map showing the route between Upton Bishop and Jerusalem

Can we walk to Jerusalem in time for Easter?

 

Taking exercise is something we can do in lockdown. So why not join the Upton Bishop Easter Challenge.

Between now and Easter Sunday (April 4th) we want to walk, run, cycle, ride, row or swim a combined total of 2,886 miles/4645 kilometres.

Exercise can be taken indoors or outside (covid rules permitting). Just let us have your weekly total and we will combine everyone’s distances to calculate how far along the route we have travelled.

There is an individual £5 or £15 per family entrance fee and all proceeds will go to the Upton Bishop church repair fund.

Why not get yourself sponsored by someone who can’t take exercise so easily? If you can raise £20 you will earn a Walk to Jerusalem Upton Bishop Scallop Badge.

You can start logging your distances as soon as you have registered.

To take part you need to complete and return this W2J entry form

For more information contact oliviaboon7@gmail.com or 01989 780 321.

Updates will be posted on the website and on our village twitter and facebook pages.

 

Week 3 Update

We have arrived in Vienna! Thank you to those of you who have sent in your mileage already. I really don’t mind when you e-mail it to me so please don’t feel you have to do it over the weekend as long as you can trickle the information in at regular intervals.
We are now 69 pilgrims (there is still room for more) and we have raised £580 so far. Thank you all for your magnificent support.

Thoughts from our blogger

Monday 18th – Thursday 21st January

And so we passed into the Czech Republic. We found ourselves somewhat out of our comfort zone here as no-one had very good, if any, Czech. The going is easy enough: flat agricultural land, interspersed with large areas of forest. It inspired a few people to remember stories from Grimms fairy tales, with some contemporary twists. To say the countryside is sparsely populated is no exaggeration and by the time we reached Belá nad Radbouzou we were quite hungry. It was then that we realised what a large group we had become: sixty-one people descending on a smallish village drew the attention of the locals. They came out to stare. There was a café but the owners were not terribly pleased to see so many of us and it took a long time to get served as the waiter was seen first at the village shop then knocking on doors for extra supplies.

Out of one of the houses came an imposing woman wrapped in a voluminous overcoat. We could see her trying to count heads. Eventually she came over and fired questions in rapid and incomprehensible Czech. Interpreting her gesticulation, we guessed she wanted answers to the obvious questions so we wrote down the number of pilgrims and showed her our maps. As soon as she realised where we were going and how far we’d come already (we wrote 765 miles down then remembered to convert it to 1,231km) her whole demeanour changed as did that of the assembled locals when she bellowed our news to them. Suddenly we were welcome guests and a coffee stop became a party.

Our friend in the coat pulled a mobile phone out of her huge pocket. She dialled and, while she was waiting, dabbed a broad finger on the map and then indicated her phone. She shouted excitedly at the person who picked up, dabbing all the while at the map. We peered: Horsovsky Tyn. It looked bigger than Belá nad Radbouzou. When she’d finished she looked us in the eye with a smile of satisfaction and said: ‘Piotr, Piotr’ dabbing again at the map with one hand while indicating food and sleep with the other. The locals nodded in agreement. With only the haziest idea of what it was all about, we smiled and said ‘thank you’, gathered up our belongings and were escorted cheerfully out of the village.

At the village of Srby the people stood on their doorsteps and waving. Word had got out. We were met outside Horsovsky Tyn by a broad man in a red pickup who introduced himself as Piotr and led us triumphantly into the town centre where it was evident that we were expected and that we provided an excuse for a party.

In a sports hall, beer flowed freely, tables groaned with food labelled in Czech: Vepřo knedlo zelo turned out to be pork with delicious dumplings and Česnečka was a potent garlic soup. There was music and dancing until, eventually, we were led away to soft beds in local houses. How to repay so much wonderful hospitality? They wanted nothing in return but seemed delighted to have had a reason to brighten up a winter Monday evening.

And so it continued: our arrival was expected all along the way so it was just as well we had a good walk in between feasts. The town band of Klatovy turned out in our honour on Tuesday night; on Wednesday we had a warm welcome in Ceske Budejovice and were treated to Svíčková na smetaně, marinated sirloin. With the utmost reluctance we prepared to cross the border into Austria on Thursday afternoon. What wonderful people our Czech hosts were: they entered into the spirit of our adventure and wafted us through their country in a haze of garlic and beer and kindness.

A couple of times as we walked a ghostly figure appeared at my side. When I looked, I was met by the steady brown-eyed gaze of a whippet, a Crusaders’ dog, an appropriate link with out forefathers. He trotted quietly by my side for an hour or so and then was gone. I hope I’ll see him again.


Week 2 Update

Congratulations to everyone who has sent in their week 1 mileage. We have covered 761.5 miles which has taken us just over the border into the Czech Republic, crossing east of Eslarn in Germany, south-west of Dresden. We are well on our way to Vienna and, as some big walkers have joined us now, at this rate we’ll be in Timisoara (1,289 miles from Upton Bishop) in no time at all.

A total of 41 people have signed up and we have raised more than £300.

Blog from a walker

Breakfast on the Grand Place in Brussels with coffee and gaufres after a short walk from our overnight stop in Kortrijk. Mmmm the delicious smell of freshly waffled gaufres! They set us up for a great walking day. More people have joined us, we’re now 54, some of them great walkers. The more the merrier: their fresh encouragement had us swinging through Belgium, past my grandmother’s door in Leuven (although she knew it as Louvain) and over the border to The Netherlands where we had a small altercation at the customs post resulting in some of us having to hand over our ham sandwiches.
Passing through the centre of Maastricht we reminisced about John Major and his Spitting Image avatar, the Grey Man.Once into Germany, we skirted to the north of Aachen and stopped for a break in Düren. This, we discovered, was once one of the wealthiest cities in Germany but it was flattened by Allied bombers in November 1944. The good citizens rolled up their sleeves and rebuilt so we were able to enjoy strammer max mit pommes under the restored walls of Schloss Burgau.
We arrived at the birthplace of Haribo’s Gummibears, Bonn, in the early afternoon and took the opportunity to visit the Beethoven Haus to wish Ludwig a belated happy 250th birthday last year.
In spite of the dark and the threat of snow, we marched on at a great rate. We were tempted to stop in Eslarn, east of Nurenburg but we were so close to the border that we pressed on into the Czech Republic and stopped to camp in a barn 761.5 miles from Upton Bishop.
Quite an achievement!

Week 1 Update

Ten people have signed up and we are currently sitting in Parliament Square.