The army officer who walked 2,800 miles from Cyprus to London for charity on Tuesday: “It’s good to be home.”
Captain Ed Lloyd Owen, 34, was chased by feral dogs, doused with urine and battled temperatures of 44C to raise £25,000 for injured soldiers.
He came up with the idea while on a UN-peacekeeping mission on the island, where he was serving a four-month stint as an intelligence officer with 2nd Battalion, Mercian Regiment.
In March, Owen set off from Nicosia, passing through nine countries over five months in aid of the Walking With The Wounded charity. He finally made it home on Thursday.
“About a month in, I was in Turkey on a mountain road and it was rammed with traffic near a rubbish dump when I found myself surrounded by three dogs who just saw me as dinner,” he told London’s Evening Standard. “I managed to fend them off with walking sticks but it was terrifying.
“In Italy I had a bottle of urine thrown over me by some young men at the end of the day after walking 24 miles.
“They must’ve thought it was funny but I didn’t realise what happened until later. It was the hottest day they had for years and it was 44 degrees with 80 per cent humidity. It was the toughest part of the whole trip.”
Owen walked for six hours a day for 121 days, averaging about 25 miles with just a kit bag, one change of clothes and two walking sticks. His route took him through Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Italy, Switzerland and France. He arrived in England at the weekend and was met by Chelsea Pensioners.
At home in Worlds End, he said: “There’s been a huge amount of stress but when I saw the white cliffs of Dover I felt I’d arrived and it was all worth it.”
Owen’s trip was backed by US financier Jeff Urbina, one of his photography clients and a partner at William Blair investment bank in the City.
He said: “Jeff is the reason I could do this and without him I would’ve had to stop in Albania. He thinks very highly of the British Army, despite being an American citizen. He wanted to help.