French animal rescue charity Phoenix Association told us about British expat Christine Endres who lives in Lanquais in the Dordogne, in the South of France. Christine is a fervent supporter of the work that Phoenix do, rescuing and re-homing abused and abandoned animals. She decided to help raise much needed funds by doing a sponsored 1800km cycle and walk from France to Spain. Christine said it was after seeing that Phoenix had a vet bill for €47,000 in 2011 that she was inspired to make a difference by taking on this huge and daunting challenge.
Christine set out on 30th May from the Médoc to cycle to the Atlantic coast of France taking in the Canal Du Midi trail. Whilst on the ride she suffered thunderstorms, high winds, extreme heat, flat tyres, lorry drivers cutting her up and celebrated her 38th wedding anniversary alone! She carried all her camping gear with her and got lost several times but eventually completed the challenge on 16th June – a remarkable achievement. She had met many generous people along the way but says she found that it “turned out to be a much tougher journey than I could have ever imagined”.
Last week Christine started the second stage of her challenge – a 900km walk along the Camino de Santiago, a famous pilgrim path from St Jean Pied de Port, South West France to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain which she is due to complete in October.
Christine told Jane Hunt, Phoenix’s PR manager that she has run the London marathon and been doing sponsored challenges since the age of 12 so her friends and family were not really surprised by her actions – but they did think she was mad!
To view a live map of Christine’s progress, please log on to her page on the Phoenix website at phoenixasso.com/challenge Here you can sponsor Christine online – every cent will motivate Christine throughout her challenge and will go to towards animals desperately in need.
To find out more about Phoenix and how you can help, please visit www.phoenixasso.com.