Bob Donald may be 78 but he still has a spring in his step and he is planning to use it to endure an arduous 500-mile trek.
Next month he will head to Pied de Pont in France, where he will set off on a weeks-long journey to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in neighbouring Spain – raising money for a cause close to his heart at the same time.
He took inspiration from the unusual source of a television magician’s assistant.
Mr Donald admitted that he has never been to the north of Spain before but got the idea while watching a TV programme with Debbie McGee, the widow of entertainer Paul Daniels, where she was walking the same road.
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“I thought ‘I could do that’,” he said.
The 491-mile Camino de Santiago, or Way of Saint James, was one of the most prominent Christian pilgrimages and its use dates back to the year 812.
Thousands complete it every year and Ellon native Mr Donald is hoping to join their ranks by undertaking the trek for the Maggie’s centre in Aberdeen.
He said: “It will be quite the challenge but I’ve heard a lot about the good work Maggie’s does and thought ‘I’ll just go for it’.”
Mr Donald’s guidebook, which he plans to follow step-by-step, says the walk can be completed within 33 days – meaning he will be traversing about 15 miles every day.
But he remains undaunted by the high mileage he will have to put in.
He said: “I walk every day and I’ve twice walked the West Highland Way and climbed all of the Munros in Scotland.”
Mr Donald estimates that he travels around 70 miles each week by foot – including daily trips from his house to the nearby Tesco and back.
“That’s 4.3 miles and sometimes I will do that twice in a day,” he said. “And sometimes I go into the countryside instead.”
Paula Cormack, from Maggie’s in Aberdeen, said: “The Camino de Santiago is on my bucket list but I’m not sure I could tackle the full 500 miles in one trip.
“A couple of friends have walked it before and speak really highly of the experience.
“All of us here at Maggie’s are incredibly grateful to him for the brilliant effort he is putting in.
“Being entirely reliant on voluntary contributions, Maggie’s simply couldn’t offer the vital support and services provided at the centre without the backing of amazing people like Robert.”
To donate, visit justgiving.com and search for Robert Donald.