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Stanthorpe lads' trek lives on in new book

TOUCHING GIFT: Andrew Savage presents his book, Walking Home, to his daughter, Yesica, as her wedding in Bristol, UK, on Saturday.
TOUCHING GIFT: Andrew Savage presents his book, Walking Home, to his daughter, Yesica, as her wedding in Bristol, UK, on Saturday. Contributed

A GRUELLING trek between Cairns and Stanthorpe by three local men has been immortalised in a book.

Andrew Sav, Dave and Andrew Carnell partnered up for the 2000km trek from the tropical north to their hometown in 2010.

Almost six years on, Mr Sav, who is now living in France, unveiled his recently-published book on the adventure at the weekend.

Walking Home: 2000km in 80 Days, published by L& R Morgan, follows the three men, who embarked on the mammoth adventure to raise awareness of an issue close to their hearts.

Mr Savsaid the book's publishing was kept secret, even from his closest family, until he presented a copy to his daughter, Yesica, at her wedding in the UK on Saturday.

While many of his close relatives had seen digital, draft copies of the story, none of them knew it had been printed.

" For a few months I've been working behind the scenes," Mr Savsaid.

"There were a number of reasons I wanted to keep it special. The title of the book is Walking Home. I thought "home" was a wonderful theme for my father-of-the-bride speech.

"There was another reason as well and that is my family, my children and my wife have all read the book in its draft copy in electronic format, but my daughter, Yesica... said no, dad, I want to wait.

"The very first story in the book is about Yesica when she's about five-years-old, so in many ways I feel that it's very relevant that I present this book to her on her wedding."

When he embarked on the trek in 2010, Mr Savage had no idea it would one day become a published book.

"When I embarked on the 2000km walk, I had no idea I would write about it, at all," he said.

"The 2000 Walk was aimed to raise awareness of the 2000 languages that... didn't have any translation of any part of the Bible."

While the book focuses perhaps more on the journey than its cause, that's something which still means a lot to him today.

"This is important for me because I've been involved with Bible translation myself and because I'm an avid reader of the Bible," he said.

"It's an amazing book, a book that's influenced the lives of so, so many people in the world and by far the most translated book anywhere in the world. That's just quite amazing."

While the Bible has been further translated since the walk, it was difficult to quantify its impact.

"We have seen change since our big walk, (but) it's very hard to say how much our walk influenced that and I wouldn't claim any great influence at all but when you raise awareness for something, it's very hard to quantify that," he said.

Mr Sav said writing the book was a moving experience for him.

"The book is largely the adventure. I talk about the bible... 95% of the book is about the adventure: the bungles, the venomous snakes we came across, the near-accidents we had on the road, there were a couple of them, and the mishaps." Walking Home is available at Print and Copy in Stanthorpe.More info: walkinghome2000.com.

Topics:  2000 walk, andrew savage, local life, stanthorpe local life



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