Day 1: It’s Pouring!

After a couple of hectic days in Portsmouth fixing the van (twice – big shout out to Sean for his help), doing PCR tests (all negative), hearing about local climate struggles and receiving a fantastic welcome from local groups, we finally started our walk from Portsmouth…to Glasgow.

We started our 29-day march to Glasgow from a statue of Charles Dickens.  Our objective for the day was Southampton, some 33 km away. An additional challenge was the forecast of rain and weather warnings. But the core group of ten ‘marchistas’ was joined by local activists who kept our morale high and made sure we didn’t get lost.

After a symbolic leaving ceremony in Portsmouth with drums and a horn to send us off we took our first steps of the 900 km march.

The rain was our constant companion. Our gore-tex boots were put to the test, umbrellas proved useless and at points we had to wade through puddles and overflowing drains. The last stretch over Southampton bridge in gail-force winds felt like the ultimate test, were we ever going to get there?

Finally we arrived and what a welcome awaited us! Lots of friendly XR Southampton members were waiting for us in a warm church with cups of tea, dry socks, towels and a fine spread of home-made vegan food. Several people had been cooking all day and had produced an absolute feast! We expressed our thanks with a small gift – one of our limited edition ‘Marcha a Glasgow’ wristbands.

The next day we will be sent off by the local Southampton samba band!

More to come…

Written by: Carlos Buj

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