Idealistic Briton abandons money-less walk to India

February 29th, 2008 - 7:34 pm ICT by admin  

London, Feb 29 (IANS) A young British businessman who set out on a much-publicised money-less mission to walk from Bristol to India is back in Britain, having given up even before leaving the shores of Europe. Mark Boyle, 28, left Bristol in Southeast England Jan 30 on a 9,000-mile trek that would take him two-and-a-half years to complete, saying he would depend on the generosity of strangers.

But Boyle, who wanted his mission to show his faith in humanity, said he “came a cropper” after reaching Calais, the French coastal town, where locals took him to be a freeloader or asylum seeker.

In Britain, the former dotcom businessman had been overwhelmed by free food and accommodation offered by complete strangers, including many Asians.

But in Calais, a town that is the traditional port of entry for many illegal immigrants in France, his inability to speak French meant he had to go cold and hungry.

“In hindsight, even though I was working round the clock before I left, I still need some time (to think over) just where we came a cropper really,” Boyle told the BBC Friday.

Before setting out on his journey Boyle said: “We need to get back to a more communal way of living. I will be offering my skills to people. If I get food in return, it’s a bonus.”

Equipped with only a few T-shirts, a bandage and spare sandals, Boyle wanted to publicise an American movement that wants to build money-less economies.

Even though he was spurned in Calais, the idealistic businessman is not about to give up on his mission - he will now walk along the coast of Britain learning French.

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