Supergran hangs her boots up

Eastwood gran Shirley Butler off to jungles of Indonesia for charity trek for Scope.

Eastwood gran Shirley Butler off to jungles of Indonesia for charity trek for Scope.

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Shirley Butler has finally hung up her boots after 14 years of trekking the globe.

The 80-year-old has raised over £40,000 for the charity SCOPE over the years and has visited many fascinating places.

But the grandmother of five said the trips had to come to an end eventually.

“My last trip was Burma last October.

“In my mind I want to go off again but my family are saying no. I’m a bit wobbly on my feet now. I’m 80 now and have had a bit of a hick-up health wise.

“I’m disappointed but I have to be sensible.

“I gave myself to 70 so I gained another decade!”

Shirley had just retired from her job in social services aged 65 when she read about the opportunity to go trekking in Egypt.

She said the experience changed her life.

“I felt far from ready to retire if I’m honest. I saw the opportunity to go to Egypt and I thought what a lovely way to hang my boots up.

“It opened so many doors up for me and the next year I went to Katmandu!”

Since then the pensioner has trekked in Burma, Venezuela, Vietnam and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to name but a few of her trips.

“I have had some wonderful experiences,” she said.

“Burma was an amazing country. We stayed in monastries, it was just fantastic.

“We saw crocodiles, went on long boats. It was really quite an experience.”

Shirley, of Nethergreen, Eastwood, said her highlight over the years was Vietnam.

“You can’t compare countries because they are all so different and so wonderful but if you twisted my arm I would say Vietnam.

“Even though I have been to Machu Picchu and Venezuela, it’s always Vietnam that jumps to mind when I talk about my trekking. It was an amazing country. The history of it was amazing and it was so beautiful.

“We stayed with the most wonderful tribe in North Vietnam.

“They were so friendly and so welcoming. I’ll never forget them.”