Five Previous Hikes for Hope, and now a Sixth in Ethiopia!

More than a decade ago Marcus Setchell (now Sir Marcus) came up with the idea of us linking up for a ‘Hike for Hope’ in order to raise funds for both gynaecological and urological charities. Marcus and I met up with Ann Frampton, from Action for Charity (now Dream Challenges), and plans were made for our first Hike for Hope in Jordan across the desert to Petra. What an adventure that was! A tough but unforgettable trek across the desert, sweating beneath a hot sun, camping out beneath the stars, finally reaching our apotheosis: the unique archeological wonder that is Petra, reaching its amazing temples and palaces carved into the pink rock via the ‘ledge of death’!

As a result of the spectacular success (more than £600,000 raised) of the first Hike for Hope adventure, a second trek was organized, this one across the Rift Valley in Kenya. Once again we found ourselves walking 20 or so miles a day, often sleeping outside our tents beneath a cloudless sky, only occasionally disturbed by the distant sounds of African wildlife. 

Our third trek found us back in a desert clime, this time the Sinai desert (now out of bounds because of terrorist threat). Starting with a climb to the top of Mount Sinai, we set off across the desert, accompanied by Bedouin tribesman with their camels transporting our provisions, passing amazing rock foundations, struggling up sand dunes and traversing dried up river valleys, all the way to the Red Sea.

Subsequently, our intrepid band of hikers travelled to India to hike in the hills of Kerala, through tropical jungle and spectacular tea plantations. We marched on, undeterred by leeches, which attached themselves to our legs and swelled alarmingly after feasting on our blood and had to be carefully detached at the end of every day.

The fifth Hike for Hope took us to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and, because of the inclement weather, turned out to be the most difficult of all. The mountains themselves were challenging enough, but a Westerly weather system brought us freezing wind and rain which penetrated our clothes, rucksacks and bedding and had us sheltering in shepherds cottages and goat huts because the deluge precluded the use of tents. Sir Marcus, having neglected to pack a waterproof jacket, was reduced to wearing a plastic bin liner (see below right)! Cumulatively the five Hikes for Hope raised more than £1.3 million!

Now, after a six-year respite, we have decided to embark on yet another adventure. This one in the Simian Mountains of Ethiopia from 17th – 27th November 2018 – in order to raise funds jointly for The Urology Foundation and Wellbeing of Women.

This tough seven-day trek will take us along the Simien Mountain chain to its highest peak at Ras Dashen, which sits at a whopping 4,533m above sea level. Along the way we will be surrounded by stunning vistas of lush green valleys and dramatic ridges (see below image). We will look out for the elusive and endangered Simien Wolf, the Lammergeyer (a bearded vulture), the famous Galia Baboons and the Walia Ibex (a large mountain goat). Do come along with us.

For more information and to sign up for this fantastic challenge please click on the secure link below:


Comments (5) Add yours ↓
  1. Andrew Etherington Retired

    I have been lucky enough to have accompanied Roger and Marcus on their Hike for Hope adventures and each has been a unique experience – enhanced by financial success.

    All have taken us outside our pedestrian comfort zone and allowed us to be physically and mentally challenged. There have been many exciting surprises along the way but equally many rewards for our efforts.

    Ethiopia promises to be another amazing experience and I will be joining our leaders on the sixth Hike for Hope fund raiser.

    March 25, 2018 Reply
  2. Roger Kirby Professor of Urology

    I am posting this comment to give you a gentle nudge to sign up for Hike for Hope Ethiopia and/or Cycle Costa Rica for TUF!
    They are both fantastic itineraries and come highly recommended by Henk!
    You can find out more about Hike for Hope and register using the following secure link: we really need your support!
    And for TUF Cycle Costa Rica:
    Do sign up for these Challenges to raise badly needed funds for The Urology Foundation (TUF).
    You will be made most welcome

    July 10, 2018 Reply
  3. Sir Marcus Setchell Retired Obstetrician/Gynaecologist

    Having retired from medical practice completely, I am very active in several medical charities in various roles. I’m still involved with the NHS, now in my 50th year of service, and 40 years with Wellbeing of Women, currently being its Hon. President.
    Although Roger and I thought we had retired from trekking, I was thrilled when we were asked to dust down the walking boots, and do another Hike for Hope, especially when it was decided that Ethiopia was to be the destination. It must be one of the most exciting places on earth to visit with its rich and diverse culture, ancient cathedrals, fabulous scenery, the beauty and magnitude of the Simien mountains, and delightful friendly people.
    My son David and I can’t wait to see all this, and encourage anyone with a spirit of adventure to sign up for what will be an unforgettable experience. Reasonable fitness is all that’s required and perhaps some practice day walks in hilly terrain. I have never met anyone… (well… perhaps one!) of the 300 hundred or more people who have trekked with us on 5 Hike for Hopes who didn’t thoroughly enjoy them, many of them coming back again and again.

    July 17, 2018 Reply
  4. Sir Harry Solomon Director

    Hike for Hope and the Charity this represents does so much good work for so many people and I have been very happy to support that work over the years. I have also participated in some of the Hike for Hope treks and I must say the venues were most enjoyable and enlightening. We shared unforgettable experiences in unique parts of the world.

    July 19, 2018 Reply
  5. Roger Kirby Professor of Urology

    All donations gratefully received. All the funds raised will be divided equally between TUF and WoW.
    Here is the link to my Just Giving page:
    Please give generously.

    July 28, 2018 Reply

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