Cricket fan's testing walk

Englishman Robin Moore reaches Queenstown on his walk for cancer from Christchurch to Dunedin via the West Coast. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Englishman Robin Moore reaches Queenstown on his walk for cancer from Christchurch to Dunedin via the West Coast. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Like every good Englishman, Robin Moore is a great fan of cricket and right now the Northamptonshire man is making his way from Queenstown to Dunedin - on foot - in time for his team's test against the Black Caps next month.

He walks by choice and will not ask for a ride, though what the 55-year-old is in need of is a new pair of walking shoes.

Since January 26, Mr Moore has walked from Christchurch, across the Southern Alps, down the West Coast, through the Haast Pass to Wanaka then over the Crown Range to Queenstown. Self sufficient, Mr Moore is a distinctive figure, and maintains a tight budget, carrying a sleeping bag and large pack containing a tent for overnight stops.

Today, he will be walking from Bannockburn to Alexandra. His cause is the Cancer Society, and although this might seem a lengthy walk,

It is just the latest in a long list of Mr Moore's marathon charity efforts. For 20 years, Mr Moore has been embarking on walks of more than 1000km at a time raising money for cancer causes. The walking started in 1992 when a good friend was misdiagnosed and died of cancer, so he walked from Cornwall to Northampton as a fundraiser and that was ''the birth of it''.

''I did it 20 years ago. I felt it is something I should do every year, something for charity.

''There's people in the family who have died of it.''

Ticked off the walking list is John O'Groats to Land's End in the UK, as well as an 8000km walk around Great Britain, Cape Reinga to Bluff in 2002, and the South African coast of the Atlantic to the coast of the Indian Ocean. His favourite?''I like New Zealand. I like the Commonwealth and I love walking around the Commonwealth.

''I enjoyed the West Coast more than any of the other places.''

Over two decades, Mr Moore, along with friends, has raised ''hundreds of thousands'' and he hopes to add to this tally on this walk.

By trade, Mr Moore is a painter-decorator back home, but he gets the biggest kick out of walking for charity.

It may sound like the dream job, but Mr Moore's cracked feet, sunburnt skin, and temporary heat exhaustion suffered earlier this week, indicate otherwise.

''They're aching, I've got splits in each foot now. It's quite nasty, really.

''It's pretty hard because I'm always doing this in the summer and it's too hot.''

The feet are not the worst of Mr Moore's injuries. When he was walking in the Mediterranean last year, he slipped and sustained

a double groin strain and a hernia, which led to an operation. Mr Moore is completing the final leg of his New Zealand walk on State Highway 8 to Milton, then SH1 to Dunedin. He plans to be in Dunedin by March 1 - in good time to rest before one final New Zealand walk.

Mr Moore has joined the Crown World Wide Wanderers team for the Relay for Life at Forsyth Barr Stadium on March 9.

To make a donation: www.relayforlife.org.nz/index/donation