Charity walker Chris Lewis is setting out on the last section of his island coastal walk in Lewis, having endured the coldest nights of the winter on the hardest part of the trek.
Chris and his dog Jet are walking the whole UK coastline to raise money for SSAFA, the armed forces charity, in tribute to the support that ex-paratrooper Chris had from the charity in hard times.
Last Tuesday (January 29th) Chris set out northwards up the coast of South Lochs on a 100km stretch of the walk, with forecasts confidently predicting icy temperatures and heavy snow.
To make sure of his safety, he’d arranged for food and shelter drops at intervals on the route, with islanders helping him to cache supplies by boat.
Chris also had the support of Stornoway Coastguard, who signed out radios to allow him to keep in regular contact, so that they always knew exactly where he was. And he had the company of Captain Malcolm Dalzel-Job of 7 Scots regiment throughout the five-day trek.
Now Jet, Chris and Malcolm are safely in the warm, he’s been posting pictures and film of a landscape he describes as ‘awesome’, showing the conditions of last week’s arctic Lochs landscape.
Chris said: “I had the absolute pleasure of being accompanied on this epic stretch with my friend Malcolm who I met at New Year and had helped me endlessly on walk around Lewis and Harris.
“It was the coldest most testing stretch to date, Malcolm has had a lot of experience throughout his life in this kind of terrain, so I was happy to have him come along. We had a great time and worked together well. The places we saw and wildlife we got to see was absolutely spectacular! A magical place, and we embraced every moment.
]“All the lakes were frozen and it reached down to -8 overnight, but we sat, made fires, ate haggis and took it all in – the stars were the clearest I had ever seen.
“It’s good to be back in the land of the living unscathed and beaming with smiles at what we have just done. Two very proud men and one absolutely amazing dog, Jet was epic the whole time. The photos do it no justice I promise you, but just wow! The more I go in to places so vast and untouched, the more I realise how happy I am just to be here and what a gift it is to be alive.”
Chris and Jet now plan to walk the last section of the Lewis and Harris coastline, around Point, before completing their visit to the islands.
]You can view all the photos and follow a link to donate via Chris’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chriswalksuk
Pictures of two men and their dog throughout last week’s trek are all from the page (Chris Lewis).