‘I could feel the heat, smell the sulphur’ – Blind Letchworth fundraiser returns home after Iceland hike in aid of Royal National Institute of Blind People
- Credit: Archant
A blind Letchworth fundraiser has returned home after completing a sponsored trek across Iceland to raise money for others affected by sight loss.
Fazilet Hadi, of South View, walked about 36km over the three days in aid of the Royal National Institute of Blind People, and celebrated her 59th birthday in a hut halfway through.
“That was a birthday I’ll always remember,” she said. “We were all shattered after 12 hours out, but I did get a Happy Birthday song. It was actually someone else’s birthday too.
“The whole trip was amazing. We had 25 sighted and 10 partially-sighted or blind walkers – some from RNIB and others local Icelandic people, who were so good to us.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have great weather. On my birthday I’d just sat down to eat when the heavens opened and I was covered in hail. Not everyone’s idea of a birthday!”
Fazilet, who works for RNIB as its group director for engagement, told the Comet she could feel the heat and smell the sulphur coming up through the volcanic landscape.
“They stopped and described things to us because it’s different to England,” she said.
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“It sounded like it was really spectacular.
“There’s no trails in Iceland, it’s as nature left it – difficult terrain. We made our way across these lava fields, and it was like walking on a big springy cushion. It was quite challenging. You can feel the heat, the steam. Coming out of the ground you can smell the sulphur.
“There were rocky bits, rivers to cross – the local guides put stepping stones in the rivers and helped us all across. At other tricky parts they’d always ask if we needed help.
“There was a real sense of team spirit. I was really quite proud of myself and what everyone had achieved.”
RNIB works to make the world a better place for blind and partially-sighted people with initiatives such as the Talking Book Service, which gives Fazilet the joy of reading.
It also produces books of all kinds in audio, large print and braille.
As the Comet went to press Fazilet had raised £1,244 – just under half of her £2,500 target.
To sponsor her fundraising, see justgiving.com/fazilethadi.