A COMMUNITY near Whitchurch has held a charity evening with a travelling theme.

Horseman's Green's Community Hall opened its doors once again on Friday, February 14 for a charity cheese and wine event under the guise of Traveller's Tales.

Chris Dunford, a resident of the community recounted her experiences of crossing Costa Rica on a cycle charity ride to raise funds for three women's charities – Breast Cancer Care, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.

Chris, who has had breast cancer twice but is now in remission, undertook this challenging experience last November along with more than 80 other women.

For Chris, the challenge was in memory of a close friend who had sadly succumbed to the disease.

To spur her on in her endeavours Chris cycled with a photo of her friend attached to her handlebars.

The evening consisted of a series of slides and videos detailing her six day experience, traversing mountainous terrain and crossing the 222 miles from the Caribbean coastline in the east to the Pacific coast in the west.

Most of the cycle ride took place on roads consisting of rough stones providing truly 'bone shaking' experiences. The physical geography of Costa Rica also presented its challenges with twisting mountainous routes and steep inclines.

The audience were treated to views of Costa Rica's lush vegetation, colourful plant life, dramatic scenery and varied wildlife. Along with glimpses of the country's farming practices and way of life, all of which were encountered on the route.

Barbara Weeks, trustee for Horseman's Green Community, said Chris' trip was a "remarkable achievement".

The cycle ride was a true test of physical endurance," said Barbara. "It was accomplished in sweltering temperatures and torrential downpours.

"On average distances of approximately 40 miles per day were covered, but elevations had also to be negotiated.

"In one day these came very close to those of Ben Nevis itself.

"A remarkable achievement for these women who had all suffered so much ill health and emotional torment.

"One can only reflect in awe and admiration at the perseverance and determination shown by Chris and her comrades.

"As one has come to expect at this venue, the Community Hall was close to capacity as residents of the small hamlet and neighbouring villages braved the rather inclement weather to support this event and hear the experience of one of their own."

Barbara also thanked Belton Farm for their donation of cheese for the event.

"The audience gave generously in the friendly, sociable atmosphere which pervaded throughout the evening," added Barbara.

"In total over £400 was raised towards Chris's charities. An astounding evening in every sense!"

Future events at Horseman's Green Community Hall include a charity coffee morning for Dementia UK on Saturday, March 21 and Between Mouthfuls – a short one Act play by Alan Ayckbourn, followed by refreshments on Friday, March 27.

You can follow these activities and many more on Horseman's Green Facebook page.