A girl who walked from Glasgow to Rome is over the moon after assembly the Pope and described the encounter as “unbelievable”.
Geraldine McFaul, 54, set off from her residence in Scotland at first of May and arrived within the Italian capital final Saturday.
Ms McFaul’s six-month trek noticed her averaging round 12 miles a day, travelling by way of the UK, France, Switzerland and ever over the Alps.
Throughout her journey she has been elevating funds for Mary’s Meals and Dementia UK.
At the top of her strolling journey, she was greeted by a welcome celebration of family members who had flown to Italy to rejoice together with her.
Ms McFaul attended a normal viewers on the Vatican on Wednesday alongside her 94-year-old godfather Desmond McGowan and a buddy, and was then invited to fulfill Pope Francis.
The assembly got here as an enormous shock as she solely came upon the day earlier than.
Ms McFaul informed Sky News: “It was unreal. It was such a surprise, but unbelievable because it was just so unexpected.
“I did not chat to him, however he was simply pretty with an enormous beaming smile and an enormous robust handshake.
“It was just so nice. It was amazing just to be so close to him and get to meet him.”
The Pope was gifted with a parcel that included books from Mary’s Meals and a letter from founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, highlighting Ms McFaul’s fundraising.
Ms McFaul selected Mary’s Meals in reminiscence of her father, Pat, and Dementia UK to acknowledge the help her mom, Agnes, obtained earlier than she died in April 2022.
She has created JustGiving pages and has raised greater than £10,000 for the 2 charities.
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Years earlier than she set off, Ms McFaul dreamed of strolling from Glasgow to Rome. Following the loss of life of her mum, she determined to move out into the good open air.
Ms McFaul met new associates alongside the way in which and was joined by family members on a number of events.
She stated assembly the Pope was the spotlight of her journey, however added: “The highs – physically and emotionally – was getting to the top of the Alps. I didn’t think I would make it.”
Ms McFaul struggled at some factors because of the heat climate.
She stated: “I did have three blocks of heatwave and that just about killed me. But I always told myself ‘don’t worry about tomorrow, just get through today’.”
Ms McFaul praised all those that helped her alongside the way in which.
She added: “Even if something was starting to go a bit wonky, somebody would appear just at the right point.
“It by no means occurred to me to me to come back residence and it by no means occurred to me to get a bus or a practice and skip bits.”
The freelance threat administration advisor arrived again in Balornock on Friday and stated it will likely be tough to ever “top” that journey.
She now intends to spend a while at residence and plans to take pleasure in a number of extra native – and shorter – walks.