TWO INTREPID Diglis residents raised more than £3,000 for a city hospice after walking 570 miles across Spain in memory of their friend.
Parul Rabheru, 33, and Andrew Hine, 46, (pictured inset) completed the Camino Frances pilgrims’ route, which saw them walk from the French Pyrenees via Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre in north west Spain.
The couple chose to undertake the challenge, which took them five weeks to complete, after their friend Lesley Wall, who was cared for by St Richard’s Hospice, died of cancer in February, aged 45.
Due to work commitments and injuries, the pair felt that they were unprepared for the physical challenge and experienced a low point when walking across the agricultural plains between two mountain ranges, which gave them the impression they were barely moving.
However, Miss Rabheru said they also experienced some incredible high points on the walk, such as walking into Santiago and attending the daily pilgrim’s mass.
“Getting to the Atlantic Ocean was really special,” she said. “It was the point at which we realised that we really have walked all the way across Spain. Sitting on the cliff edge at Finisterre, which means literally ‘the end of the earth’, felt pretty amazing.
The couple aimed to raise 1p for each of the 1.5 million steps they estimated their journey would take, and Miss Rabheru said they were delighted to have exceeded their target.
She added: “We haven’t done anything like this before but wanted to give something back to St Richard’s because the hospice staff cared for Lesley in her final days with amazing compassion and dignity that made an unbearable experience just a bit more bearable.
“We were deeply touched to see this care for someone who was so dear to us and we are fund-raising so that other families facing life-threatening illness can do so with the incredible support of St Richard’s Hospice.”