Belgian adventurer Pierre De Greef has once again thanked the many Islanders who offered to help him out after his tent and gear were damaged by vandals in the Castle Grounds last week.
Writing on the welovestornoway.com Facebook Page on Tuesday (June 12th) he said: “Your comments have touched me a lot and I thank you very much for your many proposals for help of any kind.
“I wanted to speak more especially this time to people who propose me material as I think some of you were astonished not to be contacted.
“If I didn't answer your proposals it is because, being busy with the temporary repair of my tent in urgency, I only discover the mails and messages very late Friday evening; when I went to welovestornoway.com [on Thursday evening June 7th], I wasn't expecting this amazing result, and secondly, it's not in my nature to sit back and wait for help!”
He explains that sorting out his gear and supplies took a lot of time because he was not familiar with where to find supplies in Stornoway.
“So, this done, at first I only answered the people who could offer me the most crucial help, to house me for the weekend, not too far from Stornoway as I had to be able to move easily following the visit of this gang (on) Friday evening.”
He explains that his tent is a very specialised one and the damage done to it means that, even when repaired, it can only be used in very mild conditions. In addition, his camping gear was specially chosen to be very light to carry, yet very capable and usable.
His tent weighs less than 1kg (about 2lbs) and “can withstand very violent winds, moderate snowfall and is therefore despite its low weight, a tent for all seasons. I have also used it for my « Grande traversée des Vosges » in February this winter but despite that, no, it is not designed to withstand shots of bottle shards. (The Vosges is a range of mountains in northern France.)
“However, the price of a tent of this category is proportional to the level of its qualities and is around £ 400.“ So nothing available locally could match this.
He explains: “In order to take back the walk to continue my exploration of the Hebrides, it is impossible for me to get any additional weight and I did not want to take advantage of your generosity without being certain of having a real usefulness of the equipment given at my disposal.”
So he adds, it was not that he was “being picky or fussy”, just practical.
So thanking again those who offered help he says: “I hope you understand better now the reason of my late answer (and don't forget that to write you this few words in English, trying not to make to much mistakes, took me "des plombes" as we say in French.” (Prendre des plombes means `’to take ages”)