Thu 3 Oct 19
A computer science student determined to do his bit to tackle climate change has funded the planting of nearly 5,000 trees after walking 2,200km from Canterbury to the Vatican.
Joshua Meads, who completed his Foundation Year in July, spent his summer holiday walking along the ancient pilgrimage route Via Francigena raising over £4,800 for charity.
The trek, which saw him endure some of Europe’s hottest days on record, as well as blisters and hours of walking alone, took three months and raised much-needed funds for US-based charity One Tree Planted.
Joshua, who walked an average of 25km a day for 88 days surprisingly didn’t make many special preparations for the trek: “I took a quick look at the route and estimated where I would be when but I find it easier to just go and do it, and make any necessary adjustments on the fly,” he explained.
Joshua made the most of hospitable locals who offered food but mostly camped out along the route and fended for himself. “Mostly I just put one foot in front of the other, 2.8 million times, and got on with it,” he said.
Joshua explained the highlights on the way: “I met some really lovely local people who took me in and cooked for me, and without a doubt, crossing the Alps. The scenery was breath-taking and the St Bernard Pass was a stunning walk.”
But the biggest highlight was reaching Rome after three months on foot: “Walking through the outskirts of Rome you come round a corner in a park and suddenly there is this view of the Vatican a few kilometres away. It was an amazing moment, to see St Peter’s and know I was nearly there.”