TWO intrepid brothers are almost half-way through a once-in-a-lifetime experience in aid of a charity close to their hearts.
Richard and Nick Parker have embarked on a 100-mile, week-long hike along the Great Wall of China in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, in memory of their mum Gillian.
The Easington Village pair arrived in Beijing on Monday.
Richard, who is 44 this year – the same age his mum was when she died from breast cancer in 1984 – contacted the Echo while on the epic trip, which has already seen them conquer Heaven’s Ladder, a steep climb on the route involving around 2,000 steps.
He said: “All is well and the weather is warmer than expected.
“We have conquered Heaven’s Ladder and seen some breathtaking views – no amount of pictures would do justice to the place.”
Richard, who is licensee at JT Finns Irish Bar, in Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery, and is on the walk with other Macmillan fundraisers, added that having reached the peak of the second day of the trip, a minute’s silence for loved ones was held, which was “quite surreal and a very moving moment for everyone”.
He said he and Nick have stayed in a mountain village which was very rural, with an open fire and “a few well-deserved local beers and yet more noodles”.
They initially set themselves a £10,000 “One in a Gillian” charity challenge in memory of their mum, a former magistrate and member of Easington Parish Council – but have alreadr raised £12,000 through various events.