ONE man and his dog are taking to the Thames for a journey of a lifetime from this week, despite neither of them having sat in a canoe before last year.
Sean Bedford and his Pyrenean sheepdog Blue will paddle from Crickdale in Wiltshire to Teddington to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
The 45-year-old property developer from Rockwell End near Hambleden will carry his house on his back during the 135-mile journey, camping and roughing it in a bid to raise as much as possible for his chosen cause.
The route will take the inseparable pair through 47 locks and under 75 bridges, taking in six counties along the way.
And having never picked up a paddle until earlier this year, Mr Bedford has been training hard to complete the gruelling stretch in under ten days.
He said: "I have been doing it since the beginning of the year, going out with a club to get some practise. But it’s going to be quite a challenge.
"I’ve not done much camping before either so I’m not quite sure why I thought of it in the first place. But whatever happens it will be nothing like what some of those children (at GOSH) are going through.
"Blue loves the water, she’s a very smart dog and luckily needs a lot of activity. Maybe if I get tired I’ll give her a paddle!
"The biggest challenge will probably be the weather – if it rains the whole time it will be pretty depressing."
The pair set off on their adventure on Friday and Mr Bedford says he has already had calls from people along the route offering for him to stay, including an outdoors activity centre.
And the intrepid adventurer says he hopes more people are willing to support his cause and cheer him and his pooch on as they reach the finish line in Teddington later this month.
To find out more about donating towards Mr Bedford's fundraising journey, email firstname.lastname@example.org