This afternoon we were just congratulating ourselves on walking 500 miles from Dover to Glasgow when we met Jude and Astrid, paramedics who have cycled here from Melbourne. That’s Melbourne, Australia.
It was inspiring to hear of their journey through the deserts of Australia, across China, Iran, Turkey, the Balkans and Europe. As the months went by and their journey progressed they became aware of the crisis of forced displacement and decided to volunteer in Calais for a while.
They are currently based in East London where they are working as paramedics and have just taken three weeks off to cycle from Land’s End to Glasgow. They hope to return and cycle through the highlands to John O’ Groats before returning to their homes in Thornbury (the neighbouring suburb to mine when I lived in Melbourne).
Naturally they plan to cycle through Africa and hitchhike on a yacht across the Southern Ocean from Capetown to Fremantle. They will then cycle across the Nullarboor desert before arriving back where they started.
We spoke briefly about migration and refugees. They are ashamed of the Australian incarceration of asylum seekers and believe their government will one day apologise for this awful chapter in its history. Look up the Asylum Seekers’ Resource Centre for more information about the current struggle for compassion and justice.
We have occasionally been told that our journey through Britain on foot is inspiring. It’s wonderful to be inspired in turn by fearless free spirits like Jude and Astrid, ordinary people who set out to learn about the world in a spirit of adventure and under the power of their own muscles and will.
You can read about their adventures here.