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Jon Davey Fundraiser Trek

Diane Inglis

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Jon Davey Blythe House Hospice

Joe, Dominic, Jon and Jess

Like many people, Jon Davey was so grateful for the support of Blythe House Hospice following prostate cancer nine years ago, that he was determined to help out with some fund raising.

However rather than coffee mornings and cake sales, he decided to assist in the one way he knew how, through a high level trek through the Pyrenees.

As a keen walker, Jon had already been to the Himalayas and on some of the classic trails of Europe, so he decided to embark upon a walk across the Pyrenees in stages.

Dominic and Jon at the end of the walk

With his brother Dominic, he took several years to complete the 900 km challenge, walking from the Atlantic side of the mountain range to the Mediterranean. 

The starting point in the first year was Hendaye, a small town in the French Basque country, and the pair then returned each September for a couple of weeks of walking, starting from the point where they had finished the year before.

Jon told the Review: “We walked for up to 12 hours each day, staying at private houses, small hotels and bunk houses and occasionally camped out in sleeping bags with waterproof covers using a lightweight tent known as a tarp for shelter.

“It is not so much about the distance covered but more about the height as we went up and down 5,000 feet some days. The route crosses the high part of the mountains, so we usually stayed the night in a valley then walked right over the top and down into another valley for the next stop.

Karen Petford receives the cheque from Jon

“The scenery was beautiful and we saw some fantastic wildlife including wild horses, marmots, mountain deer, and birds including golden eagles and bearded vultures,” he added.

One year’s visit was spent on a circular tour of the high Pyrenees around the Ordesa National Park which according to Jon was chosen, rather than moving forward in a linear fashion, so they could take in the beauty of that particular area. 

His son Joe, 33, and daughter Jess, 31, joined the pair for the final leg of the trek last summer which was finally completed as they reached their destination, Banyuls-sur-Mer, a town on the French Mediterranean coast, just north of the Spanish border.  As an added bonus, they finished last September just after Jon’s 70th birthday as he had originally planned.

Over the course of the walk, Jon raised £537 for the hospice and presented it to Karen Petford, the hospice’s finance administrator.