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Two weeks into his mammoth 500 mile walk across Scotland, Edoardo Bedin this week visited Arran shining a light on Brodick Castle, one of many closed historic properties across Scotland.
One of the most significant parts of his five-week journey so far has been the people he has met.
He has been bowled over by the generosity and support of the Scottish people he has encountered along the way, saying ‘what amazing people the Scots are’.
As he has passed by, with his bunting and lantern hanging from his rucksack, and with his National Trust For Scotland (NTS) umbrella in hand, businesses have fed him pizza for lunch, cake for afternoon tea, cookies for snacks and lasagna for supper.
His arrivals at these closed historic properties have been cause for celebration as staff and volunteers delight in welcoming him since they are unable to welcome the public as a result of the Covid crisis.
Edoardo, who lives in Aberdeenshire, has been marching out across Scotland to raise awareness of the jeopardy of the country’s heritage resulting from closures during the Covid crisis and is raising money along the way to try to open doors sooner.
Archaeologist and historian Edoardo is currently a furloughed NTS employee and he and hundreds of his colleagues will find out if they are being made redundant in the next few weeks.
With the properties closed, there is no income to pay them to work at these precious places.
He is visiting 23 closed heritage properties on his road-pounding trip to draw attention to their closure and to raise money to help re-open them. He has already raised nearly £2,000 of his £5,000 target.
He has walked to 11 properties so far and said: ‘History explains where we’ve been and it guides where we are going.’
Supporters have hosted him overnight in anything from a summer house to a tent in their garden and hotels have offered him complimentary hospitality.
The Hitting The Road For The Love Of Scotland epic challenge started two weeks ago and Edoardo has so far clocked up 360km of his 800km target.
Not a seasoned hiker, Edoardo has found his fitness has improved. About a week into his long distance walk, he was pleased he no longer had pains in his legs when he stopped for a quick break and that the four or five hour recovery time for his legs each evening was lessening as he got fitter.
Now two weeks in, he is tired at the end of each day but is bouncing along the road and said: ‘When I take off my heavy backpack I feel as though I could fly!’
Having walked through so many miles of Scotland’s beautiful countryside from Aberdeenshire to Edinburgh, Glasgow and over to Arran, he said: ‘The beauty of Scotland’s scenery is immense. I’m loving all of this – the geography, the views, the people. This is a country worth this walk.’
After he left Arran on Tuesday, he was due to walk to Glasgow and the central belt to highlight three more closed properties. He will then make his way back north to Aberdeenshire, visiting the remaining eight precious sites before his homecoming at Haddo House on Sunday August 30.
You can follow Edoardo’s journey on Facebook at Hitting The Road for the Love of Scotland and on Instagram at @HittingTheRoad4LoveOfScotland or support him on his JustGiving page.
Edoardo during his visit to Arran this week. NO_B33edorado01