Wigan dad takes on gruelling 620-mile walk in Spain for a good cause
A Wigan dad is preparing to tackle a tough 620-mile walk in Spain to raise awareness of a chronic illness.
Bernie Molloy, 58, from Standish, is currently in training for Via de la Plata – a 620-mile journey from Seville to Santiago, which is widely considered the toughest camino in Spain.
He will start in September and expects to complete the ancient pilgrimage path in November, walking the majority of the route alone before meeting up with his daughter for the final 11 days.
One of the many challenges facing Bernie is the number of uninhabited areas along the journey, with large distances between each town and village.
These stretches could be up to 20 to 25km long, without anywhere to refill water bottles, so meticulous planning is needed to make sure he is carrying everything he needs.
Bernie will stay in hostels overnight and aims to arrive between 8 and 9pm each day, to maximise his travelling time the following day and make the necessary progress.
The purpose of this challenge is to raise awareness of the British Tinnitus Association.
After retiring 18 months ago, Bernie started to suffer with tinnitus last year. Described as experiencing ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears, it is surprisingly common and affects 15 to 20 per cent of people.
The noises heard can vary and include ringing or buzzing, often getting worse at night and preventing sufferers from getting adequate sleep.
Bernie is hoping to raise not only awareness, but £1,500 for the charity in aid of research for a cure.
He said: “I had always planned to attempt to solo walk the Via de la Plata in Spain. The Via is considered the most difficult of the Spanish caminos.
“I started suffering with persistent tinnitus about a year ago, which can be debilitating at times. Over seven million people in the UK suffer with tinnitus and there is no cure.“I’m raising money for the British Tinnitus Association to help raise awareness of the condition. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!”
Donate to Bernie’s appeal at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BernieMolloy3