(CNN) — Scottish adventurer Louis Hall has been traveling across Europe for almost three months, but the end point of his supposed 2,800-kilometer journey is almost in sight.
Hall, originally from Edinburgh, set out from Siena, Italy on March 24 on his horse Sasha, and the pair have since made their way through Tuscany into the Ligurian Mountains and into the Basque Country, France.
They are due to complete their incredible trip at Cape Finisterre, Spain, in the first week of July.
Hall’s latest adventure on horseback came two years after he had traveled all over the UK, and just a few months after he had traveled from Cornwall to Devon in the southwest of England to raise money for Afghan refugees through his fundraising organization. The Big Hoof, which supports charitable causes through horseback riding. Problems.
The adventurer, who also works as an actor, first started riding horses when he was a child, but in 2014 he traveled to Mongolia to help a friend struggling with mental health issues that fueled his passion for horses.
They ended up buying three horses to reach a certain tribe, and Hall says the experience awakened something in him.
“This whole trip has kind of taught me how to ride again,” he tells CNN Travel. “It was not about competitions, speed riding or jumping.
Louis Hall and his horse Sasha ride the Pyrenean Trail on an epic journey across Europe.
Louis Hall/Big Hoof
“It was a very, very spiritual and down to earth relationship. I stayed in touch with them. [horses] from that moment.”
After returning from Mongolia, Hall took the opportunity to spend time with and ride horses, and soon began working in a stable in London. He founded The Big Hoof in 2020.
On his first big charity trip in memory of his friend Leo Hall raised thousands of pounds for UK national charity Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
But soon after, the Covid-19 pandemic began, forcing much of the world to shut down. Once things started to pick up, Hall says he noticed a shift in how people around him see the world and in their ability to adventure.
“I felt, especially in the UK, that there was a little bit of magic left in people’s imaginations and the possibilities of what you think you could do and what you think you could do were very different after the pandemic and before the pandemic,” he says.
“Especially with the conversations I had with people of my generation and the assumptions made by the older generations, it all seemed to diminish.”
“The idea of going on an adventure, being free, meeting strangers and living in an optimistic world didn’t seem viable.”
Determined to prove that “there is still some magic in the world”, Hall decided it was time for an even bigger ride and came up with the idea of traveling from Italy to Spain on horseback.
Its goal was simple: to raise awareness about mental health and “perhaps to inspire people to believe in a world that still exists.”
While he was putting his plans into action, Russia…