Heather in touch and she has taken a particular interest in my journey not least because of the Italian connection. Heather then put Cavendish Press on to me who are interviewing me Monday and will sell the article to the highest bidder with profits all going to MSF, so let’s hope they bite!

Finally, in Italy, so many people who were strangers but are now becoming friends along the route of the Via Francigena. They either work for Croce Verde or Rossa have kindly said they will give me a meal, shower and bed for the night in their town when I arrive. Some have even suggested that they will host a party for me when I stumble in to town at the end of the day! Special mentions to my awaiting hosts Mauro, Andrea and Sascha.  Last but not least, my wonderful friends,  family and colleagues here in England who put up with me constantly wittering on about it – you are my angels!

Can you tell that I am just a little bit excited?  I thought I hid it quite well! ;0)

Feel free to share the link with your friends and contacts for my Just Giving Page – you can donate anonymously if that’s your preferred modus operandi and any amount  will be gratefully received by MSF (and by me) as it’s always the thought that counts.

Follow me on Twitter @lysawalder

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