I wrote a letter, sitting on the bank of a stream, my back nestled in the buttress roots of a spiralling Bolivian rainforest tree. Enormous plate-sized, electric-blue, morpho-butterflies wafted over my hand. Beads of sweat formed rivulets down my back and tiny fish darted past my toes.
The letter was to HRH Prince Charles about our expedition and how meeting him, a staunch advocate and conservationist of our natural world, would give us a tremendous boost during the many hot, sweaty, insect-infested miles that lay ahead.
Miraculously he wrote back saying,
“I am hugely impressed that you are undertaking such a gruelling and challenging 5,000 mile run for such a vitally important cause and I pray you will not have too many blisters, mosquito bites and other travel scars by the time you return from such an extraordinary marathon (…) I send you both my kindness good wishes and admiration”.
His response had the desired effect of creating a spring in our step and we completed our challenge on 26th October 2013. Nearly nine months after running into the Caribbean Sea, I can no longer fit into my running clothes (!) but we finally met Prince Charles in Plymouth, on 15 July 2014, David’s birthday.
As Prince Charles approached I was aghast to find my lower lip wobbling and legs trembling. I don’t normally have stage fright and attribute this to being over seven months pregnant and over-emotional! He has striking pastel blue eyes and an incredibly warm and natural demeanour. I quickly pulled-my self together to answer with David his questions about the insects and road sores, whether we would be continuing our conservation work and when the baby was due.
It was a wonderful encounter and we feel truly privileged to have met someone whose voice is so important to safeguarding our incredible planet to which we all depend upon.