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25 Sept 2022

VIDEO: Friends trek 3,000 miles across Europe on “world’s longest pub crawl” in 5 months on £2k getting 10m TikTok views and 130K followers

VIDEO: Friends trek 3,000 miles across Europe on “world’s longest pub crawl” in 5 months on £2k getting 10m TikTok views and 130K followers

A pair of geology graduates who are enjoying “the world’s longest pub crawl” by walking more than 3,000 miles across 12 European countries in five months on a £2K budget have become TikTok sensations with over 10 million views and 130K followers.

Refusing to let “bleak career prospects” dampen their spirits after graduating in June, each armed with just a pair of sandals and hiking boots, a t-shirt, some shorts, a jacket,  and three pairs of socks, best pals Harry Bellow, 24, and Elliot Blake, 25, began their epic trip.

Already sinking 165 pints less than two months into the journey spanning from the Netherlands to Turkey, the pair – who are originally from the USA and met there at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas – set off from Bloemendaal aan Zee, in Holland on June 14 2022 and hope to reach their final stop of Istanbul, Turkey, by October after roughly 120 days.

Harry, who is dating student Chloe Campo, 24, said: “So many people have shown us kindness on our trip and offered us plenty of beers. It’s been life changing.

“Elliot and I wanted to see the world in a different way and I think the world’s longest pub crawl is the way to do it.”

Enjoying a shared love of the outdoors, in December 2021 the pals began discussing a walk across Europe, as they both felt unhappy with their job prospects after university.

Harry said: “We both wanted to do something we would never forget and we wanted to be immersed in nature and to see Europe in a way that would open our eyes.

“We met once a week just to discuss what we would do. There was a lot of research needed, as we had to find out about visas and weather.

“We could only stay in the Schengen zone which covers most of Europe for 90 days, which was difficult,  as 90 days is the limit for the tourist visa.

“And we didn’t want to get arrested at the border. So we picked some countries on the trail outside the Schengen zone like Croatia.”

Eventually, in May, they decided on a 3,200-mile route which would take them through 12 countries – the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, and finally Turkey.

Starting 20ft below sea level in the Netherlands, at their highest point at the beginning of October, they will be 9,555ft above sea level on the Musala mountain, the highest peak in the Rila mountain range in Bulgaria.

Their journey will also see them walk across stunning, sunny Croatian beaches and through the Austrian Alps.

Describing the excitement leading up to the trip, Harry said: “I was just full of wanderlust, I wanted to see the world. I was raised in a bubble in the suburbs and wanted to see what was out there.

“When we were discussing it, I was so excited but a little apprehensive,  because it was such a big chunk of time and I knew it was going to be painful.

“I couldn’t wait to see all the sights, but I was nervous.

“It didn’t feel real until we were in the Netherlands and just started walking.”

Planning on spending just £400 a month  each – on food and mostly beer – they have walked roughly 25 miles a day with a 70 litre rucksack each, filled with just a couple of items of clothing and lots of camera gear.

Sleeping in tents or at the homes of farmers they have met along the way, who have invited them in for a shower, meal and even offered to wash their clothes,  Harry says the kindness they have received has been “overwhelming”.

He added: “The amount of people who have helped us along this journey already has been incredibly moving and overwhelming and has really restored my faith in humanity.

“We have received so much kindness from random people in every single town we have passed through.”

So far, they have travelled 1,200 miles and are currently meandering through Slovenia.

And while they have already had bumps, blisters and bruises on the way, Harry said it has been worthwhile, with many of the spectacular vistas leaving him speechless.

He said: “Southern Bohemia was the place that stuck out the most for us. Every window is open, there are flowers everywhere.”

He added: “There are castles all over. It was almost romantic.

“And even though we have been fighting blisters on our feet, it’s just been so beautiful.”

So far, they have endured extreme temperatures throughout their walk, including brutal near 40 degree sun in Prachatice, Czech Republic, and freezing cold rain in Rheinsteig, Germany, where temperatures dipped to around eight degrees.

Harry said: “The weather has been quite brutal as it’s been a very hot summer.”

One of the perks of the trip has been the enormous variety of lagers, ales and pilsners they have enjoyed toasting their wonderful journey with.

Elliot, whose partner Molly McCullough, 25, is a student said they have enjoyed a beer on all but three days, so far, downing more than 165 pints between them.

His favourite tipple to date has been a refreshing Chodovar black beer which he drank in Chodová Planá in Czech Republic.

He said: “We expected to see incredible sights, but we’ve been even more amazed by the beers we have tried on this trip.

“We haven’t really got drunk, but we have drunk a lot of beer.”

He added: “We’ve just had three occasions when we didn’t drink, as it was impossible to find beer where we were in Germany and Austria on Sundays!”

You can follow the pair’s journey on TikTok and Instagram @harrycows.

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