After biking for five weeks straight from Edmonton to Halifax and sleeping each night in a tent, Greg Plester was relieved to know he would have a roof over his head when he went to bed last night.
“I just want to sit down and sleep for a week,” Plester said yesterday in front of Halifax city hall. “I can smell a cheeseburger somewhere calling my name.”
After 5,000 kilometres and eight provinces, Plester rode into Halifax around noontime to complete the last leg of a trip that raised $5,000 for Oxfam, a non-government organization that focuses on development for impoverished nations.
Plester left his hometown of Edmonton May 4 after gathering pledges personally and through his Facebook group. He said he paid for everything involved with the trip, and the cash he raised was all going to Oxfam.
Plester decided to raise money for the organization after a tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment. He said he saw the projects Oxfam was doing in that country to make life better for Afghans and wanted to help.
“I experienced poverty on an unbelievable level,” he said recalling his tour that ended last September. “This is something I was going to make a commitment to.”
Plester said he looks forward to going back to Edmonton and work towards a law degree from the University of Alberta. After a six-year stint with the armed forces, Plester hopes to work in international development.
“My girlfriend’s been fantastic through it,” he said. “I’ve been gone for a long time now -- not just this trip, but I was in the desert for a while too -- she misses me a lot and I think she’ll be glad for me to grow some roots in Edmonton again.”
During his trip Plester said he ate roughly 8,000 calories a day to keep his body going.