Around the Island 2014 An Epic Journey

Posted on October 28, 2014

Words: Michelle Robertson
Images: GATO

www.gsuarezphoto.com

“Every day we looked back at what we’d achieved and thought – wow!” Crossing the finishing line after walking an almighty 240km, the brave group of nine adventurers who took part in this year’s Around the Island walk led by Toby Clarke of Walking Ibiza, looked elated and knackered at the same time. Nobody said this challenge was easy. But the sense of self-achievement is immeasurable. Add to that uncovering unspoiled places and hidden secrets of our precious island plus bonding with brand new friends for life and the reasons are pretty clear as to why people who’ve done this trek say that it changes their outlook forever.

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This is Toby’s fourth Around the Island walk and yet he says that the island still surprises him. “My own personal highlight?” he replies to our question, just minutes after completing it. “All of it!” he laughs. “Actually the campsite at Cala D’Albarca was just beautiful. Every morning we would all get up to watch the sunrise, but the sunrise that morning was particularly beautiful. Everyone was there just going ‘wow’. It was really special.” Needless to say during such an adventure, everyone became very comfortable with each other very quickly. “The things that we found out about the group during the walk was just astounding. Their stories, what they’d been through in their lives… They’re all incredible people, each in their own way. Everyone came through and surprised all of us with their absolute amazingness!”
Grabbing some of the group before the adrenaline stopped pumping – in between kicking off their battered walking boots and guzzling cold Champagne, we asked them what their personal highlights of this epic journey were and what to expect if we join them next year.

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“You see the island from a completely different perspective,” smiles Rebecca Simpkin after completing her second adventure around the island – her first being in April on the Ibiza Charity Walk which was four days of mountain biking, kayaking and walking. Looking happy and definitely tanned, Rebecca notes “abseiling down a cliff to a beach” as one of her “definite highlights!” “Camping at Es Vedra was also magical. There’s a lot of Ibiza that’s completely untouched and to see it all; to see the ruins where people lived hundreds of years ago – it was just beautiful. I’ve fallen in love with the island all over again.” Her enthusiasm wasn’t knocked in the slightest despite standing on a sea urchin just prior to arriving at Es Vedra – “the boys managed to get it out after making me a foot spa from a bottle filled with heated-up sea water! I mean…that’s exceptional!” – and she even endorses the experience as a must do for anyone who’s feeling down. “It really clears your head as well. I’d highly recommend this walk if anyone’s suffering from any kind of depression. On a serious note, it really elates you! When you look back each day at what you’ve achieved you feel so amazing.” As she swigs a well-deserved glass of bubbly, Rebecca says: “I’m so pleased I made it – at the beginning I thought ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this’ as my body was aching already and when we were half way round I was like ‘we’ve only done half?!”

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For Joe Buckle – Ibiza’s very own Action Man – he’s been around the island three times in the last 12 months and has already signed himself up for next year, as has his sister and some friends from England, and all will be raising money for charity. Although Joe admits not to finding it any easier, “I actually found it a bit harder this time!” – the Around the Island walk is something that quenches his desire to “explore and know everywhere in Ibiza – every cala and every cove. I love nature,” he tells us. “I love the fresh air. I like to feel strong and it’s the best fitness challenge you can do – it’s pure, natural exercise.” The only member of the group to look exactly the same as he did when they set off (hence the Action Man tag) we ask Joe if he can give any advice for anyone who’s thinking of joining the next adventure? “Just do it! Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can. Don’t be scared.”

*You can sign up to next year’s Around the Island walk – 11 October 2015 – for a deposit of €99. Go to www.walkingibiza.com and follow the link to reserve your place.