AN UNUSUAL visitor will be walking into Cork at some stage next week. Welsh woman Karen Penny is in the second month of a heroic attempt to walk the entire coast of Great Britain and Ireland, a feat which could take up to four years.
She has undertaken the trek with the hope of raising £100,000 for Alzheimer’s research, having been moved to support the charity after the tragic deaths of both of her in-laws from dementia.
“I’m delighted to do this — I wanted to do something that would get a good amount of money,” Ms Penny said. “Both my husband’s parents died from dementia-related illnesses, and it had a massive effect on me. Alzheimer’s is something that touches nearly every family.” During the journey, which she estimates will take her three-and-a half to four years to complete. she is not going to return home at all. Instead her husband will drive out in a campervan to join her every six weeks. She is carrying a tent in her rucksack and camping along the way.
The 53-year-old spent several months training before setting out on January 14, covering between eight and 10 miles a day with her full 30lb kit.
Ms Penny started out from her her local primary school in Pennard, near Swansea. She made her away around the Welsh coast until she reached Fishguard, where she caught the ferry to Rosslare.
She will make her way into Cork next week from Waterford, as she makes a clockwise trek around Ireland. She estimates this will take her six to eight months. The plan is to then return to Wales, head north and take in “at least 20” Scottish islands en route before coming back down and around to her starting point in South Wales.
Ms Penny is asking anyone interested in her journey to make a donation at http://justgiving.com/fundraising/thepennyrollson