Archive for September, 2012


Words from the Road: Belfast

   Posted by: Dan    in Uncategorized

Note: I’ll be editing this post later tonight or tomorrow morning with a picture or two, but I’m not sure when I’ll have a chance and wanted to get something up now.

The plane was stifling as it taxied down the tarmac to Heathrow. The airport itself was much nicer, though the roughly eighty security checkpoints we had to go through were interesting.

The flight to Belfast was smooth, and short, and as we landed and stepped out of the airport, we were done and in Ireland at last. More than twelve hours of travel later, the shockingly green grass (is it cliche to say that if it’s utterly true?) was zooming along beside our car as I sat in what would have been the driver’s seat in Canada and drove on what I saw as the wrong side of the road.

We’ve seen of the city, since; the glass dome in Victoria’s Square was not only beautiful in and of itself, but also offered an amazing view of the entirety of Northern Ireland’s largest city – including, off in the distance, Belfast Castle, the beautiful manor we’ll be starting from tomorrow.

It has been stereotypically Irish weather today, ranging from heavy downpour to brilliant sun in as little as ten minutes; my shirt was soaked through in one sudden rainstorm but dry again twenty minutes later from the cool breeze and warm sun.

Time for us to go out and see a bit more – and stock up for our trip over the next few days! – so I’ll update a bit better either late tonight or early tomorrow morning.


On the Road

   Posted by: Dan    in Uncategorized

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

–J.R.R. Tolkien

We leave for Belfast today! After more than a year of planning, today’s the first big leap, right across the Atlantic.

Throughout our journey, we’ll be checking in several times:

  • On Friday, September 28th (that’s tomorrow!*), from Belfast.
  • On Saturday, September 29th, from Larne, Northern Ireland.
  • On Monday, October 1st, from Glasgow.
  • On Monday, October 8th, from Fort William.
  • On Friday, October 12th, from Inverness.
  • On Saturday, October 20th, from Perth.
  • On Monday, October 22nd, from Stirling, and finally
  • On Thursday, October 25th, from Edinburgh. It’s possible we’ll do a few updates after we’re in Edinburgh, but at least one saying we’re done!

For these check-ins I’ll be writing as much as my brain will let me – I get foggy when I’m as exhausted as I will be, and I’ll want to do a little site-seeing, too! – and posting a few unedited pictures, assuming all of my technology cooperates.

We’ll also have Twitter being updated by the wonderful Victoria, and Facebook should have our updates posted as well, so keep your eyes peeled.

For now, though, this is it – the last post I’ll be making from Canada until probably November. Looking back, it’s been a long 15 months, with some periods of super-steady daily ‘blogging and some periods of complete radio silence as other things took over. We’ve come a long way since the ‘blog started last summer, and we’ve still got our longest journey ahead of us.

Flight leaves at 6:55pm tonight. Wish us luck, and remember to tell your friends, your family, and your neighbourhood crossing guard to donate. We are still hovering a little under $16,000, and a shiny new number would be a great thing to long on to come October 25th.

It’s time to play the music.
It’s time to light the lights.



   Posted by: Dan    in Events

One week from today, Drew and I will be stepping on a British Airways flight en route to Belfast (by way of London), and we want to see all our friends one last time before we go.

This Saturday, September 22nd we will be hosting a send-off party at Pauper’s Pub, located at 539 Bloor Street West, just east of Bathurst Street in downtown Toronto. We have a reservation (fancy fancy!) at 8:00 under “Wayfarers,” though if they wrote it down wrong you can try “Dan.” I believe we’ll be on the second floor if you want to just wander on up.

There’s no cover price, but we hope you’ll join us for a meal or order something to toast our departure. We’re also requesting cash donations to the cause: $20 is our suggested donation but, of course, we’ll leave that up to you. All donations go directly to the Canadian Cancer Society—we’re still funding the entire trip out of our own pockets. Feel free to donate more if you’d like, but if you can’t afford to donate, we hope you’ll still join us on Saturday.

I promise that my speech won’t be long and boring this time. Probably.

(Also, check out our Facebook event!)


Betting Against the Wayfarers

   Posted by: Dan    in Events, Quest

“The trip is impossible.”

We have been hearing this since the beginning. Between family members and friends, I don’t think we had a better than 50% faith rate – and, to be fair, most of them thought it was a crackpot idea of mine that would fade into obscurity and become a matter of “hm, that would have been neat, eh?”

I’m sure they are all still shocked that I even bought the plane ticket, much less intend to step into the highway between Belfast and Larne three weeks from tomorrow.

When I told a friend this, they said I should tell people to put their money where their mouth is – and this is what we’re doing now?

Think we’re going to fail? Here’s your chance to tell us while also supporting charity.

We’re starting a betting pool. Minimum donation of $10, and you choose a day: anything from September 28th (our first day of walking) to October 27th (the day before our flight). This is the last day you think we’ll be walking, not the day you think we’ll wake up and say “no more!” – just to be absolutely clear.

There is no maximum contribution. Want to bet $50? Bet $50. Want to bet $100? Fantastic!

When we win If we win, 100% of the money goes to the Association for International Cancer Research at the end of October. The Wayfarers themselves will not be taking any of the money, obviously.

If we do not finish the trip, whoever chooses the last day that we will walk will get 50% of the pot. This 50% will be split between as many people as choose it; if you’re the only one to choose October 4th, you get the whole amount. If you and three others do, you each get a quarter. The other 50% of the pot will be going to AICR. Everyone wins!

If you’re interested, contact Paul (paul@wayfarerquest.com) any time before midnight on September 28th – you have three weeks to get in on this. If you seriously think that we’re going to fail in our Quest, put your money where your mouth is and contribute to charity while buying yourself a chance to win a bit of money on top of your bragging rights.

Some things to help your bets:

We are travelling roughly 27km (or 17mi) a day. We have some lighter days, but only one harder day – the first day, Belfast to Larne, which is 34km.

We stay in beds ten times by the current schedule:

Larne, evening of September 29th
Glasgow, evening of October 1st
Fort William, evening of October 8th
Inverness, evening of October 12th
Perth, evening of October 20th
Stirling, evening of October 22nd
Edinburgh, evenings of October 25th, 26th and 27th

Obviously, injuries or just finding the walk too hard could slow those down – I don’t think they will, but keep that in mind. That’s why we’re accepting bids even on October 26th and 27th – days that we should be done. You want to bet against us that hard? Go for it.

I would wish you luck, but that would be betting against us, and I don’t do that sort of thing!