Seaford woman’s 2,000km solo challenge for Chestnut

Jayne Spencer's charity challenge for Chestnut Tree House SUS-160605-125950001

Jayne Spencer's charity challenge for Chestnut Tree House SUS-160605-125950001

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A Seaford woman has completed a solo 2,000km bike ride in Chile and raised £2,000 for Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice.

Jayne Spencer, has recently returned from cycle ride along the Carretera Austral in Chile and told the Gazette her story.

She said,“On Tuesday February 9 I set out to Patagonia on a solo, unsupported cycle ride.

“As well as a personal challenge I have been raising money for Chestnut Tree.

“I cycled 2,000km and climbed 23,000m, most of this on rough unmade road. Starting in Puerto Varas, Chile and ending in Punto Arenas, Chile. A section of my route went through Argentina.

“Throughout my journey my spirits were always high, despite being attacked by horse flies leading to badly swollen painful hands, being subjected to horrendous rain, wind that was at times impossible to ride in - whipping small stones and gravel into the air which beat against my skin, freezing temperatures and some high temperatures.

“But it was so worthwhile, the scenery was mostly stunning, snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and rivers, there was much wildlife and the people were so very friendly.

“Much of my trip I wild camped, cooking my food on a small alcohol burner. In Argentina, although the road was paved, the famous route 40 is endless, extremely windy and desolate, here I had to camp in storm drains.

“That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy some comforts - several nights I stayed in hostels/guest houses with wifi and hot showers.

“I was seen by several bemused people washing my hair in a glacial lake, yes it was freezing but I was rather dirty at the time.

“ My claim to fame is being told by a pro-cyclist of 11 years that one part of the Austral could not be cycled in two days and – yes, I cycled it in two days and was rewarded by a rest day beside the most beautiful setting imaginable.

“People hung out of their car windows to take photos of me and could not believe I was on my own.

“My bike and kit did me proud and my lucky charm - Morris the Meerkat - made sure I stayed safe.

“I did the ride in good time and managed to get three days of kayaking in Torres Del Paine where I kayaked close to the Serrano Glacier.

“The water was fast flowing, rough, cold and very scary at times but I live to tell the tale.”

Charlie Weeks, community fundraiser for Chestnut Tree, asid the charity was hugely impressed with the epic challenge undertaken by Jayne, especially as she completed the ride completely on her own.

He said , “We would like to say a massive thank you to Jayne for putting her Hands Up! to help.

“We are completely blown away by her for successfully completing this challenging ride.

“The money Jayne has raised will pay for ten home visits from a community nurse, an essential part of the care we provide for children with life-shortening conditions, allowing parents and carers to take a well-earned break from the round-the-clock responsibilities of caring for a sick child.”

Chestnut Tree House provides specialist palliative care services to 300 children and young people aged 19 and under with life-shortening conditions in East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire.

The services include advice and information for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions, specialist short breaks and emergency care.

For information on Chestnut Tree visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/handsup, call 01323 725095.

Jayne funded the trip herself but you can donate to the charity at her Just Giving site www.justgiving.com/Jaynespencer1.

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