AFTER a failed attempt earlier in the year, Rhiannon Rees has completed her journey across the country.
The Monk Bretton resident, who suffers from autism and Meniere’s disease, first attempted the trip from Land’s End to John o’ Groats with an autism group back in April however had to stop after coming down with a bad chest infection.
After preparing for months, she tried again last week to face her fears and explore the sights of the country, both on foot and by using public transport to raise awareness for Barnsley charity Action for Autism.
The first leg of the journey took her to London where she faced her first problems.
She said: “I use an easy walker to help with balance – I look drunk without it.
“I was nervous about the London Underground – I had not been for a very long time and didn’t know how the Meniere’s disease would respond to the pressure.
“I did find it extremely hot in places, but people were very helpful.
“I got to Tottenham Court and found I had a flight of stairs to negotiate – three beefy bikers silently appeared and asked me where I was going.
“They calmly lifted the easy walker to the top of the stairs whilst I pranced up, pretending it wasn’t an issue.
“That was the hardest part of the journey so I treated myself to a few Paddington gifts.”
From London she took the Caledonian Sleeper Train through to Scotland, which was a particular highlight of the journey.
“It was a treat, but I never really imagined I would be using an old blanket and scarf to keep warm.
“The absolutely glorious sunrise was a delight to see, though.
“The rest of the journey was uneventful, I got to John o’ Groats and to the B and B – on Saturday for my own reward I am going on a day trip to Loch Ness.
“To the autism group that I started out with back in April, it’s been the most glorious adventure.
“Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to accept help when it’s offered.”