Many people love a challenge, particularly if it’s for charity – but Sue Pinkney has a habit of pushing it to physical extremes.
The Bonnybank Inn host has tackled the Great Wall of China and the Inca Trail in Peru – having developed a taste for more demanding challenges after the Kiltwalk, the MoonWalk and the West Highland Way.
It’s absolutely amazingSue Pinkney
Her next ambition is to conquer Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro.
However, family, colleagues and friends have been hailing her latest charity venture – a walk along the famed Icelandic Lava Trail.
Sue (51) has raised around £1500 for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) and £250 for the Race for Life from her three-day trek through some of northern Europe’s most uncompromising terrain.
She wanted to support CHAS and Rachel House on this occasion, as it was such a well-known and important charity and various staff at the Bonnybank Inn volunteered for it.
Mum of four Sue said it was a bizarre experience, walking in volcanic territory in the Icelandic highlands, where it never got dark and there was just “mountain after mountain and fields of lava”.
The group – including 20 others from around England, Ireland, Singapore and Malaysia – trekked past the volcano at Eyjafjallajökull, which famously erupted in 2010, disgorging an ash cloud which caused huge disruption to air travel across Europe.
The complicated route through the lava trail was around 60 kms, or 35 miles, but the area was hit with a 25-year record snowfall for the time of year, which meant roads were closed, support vehicles could not get through, and the team had to walk further than they bargained for.
“It’s two and a half hours away from here – and it’s a different world,” said Sue. “It’s absolutely amazing.”
Bonnybank Inn waitress Laura Cobban told the Mail: “We are all so proud to work for someone who gives so much to others.”
Sue’s philosophy was quite simple: “Everybody wants help and everybody needs help.
“If you can raise money to help anybody, you should do it.”