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Bristol twins walk to the water for WaterAid

Twin brothers have completed a staggering 2,200 mile-walk (3,540 km) from Bristol to the Mediterranean to help transform lives with water and improved sanitation.

27 Aug 2013
Twin brothers Danny and Jake Graham, 26, have completed a staggering 2,200 mile-walk (3,540 km) from Bristol to the Mediterranean to help transform lives with water and improved sanitation.

Danny and Jake began their 'Walk to the Water' on 14 April and ended their journey in Menton in France on 21 August after four months of walking, camping and cooking for themselves. They have raised over £5,300 for WaterAid.

Danny said, "We have supported WaterAid for almost ten years as we both strongly believe that water is the most basic human need and everyone has a right to clean, safe water.

"This challenge increased our appreciation for water; it is the one thing that is always on our minds. Hygiene has also been a concern, especially when washing cutlery and bowls in river water that looked crystal clear but probably wasn't clean." 

The boys' route took them through Bath, Sells Green and Dover before they caught a ferry to Calais. They then continued their incredible walk through France, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland before finishing in the South of France.

Jake said, "The main motivation for doing the walk was that we both wanted a physical challenge that was more than the usual long distance of walk, making walking our lifestyle. We chose the route to experience different cultures, climates and landscapes, which in turn allowed us to experience varying wildlife, cuisine, and languages.

"The high point of the walk was seeing the Alps on the horizon for the first time, which we saw three weeks before stepping to their foothills."

They have battled multiple injuries over the last few months including bad backs, knees and ankles and exhaustion, as well as having had nearly 200 ticks between them.

They are especially thankful to the various 'trail angels' who have helped them along the way. This help included buying them food, cooking for them, showing them around the local areas and offering them a bed for the night.

Jake said: "We had a real low point in a place called Jiffy near Metz in France; we woke up to a thunderstorm, a back problem escalated for Danny and he was unable to move. We were both lying in the tent, not knowing what to do so Jake knocked on someone's door in the village and a kind lady took us in for two days."

Emma Blake, Senior Fundraising Officer at WaterAid, said: "We think it's amazing that Danny and Jake set themselves this impressive challenge; many congratulations to them on completing it. We really do appreciate their continued support for our work. It can cost as little as £15 to enable one person to access a lasting supply of clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene, therefore their fundraising efforts could transform the lives of 300 people."