'˜I will walk 9,500 miles' - says Alex Roswell
An English man who has spent the past two years walking around the entire coastline of Britain and Ireland, has finally made his way to Derry.
Alex Ellis-Roswell estimates it will take four years and more than 20 million steps to complete his mission as he raises money for the RLNI.
This week, as he sat outside the house of a local couple in Derry who had put him up for the night, he said he was touched as he heard the bells ringing from St. Eugene’s Cathedral where a funeral was taking place.
“The monopoly of sound St Eugene’s bell owned across the city was challenged when at 10am Saint Columb’s Cathedral declared the time with its own bell,” he said.
“Interrupted again when St Patrick’s church joined in with its own choir of bells- more musical than the two cathedrals. Derry was a chorus of bells and buses and hedge trimmers. It was silent and alive and still and mourning and celebrating and working and respecting, all at once, like I think only a city can do.
“I’ve enjoyed Derry. It’s a city where people still look at each other and say hello. You don’t even find that in some small towns.”
Earlier this week Alex passed through Inishowen through Malin Head, Moville and Clonmany. He even stopped to get a selfie with Clonmany woman Mary who arranged for the Malin Hotel to put him up for the night.
“Today was full of so much generosity and so much kindness from so many people along the walk,” said Alex. “Thank you to everyone I crossed paths with.”
Alex is taking a clockwise route around both Britain and Ireland. He started the Irish leg of his journey in Belfast on 13th July 2015. He’s now walking along the north coast of Northern Ireland back to Belfast.
But he won’t be finished when he gets to Belfast! Once he has finished walking the 2500 mile coastline of Ireland, Alex will return to Scotland on the ferry to Cairnryan.
From there he continues his journey up the west coast of Scotland and along the north coast before he starts making his way south down the east coast of Scotland and England.
He had set an initial fundraising target of £10,000, but he has already raised £22,900 for the RNLI to date through online donations and bucket collections.
The RNLI is a charity that operates 238 lifeboat stations around Britain and Ireland and relies entirely on volunteers and donations to save an average of 23 lives every single day.