ONE of the many activities by Yes movement members which was sabotaged by the coronavirus pandemic last year was the Long Walk to Freedom which aimed to promote the Scottish Digital Covenant.

Now two of the original group of walkers have decided that having been forced to abandon the walk after 380 of the intended 500 miles, they will now complete the remaining 120 miles, only this time over a different course.

Fiona Campbell and Pedro Mendez (aka Peter McMahon) are well known in the Yes movement, and will be joined by Judith Reid with her magnificent giant saltire flag called Caley which has been such a presence at Yes events recently as far apart as Oban and Kirkcaldy.

Indeed Caley will fly at the completion of the trek for independence which will conclude at Culloden Moor approximately 10 days after the walkers set off from the Old Man of Storr on Skye on August 18.

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Pedro Mendez explained: “We had no choice but to abandon the walk last year because it would have involved going from tier to tier with different restrictions. It did not sit well with us to give up on our goal, so the three of us decided we would finish the walk.”

It’s actually 124 miles from the Old Man of Storr to Culloden, and they will be unable to stick to the roads along the way.

“We were over in Skye checking out the route and it’s straightforward enough,” said Mendez, “but we will have to go off road for short periods.

“We are not promoting anything this year other than independence, and we will be talking to people all along the way and promoting the cause.

“Last year people from all over Europe joined in as we walked along and we are hoping that will happen again.

“It’s a non-party political even and the only flags we will allow are Saltires and Saltires with European Union stars.”

The National:

Peter McMahon and Fiona Campbell on the freedom walk

Fiona Campbell said: “One of the main topics of conversation we had on Skye was the midges – and I can tell you the Skye midges wear hobnail boots.

“We will have Caley along with us for the conclusion of the walk at Culloden where we will also commemorate those who fell on the battlefield.

“Caley is becoming something of a personality in her own right and people are always just so pleased to see her.”

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Mendez concluded: “Last year everywhere we went we encountered ghost towns, but now Scotland is opening up again and we need to get the message out there that the Yes movement is ready, not that it’s ever stopped, while we also want to create a positive image and message for independence.

“Last year’s walk was a life-changing event for me and I am hoping for the same again.”