At 84-years-young Kent man Don Hyatt has been inspired by Captain Tom to walk 65 km by VJ to support The Gurkha Welfare Trust.
While we were all raising a glass to VE Day from our homes, Don Hyatt laced up his boots and began an epic walking challenge for the charity.
Inspired by The Gurkha Welfare Trust Everest at Home challenge, he is walking the distance from Lukla (gateway to Everest) to Everest Base Camp using his garden. A challenge he hopes to meet by VJ Day (15 August).
‘Lukla to Base Camp’ is one of the most popular trekking routes in Nepal. Trekkers fly to Lukla airport, which is often referred to as one of the world’s scariest airports due to its incline, from Kathmandu. From there, trekkers retrace the steps of mountaineers like Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay, through the beautiful Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal, to the base camp on the Southside of Everest.
While Don can’t make it to Nepal, Don he will be tackling the equivalent distance using his back garden.
Don, who lives in Rainham, near Gillingham, said:
”The toughest part of the challenge will be keeping my legs in good working order. To tackle the distance, I will have to use my walker as standing is one of my problems, hope people don’t think this is unfair, it’s an age thing.”
“If Colonel Tom can do it, 15 years older than me I should give it a good go.”
Don first visited Nepal in February 1978, following a business trip in India. Memories of this trip, the kindness of those he met, and a flight taken over both the Chitwan National Park and Everest itself will keep Don going along the way. If that was not reason enough, Don, who joined the Army in 1953, seeing service in the Middle East, has a personal reason for his support.
“I support GWT for many reasons, two are uppermost in my mind, their devotion to the Crown for over 200 years and my father’s late brother Cyril owed his life to them for an incident in Burma during the Second World War. I am doing this for those elderly Gurkhas in Nepal and widows as we must give them all the help we can to thank them all.”
You can support Don by donating via his just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/donh