Mark Randall was elated yesterday he entered Jerusalem at the end of a 7,000 kms journey that began in Gibraltar on 1 April this year.
“I thought my challenge was impossible at some of the stages of my journey. I really was not sure,” he told the Chronicle yesterday morning minutes after he had reached his destination.
“I approach the Jaffa Gate, the entrance to the old city carrying the flag of Gibraltar. In front my wife, daughter and a group of Gibraltarian and Israeli friends who were there to greet me. They clap, cheer and sing as I take my final steps, all wondering how I ever got this far,” he says.
The former Commanding Officer of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment admits he was overwhelmed by it all and that the journey had been tough.
“I am overwhelmed by the significance of it all; the history, the Holy sites, the hospitality of the people and the warm reception, and by the fact that I am finally here.”
The feeling he explains is quite simply “incredible”.
He walked and cycled over 7,000 kms to Athens, stopped in Cyprus and flew to Tel Aviv from where the final stretch to him to Jerusalem. He has walked 5,700 kms and cycled 1,300 kms.
As he entered the city yesterday walking the street of Jerusalem he takes a moment to reflect on all he has experienced over the past nine months.
“I realised that whilst I walked on my own for most of the time I was really never alone. I would never have made it without the support of all those who helped me along the way and the encouragement of everyone back home. I always felt Gibraltar was behind me every step of the way.”
He admits it is the people too he has met along the way which helped make it possible for him.
“Throughout the journey I met many great people and discovered that people are there to help, they always want to help, and we forget that there are many good people out there. They all helped too.”
Now Mark prepares to return home this week. The Chronicle diary of Mark’s journey continues next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as he flies back to the Rock.