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Travel-loving David to embark on journey from Diss to Jerusalem

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David Kitchen, 60, who is going on a fundraising road trip to Jerusalem.
David Kitchen, 60, who is going on a fundraising road trip to Jerusalem.

In his own words, David Kitchen is a 60-year-old, overweight, rheumatic, retired psychiatric nurse.

Also in his own words, he loves travel. But of the free-wheeling kind. Holiday hotspots are not for him.

Which is why he will set off from Diss for Jerusalem with only a ferry ticket for Cherbourg and a reservation for one night in a hotel. The rest of his itinerary, he will make up as he goes along.

He will be travelling in his white Berlingo and sleeping in the back or camping. "Other than a map, a washing-up bowl, a kettle, a basic car repair kit and half-a-dozen changes of clothing, that's it. I'm doing everything on the ultra-cheap," he said.

He is leaving Diss on September 16 and has promised his family he will be back for Christmas. "That's roughly 10,000-plus kilometres in just over three months," he said.

His route will take him though Europe by road, but he will have to fly to Israel from Turkey as the route through either Libya or Syria is too perilous.

Mr Kitchen is putting up £2,000 of his own money and looking for another £3,000 from sponsors to raise funds for his favourite charity, Become, which helps young people coming out of the care system and into adult life.

"In my career, I encountered many people for whom this transition had gone badly wrong," he said. "This is common."

Mr Kitchen's lack of forward planning is typical of his preferred way of travel. He has hitched, driven, taken buses, ferries and trains or walked in the USA, South America, South Africa and India, as well as Europe.

It has not been without its dangers, like the time he woke up in a hostel in Serbia to find a rat biting his leg, or having a knife held to his throat in Cuba.

But that has been outweighed "by the kindness of strangers" – like the farmer he thought was threatening to kill him but who was trying to tell him there was fresh water in a nearby well, and returned in the morning with gifts of fruit.

Mr Kitchen is offering to display sponsors' logos on his car. He can be contacted on 07908 278518 or kitchendavid17@yahoo.com.

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