Long-distance walker Marcus Wilder is on a very long hike - a 1,600km trek from Copenhagen to Budapest. The 72-year-old, Texas-based author took up long distance walking in 2006 and says he is now an addict. "One of the glories of long-distance walking is that it is in solitude. It's a peace that I can't describe."
Now retired following a career in the insurance industry, he expects the trip to take him around four months. He walks with a limp after suffering spinal chord damage. He will be walking around 10 to 12 miles a day and staying at hostels and guest houses along the way. The route? From Copenhagen through Flensburg into Germany, on to Holland, then Belgium, through Luxembourg to Metz in France, along the Mosel into Germany, up the Rhine to Bingen, to Worms, to Würzburg and down the Danube to Vienna where he says he will "have coffee and a sinful torte at Sperl, the world's finest coffee house", then on to Bratislava in Slovakia before reaching to Budapest.
The mission is a step-up from his last big feat - a 600-mile trek across Spain, which took seven weeks. He says: "I have one daughter who thinks I will have a heart attack and drop dead but better to die that way than to die slowly. Besides, it's not that strenuous and I'm not that old."
He began his journey on August 1.