HitchHop Across Scotland's Islands ~ Fundraising for RNLI
29 June 2011
How many islands can you set foot on in
the space of two weeks?
That's the question Jim Campbell and Brian Ferguson have set
themselves for HitchHop - a hitch-hiking,
island-hopping challenge they are embarking on in the west coast of
Scotland this July, in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat
Inspired by a love of Scotland's islands, the pair of fundraisers,
both from the Leith area of Edinburgh, plan to see how many of them
they can get to within 14 days next month, en route to the
Hebridean Celtic Festival - www.hebceltfest.com.
The travel challenge will begin at a yet-to-be announced ferry port
on July 1st and will finish at the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis,
the most northerly point of the Outer Hebrides, before Jim and
Brian take in the four-day festival in Stornoway.
As well as raising funds for the lifesaving organisation, and
awareness of the work of the RNLI, Jim, who works in the mental
health sector, and Brian, a journalist, are also planning to
promote the magic of Scotland's west coast and the experiences to
be found there via updates on social networking sites.
HitchHop will have five key rules:
* Both Jim and Brian have to see foot on an island for it to
* All islands will count whether or not they are inhabited - and
even if they are connected to another island or the mainland by a
bridge or causeway.
* Although Jim and Brian will be using ferries, they will be mainly
relying on the goodwill of others to get around during the
* They will accept an offer of a lift, either on dry land or across
water, on any form of transport.
* Although they may make some travel plans in advance, they will
not accept any lifts until the day they are travelling.
Jim, 39, said, 'After coming up with the idea for the challenge we
were keen to raise money for an organisation that would mean
something to every island community.
'The RNLI just seemed the perfect choice because of the
huge role it plays in protecting islanders and visitors to the
islands, and we're looking forward to visiting as many stations as
we can during the challenge.'
'There's loads of islands we'd like to visit during HitchHop, but a
lot will come down to where our lifts take us, either on dry land,
or on water. Whatever happens, we're going to need a bit of luck
along the way.'
Brian, 38, added, 'We haven't set an official target but we'd like
to think we could visit at least 30 islands if we get half-decent
weather, although we'll be giving it our best shot whatever the
'Although Jim and I are both regular visitors to the Hebrides, this
is a real step into the unknown for both of us, as we have no idea
where we'll end up or when, and we're particularly excited about
setting foot on islands that we've never been to before.
'We hope to inspire people who have never visited the islands to
give them a try and discover the amazing scenery and fascinating
history round almost every corner.
''Our hitching and hopping will be over by the time we make it to
Hebridean Celtic Festival. Hopefully we'll have enough energy left
to enjoy this great festival to the full!"