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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Xmas in paradise

A former Cockermouth School pupil who quit his job to cycle 10,000 miles around the world spent Christmas on a tropical island south of Thailand.

James Desmond, 26, who worked at the Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency (CREA), set off in July on his six-to-nine-month trek.

Writing to the News & Star, James said: “Last week I was in Bangkok after a couple of weeks off the bike trekking to Everest base camp.

“I cycled down the Thailand coast after that and spent Christmas on a tropical island to the south. “It’s a bit different sitting on the beach to the cold in Cumbria.

“I Skyped my family on Christmas Day.”

James is hoping to raise £5,000 for two charities – The Lake District-based Calvert Trust and Solar Aid, which aims to eradicate kerosene lamps from Africa by the end of the decade.

James has recently visited Iran and will shortly head to Singapore.

He also visited many other cities including Budapest, Istanbul, Vienna and Sofia.

In his blog this month, after staying with an ex-Army officer in Iran, he said: “It had been an interesting experience and I was thankful that we’d been taken in, but sometimes being hosted leaves you more tired than when you arrived.”

During his travels James has been staying in hostels and student dormitories.

He hopes to eventually reach Sydney in Australia – his final destination.

James resigned from his job at CREA – providing environmental advice to businesses in Cumbria – to take part in the Bike to the Future cycle expedition.

The aim is to raise both funds and awareness for good causes through sponsored challenges.

The project includes helping with charity projects encountered on the journey, and he will stop to work with schemes when he can.

PMcClounie@cngroup.co.uk

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