Explorer Story

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
when the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Excerpt from the Poem: Don't Quit by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)?

Lets face it life is full of unexpected twists and turns and expeditions or long journeys don’t always run smooth. Indeed, they can run into extreme challenges, which require shear guts, determination and staying power if the traveller is to move forward and ultimately reach his or her objective.

The same applies here with Paul and Mark the guys behind the 'Wye Explorer' project becuase put simply things weren't always coherent at all. In their formative years they were talented athletes but like being in the midst of an unexpected storm they went from fit to floundering down and outs within half a decade. For the next 17 – 20 years they would be seen lay in the gutter often unaware of the world around them a far cry from athletic figures, clean poolside’s and the well run venues they once knew in the world of swimming.

Me Swim

Mark remarkably swimming in 2000 during a respite from the street life. It lasted 6 months and he was back.

As athletic twins they stood out before but as down and out twins they became the ideal target for ridicule and bullying on multiple levels, which added to the complications making for two very desperate and depressed human beings. On the brink something had to give. They never forgot how fit and healthy they once were and whilst languishing in the filthiest of places they would dream of its return. As they continued tapping for money on the street, foraging in bins, recovering from brutal sessions and coming into conflict with a world that deemed them a
social disaster the split between this and their dream was agonising. It would not go away.

Throughout they found themselves amid the rivers, the meadows, the woods and the hills in recovery. Slowly but surely nature became a powerful source of 'conscious inspiration' and healing and it was here they would feel a sense of belongng and even acceptance as identical twin brothers because nature simply didn't discriminate. They wanted more of this good feeling and so with basic kit (heavy) they would go off on hikes and overnight camps into the mountains and countryside having to stop regularly on the way to catch their breath and rest. Twenty years of abuse had taken its toll and they were clearly out of shape and enamoured with the negative thinking that comes with such neglect.


Two places in Hereford where brothers Paul and Mark would spend their time over a 17 - 20 year period - The underside of a dual carriageway and a grave stone

Although rough they maintain
their friends had beauty - Link to image

Mark on the Frome having picked up something additional - Black Mountains & The Monnow & Paul with outdoorsmen and friend Chris Loanwolf

The sack

The actual skips. Foraging - Surviving - Hunting & literally trying to keep a dream alive

Closer to home 'John Lofty Wiseman' best selling author, survival expert and former SAS RSM backs this up by saying: It’s very rewarding to see the River Wye receiving some recognition for all the joy and beauty it brings. I think that ww.wyeexplorer.co.uk have done a grand job of doing just this. The Wye is the main artery in Herefordshire and Mid Wales, creating a magnificent landscape wherever it meanders. The abundant wild life it supports is so diverse from plants, birds, fish and many other creatures making it appealing to everyone. Seeped in history it records the past and with this publicity can help to shape the future. Keep up the good work boys, you are doing a brilliant job.

Lofty (Wiseman) http://www.loftywiseman.co.uk/


We are hugely proud of both and eternally greatful for their support. Beyond the well known the project has of course received some encouraging words from friends and ordinary folk alike. For their thoughts go to People Support.

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