A Powys man has passed the halfway mark in a grueling thousand-mile walk around Wales.
Janos Foldi, known as Jani, is raising money for Cancer Research UK and Shelter Cymru after his father, a homeless Big Issue seller, also called Janos died of cancer at the age of 62 last year.
Jani, 36, is also celebrating LGBTQ+ lives along the way in what he hopes will be the first of a succession of epic journeys that he’s dubbed the ‘Walking Proud Series’, posting pictures under that name on Facebook.
He proudly waves his rainbow flag in many of the photos as he documents his travels around Wales.
The circus skills professional, who grew up in Hungary said: “The Walking Proud series has been in my mind for years, but never really knew how to start it or what exactly it will cover.
“So many things have happened in the past few years. My loved ones and their friends being assaulted or mistreated in homophobic and transphobic incidents, but what turned my reality upside down, and shook and shattered my soul was losing friends and my father to cancer.
“It made me realise, how fragile we are and how important it is to live. To enjoy life and do good and inspirational acts for others. This triggered and ignited the idea of the Walking Proud Series.”
Jani set off from his home village of Llangors near Brecon on June 1st, walking to Abergavenny on day one. From there he headed down to Chepstow before walking across South Wales to St Davids.
Fishguard, Aberystwyth and Machynlleth followed with Jani reaching Anglesey this week after a trip up Snowden. Over the coming days he will be walking the North Wales coast before heading south once more, in the hope of reaching home around the end of the month.
“When I started, I was aware that there is still a lots of stigma against LGBTQ+ people. So I wanted to do something that felt positive and empowering.’
“Now, halfway around, I feel exhausted but really good. I have been really lucky with all the people I have met on the way – from strangers to campsite owners and cafe staff. So many people have helped me.
“By the end I will just want to get clean – and let my blisters finish healing.”