Belfast Telegraph

Brit retraces Easter Island trip

A British woman is running, cycling and hitching lifts on container ships to get to the world's most isolated island 100 years after another inspirational explorer made the same trip.

Runner Susie Stephen, 34, is retracing the route anthropologist Katherine Routledge took in 1914 to Easter Island in the Pacific, home of the famous giant statues.

She decided to make the trip across two oceans and the Andes after learning that Routledge, like her, hailed from Darlington.

Now living in Hawaii, Mrs Stephen returned to her home town from where she set off on the first leg of her Running After Routledge adventure.

The marathon specialist is running 300 miles from the North East to Southampton over the next two weeks.

She will cross the Atlantic to Buenos Aires on a container vessel - using the on-board gym to hone her fitness - then cycle across the Andes to Chile.

From there, the former Newcastle University student will jump on a supply boat which serves Rapa Nui, Easter Island.

Her ambition is to retrace sections of the voyage Routledge made 100 years ago, when she was the only woman on board the schooner the Mana and one of the first anthropologists to visit.

Mrs Stephen will study environmental damage during her trip, and raise funds for people on the island to buy a sewage digester.

She will be there by June 1 to take part in the Rapa Nui Marathon.

She has said previously: "I was inspired by and fascinated that a lady from my home town had the vision, drive and belief to undertake such an expedition to this place, half a world away studying culture so alien to her own."

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