A part-time soldier decided to end his stint with the UN peacekeeping forces in Cyprus by walking back to his home in the UK, to raise money for charity,.
Capt Ed Lloyd Owen traversed 11 countries over a period of five months to raise money for Walking with the Wounded – a military charity.
A reservist in the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, Owen had been attached to the 2nd Bn The Mercian Regiment as an intelligence officer since Christmas. He set off from Nicosia in March to cross Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Italy and France.
34 year old Owen from Norfolk, faced feral dogs, temperatures of 44 degs C and being doused with urine on his trek back home. Recounting his experiences to the ‘Evening Standard’, he said:
“About a month in, I was in Turkey on a mountain road and it was rammed with traffic near a rubbish dump when I found myself surrounded by three dogs who just saw me as dinner. I managed to fend them off with walking sticks but it was terrifying.
In Italy I had a bottle of urine thrown over me by some young men at the end of the day after walking 24 miles.
They must’ve thought it was funny but I didn’t realise what happened until later. It was the hottest day they had for years and it was 44 degrees with 80 per cent humidity. It was the toughest part of the whole trip.”
Owen, who is a professional photographer in civilian life, walked for six hours a day, six days a week, averaging about 25 miles with just a kit bag, one change of clothes and two walking sticks. He arrived in England at the weekend and was met by Chelsea Pensioners.
At home in Worlds End, he said: “There’s been a huge amount of stress but when I saw the white cliffs of Dover I felt I’d arrived and it was all worth it.”
Owen hoped to raise £25,000 for Walking with the Wounded.
Cyprus Mail, Daily Telegraph