Heading to America the hard way

Long distance walker Arjen Ulrich In Hamnavoe this week - Photo: ShetNews


A LONG distance walker on his way from his Dutch home near Amsterdam to New York is stretching his legs in Shetland.

Arjen Ulrich arrived in the isles on Thursday having completed about half of his 2,000 mile walk.

The 32 year old from Alkmaar set off in early March to follow on foot the curved route that planes usually take when flying from Europe across the Atlantic.


After walking through Holland, Belgium, England, Wales and Scotland, Ulrich now hopes to be able to get a lift across the water to Faroe, Iceland and then Greenland and reach Manhattan in August or early September.

Ulrich, who worked as a product manager in a factory that produced charge points for electric vehicles, quit his job in order to fulfill a dream he has been hatching for the last two years.

“I felt I was at a dead end in my life and needed to do something very different, a challenge,” he said.


“I have been to New York two years ago and when looking at the route the planes take I thought it would be just great to do that over land.

“The more I looked into it the more excited I got. I had the time and the money to do it, and I was ready to go.”

He arrived in Shetland off the NorthLink ferry on Thursday morning and has found accommodation in Hamnavoe via the couchsurfing.com website.

He plans to stay in the isles for a few days and hopes to be able to get around to see some of the beauty spots.

Anybody who is happy to offer him accommodation in Unst or Yell can get in touch with him by e-mail arjenulrich@gmail.com or via Facebook.

He is also hoping for a lift to Faroe either on fishing or pleasure boat.