A courageous Councillor cycled 892 miles through Nepal and India in only two weeks to raise money for the Merton Mayor’s chosen charity.
A courageous Councillor cycled 892 miles through Nepal and India in only two weeks to raise money for the Merton Mayor’s chosen charity, Parkinson’s UK.
Jeff Hanna cycled solo from India’s New Delhi to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, storming through India at 90 miles a day before the mountains of Nepal took their toll.
His route was off the beaten track and away from the usual tourist destinations – some nights sleeping under the stars when there was nowhere to stay.
Mr Hanna, who had cycled to Jordan previously, said: “It was the toughest uphill climb I’ve ever done.”
During the ride he took in some of nature’s greatest sights while dining with the locals at road-side stalls.
The highlights included reaching the 2488m summit of the Simbhanjyang Pass en-route to the Himalayas.
“My first view of the Himalayas was superb,” said Mr Hanna.
“I felt immensely privileged to have had this opportunity, and was impressed with the friendliness, kindness and helpfulness of the Indian and Nepalese people towards a stranger passing through.”
Councillor Gam Gurung, a friend born in Nepal, suggested the idea after Mr Hanna spoke of his experiences with the Nepalese community through his former role as a head-teacher there.
The money raised will go to the Merton branch of Parkinson’s UK to help their ongoing campaign to fight the disease which one in 500 are afflicted with.
The Mayor, Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender, said she chose the charity as she believes it is a very distressing condition, both for sufferers and their families.
Norma Elliott, the charity’s Branch and Volunteer Support Officer, said they can plan more activities for Parkinson’s sufferers with these funds.
“It allows these people to be more active which is what they need otherwise they just stay in and get lonely,” said Ms Elliott.
The Mayor said: “We are very proud of Councillor Hanna’s achievements for such a worthy charity, and we were very pleased to welcome him back at last week’s council meeting.”
Donations are ongoing. To donate please make cheques payable to The Mayor of Merton’s Charity at Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX.