Travel: Something To Declare

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A grand plan: It's always rewarding to learn that readers have been inspired to travel to a place we write about in these pages, but it's not every day we manage to inspire a marathon.

After reading my article about a walk along the Clarendon Way between Winchester and Salisbury which appeared in The Independent on 25 October last year, keen runner Paul Elderkin decided to organise a charity marathon along the route, which is conveniently a little more than 26 miles in length. It takes place on 27 September and will be opened by the British 400m runner, Iwan Thomas.

Although it is aimed primarily at regular runners, Paul says that anyone willing to jog is welcome to come along and run part of the course. The aim is to raise money for the Magpie MRI Scanner Appeal for the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester and the Patient Monitor Appeal for Salisbury District Hospital.

The route passes through some of Hampshire's and Wiltshire's most picturesque villages and rolling countryside. "We're looking for 500 people to take part," said Mr Elderkin. "I read about the walk and it's on my doorstep. I do a lot of running myself and the course seems ideal. It's a historic area and runners should bear in mind there will be stiles and narrow footpaths."

Mr Elderkin has a maximum limit of 500 entrants and anyone who would like to take part should obtain an application form by writing to: The Race Director, c/o Sports Development Department, Riverside Leisure Centre, Gordon Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 7DD.


A good idea: The end of summer means the best unlimited travel deal in Wales falls in price this month. The Freedom of Wales Flexipass is reduced by pounds 10 to pounds 59 on 28 September. The ticket allows eight days travel out of any 15, at just pounds 7.40 per day. This permits travel on all National Railways in Wales and extends into England as far as Hereford, Shrewsbury, Crewe and Chester. It also covers the Ffestiniog Mountain Railway, plus a couple of strategic bus routes. Full details in the 1998/99 edition of the Public Transport Map for Wales, free from branches of the Wales Tourist Board, Cardiff, on 01222 227821.

Not such a good idea: Contributions to the autumn edition of Traveller magazine.

"On safari in East Africa, do not hand over money to the young children begging at the side of the road. Many are missing valuable school time to profit from passing tourists ... The best way to break the chain is not to give anything at all in person. Visitors can contribute by donating medical kits, pens and books to a safari guide who can give them to a bush school or clinic."

"One day, while sipping a cold beer [in Thailand], I was solicited yet again, when I hit upon a simple ploy to discourage these approaches ... I explained that I was very religious, being a Roman Catholic priest, and could not possibly consider accepting such an offer. The young lady left quickly. I was just congratulating myself on the effectiveness of my white lie when she returned and said `Maybe you want boy'."

`Traveller' magazine is free to members of Wexas International; 0171- 589 0500 for details of subscriptions