A retired schoolteacher who aimed to walk 1047 miles around Wales in no more than 70 days is due to continue his fundraiser after local restrictions forced him to pause the event.

Huw Evans, 66, from St Dogmaels, completed nearly half of the Wales Coast Path walk from Cardigan/Poppit Sands clockwise via Lleyn Peninsula and Anglesey to Prestatyn, which is nearly 500 miles.

Speaking about his decision to pause the event, Huw said: “I arrived in Prestatyn on 23rd September, 29 days after leaving Poppit. But because accommodation was proving difficult to find along Offa's Dyke, due to the increasing concern about the rising levels of Covid infection among BnB and hotel owners, I decided to return home. I am disappointed that I had to do this but know it was the correct decision.”

He is keen to get his walking shoes back on to complete his Route 66 Cymru Wales challenge, which is something that Huw, who is originally from Carmarthenshire, has been wanting to do for ten years. 

Despite taking early retirement, the former assistant head at Cardigan Secondary School continued to teach on a part-time basis and later in a student role, which meant he couldn’t dedicate the time to take on the walk. Now that he’s completely retired, Huw has the time to do it.  

He will set off this weekend (Saturday, 10 October) on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path – Pendine to Tenby.

His walk will continue from Tenby to Freshwater East. He will carry on walking until he reaches Newport and hopes to finish his walk at Poppit, which is where he started the original Route 66 fundraiser.

The grandfather-of-two, who is aiming to raise £5,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance and the RNLI, has so far raised £2,500 for the charities.

Huw had been lucky with the weather and only got ‘soaking wet twice’. He has received a lot of support from the public during his walks. He added: “I’ve met really nice and supportive people on the walk, two of which have donated. Three campsite owners have waived the stay fee. One owner went around the people staying there and collected £50. How good is that? When the knees hurt these things keep you going.”

Reflecting on continuing the challenge, Huw said: “I can’t wait to get going again. It’s been ‘itchy feet’ for the past two weeks. If things stay as they are regarding Covid-19 restrictions, I’ll tackle the Carmarthenshire stage of the path straight after.”

Huw decided to pick the Wales Air Ambulance as one of the charities to fundraise for because ‘it’s only funded by donations and provides the Children’s Wales Air Ambulance transfer service’. 

He said: “Also, I have seen them in action at close quarters when my neighbour suffered a very serious head injury and survived because of the swift but calm treatment received and the speed of transfer to hospital.” 

The Wales Air Ambulance Mid and South Wales Fundraising Manager, Mark Stevens, said: “Thank you to Huw for fundraising for two important charities. After ten years of wanting to do the challenge, Huw finally had the chance and despite the local lockdown restrictions forcing him to pause his challenge, he has decided to put his walking shoes back on to continue his fundraiser.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported Huw and we wish him well with the second part of his fundraiser.” 

You can show your support to Huw by sponsoring him via his Just Giving page Huw Evans ROUTE66 CYMRUWALES.