Mary’s Meals supporter arrives in Rome after 2,000 mile walk
Geraldine McFaul, fundraising for Mary’s Meals and Dementia UK, has reached Rome, six months after setting off for the Italian capital.
A Glasgow woman who decided to walk from her home to Rome has reached the Italian capital after nearly six months on the road.
Geraldine McFaul departed her home in Balornock, Glasgow, at the start of May and arrived at her bucket list destination on Saturday, 4 November, having travelled through Scotland, England, France and Italy on foot. The 52-year-old has taken on the unique challenge simply because she’s ‘always wanted to go to Rome’ and eventually set off after friends told her to ‘get on with it’.
Geraldine has been raising funds for two great causes during her epic exploit, Mary’s Meals and Dementia UK.
Speaking from the village of Aulla in Tuscany, Geraldine admits she is experiencing ‘mixed emotions’ having finished her challenge, as she prepares to return to ‘normal life’ in Glasgow.
“I am looking forward to getting back home. I’ve got a girls’ weekend just after I get back, which will be nice. It will be odd, but it will be good to get back into real life.
“I have been complaining about it being too hot here, but I am going back to Scottish winter!”
Geraldine, who has previously admitted she has been ‘making it up as she goes along’, walked on average 12 miles a day with her trailer and has relied on the generosity of strangers, or as she calls them; ‘kindnappers’.
When asked about her highlights of the trip, the freelance risk management consultant said: “The people. In Italy, you meet people in the accommodation every day. There’s a group of about 10 of us walking now and you invariably bump into two or three of them every night. That’s been nice and sociable!
“Getting over The Alps has been a highlight. That was a massive, massive thing. I felt a bit weird for three days afterwards because I was on the other side, and I never thought I’d get there!”.
Geraldine was welcomed in Rome by volunteers from Mary’s Meals Italy and family and friends from home, including her 94-year-old Godfather, Desmond McGowan, who followed Geraldine’s trip from start to finish, video-calling her each day to keep her company on the road.
In spite of her enjoyment of the journey, Geraldine admits she’s unlikely to do another similar trip in future, as she ‘doesn’t think she’d be able to top’ her walk to Rome. However, she hopes her walk with a difference can inspire others to follow her footsteps and raise money for charities like Mary’s Meals and Dementia UK.
She said: “At the start of this journey, I knew I could get up and go for a walk, but I had no idea I could live nomadically for this amount of time. I’m much more confident around people now.
“I’d say that if I can do it, anyone can do it! And I’d encourage anyone who is able to consider doing something similar, especially if it helps support two incredible charities, like Mary’s Meals and Dementia UK.”
Commenting on Geraldine’s journey, Gemma Love, supporter engagement officer at Mary’s Meals, says: “We have been so inspired by Geraldine and it has been a great joy to follow her walk from start to finish. We are incredibly grateful for her support, which will help us feed more hungry children.
“We’re sure Geraldine’s adventure will encourage others to get active and fundraise and make a life-changing difference to little ones living in some of the world’s poorest countries.”
To donate to Geraldine’s fundraiser for Mary’s Meals visit here.