A Kelso adventurer is taking on his biggest challenge yet, cycling more than 2,000 miles solo across South America in aid of charity.
Jonny Wolf, 25, has just set off on a mammoth journey from Chile to Bolivia in aid of the charity which helped his late granddad, Kelso man, Jim Wolf, through his cancer treatment.
“Macmillan Cancer support is a charity that is very close to my heart,” Jonny explained.
“In 2013 my grandad was diagnosed with bowel cancer and then later with secondaries. After his diagnosis he was put in touch with Macmillan, who give him so much information about available help and what to expect. They would make weekly calls to check in on him and ensure he was coping. The work that they put in is invaluable and those that work for Macmillan are dedicated to helping anyone affected by cancer.”
A keen runner, cyclist and outdoor enthusiast, Jonny has been working as an outdoor instructor in Ireland for the last six-and-a-half years, but returned home to Kelso for a brief spell of rest, packing and the odd bit of training over Christmas and new year.
He left for Puerto Montt in Chile on Monday, from where he has begun his six-week cycle, which will take him North through Santiago and over the border into Bolivia, finishing in La Paz. He is aiming to cover between 60 and 80 miles per day, and hopes to complete the 2,100-mile journey in 40 days with just five rest days along the way.
“I have done nothing like this before, I had to challenge myself, so thought I would go for something a bit mad,” he explained before setting off this week.
“While I am definitely looking forward to it, I’m a bit nervous to be honest. I don’t know what to pack or anything. But I’m definitely excited for the challenge.”
Jonny will be responsible for planning his routes, carrying all his equipment and supplies, and will be camping out as much as possible.
He said: “Once I get there I’ll just start cycling. I’m just going to see where this takes me.”
A far cry from the British weather he has been attempting to train in, Jonny will be cycling through temperatures as high as 35°C in Chile, as well as battling across the Atacama Desert, a 600-mile strip of the driest desert on the Pacific coast.
Not surprisingly, his adventure has caught the attention of travel website Going Solo, which has asked Jonny to write a regular travel blog along his way for their followers across the globe.
And while Jonny will be taking on the challenge alone, he can expect plenty of support from afar from his blog followers and especially from his parents Ken and Janet and brothers Andrew and Dan, and his sister Naomi, who lives in Northern Ireland.
His progress can be followed at www.facebook.com/oneman.onebike.onebeard or his blog on: www.going-solo.co.uk/
To sponsor Jonny you can donate through his JustGiving page at: www.justgiving.com/fund raising/oneman-onebike-onebeard.