A Daisy Chain of Love from Croatia to UK: Hvar to Alton with Bike and Dog

By 19 October 2015

A loving tribute from one man and his dog for a devoted wife taken ahead of her time joins Hampshire and Hvar by daisies.

The traditional quiet Sunday afternoon atmosphere in the Hampshire town of Alton was enlivened somewhat on October 18, 2015, as a cyclist and his dog completed a pan-European ride in loving memory of his late wife, to be received by an enthusiatic crowd of more than 100 friends and family on the final leg of a mammoth cycle from the Croatian island of Hvar.  

Pilot Dave Goodey, who lost his beloved wife Emma after a five-year battle against terminal illness, decided to commemorate her passing with a cycle ride with a difference, while simultaneously raising money for charity.

Together with their beloved pet dog Lotte, Goodey decided to connect Emma's two favourite places - the town of Stari Grad on Croatia's premier island and Alton in Hampshire - by cycling from one to the other and sowing a path of daisy seeds between the two, so that her memory could live on. 

Setting out on September 5 with faithful Lotte with him all the way, Goodey set out on his cathartic journey, blogging along the route to his friends and family along the way.  

Goodey's most poignant blog was arguably his last, and it included this painful picture above, which he described thus:

"I still shed a tear when I look at this picture as It was such a difficult and final moment in all of our lives. Emma adored Lotte, just as I adore her today. I sneaked Lotte through the hospital and into Emma's room (although the ward sister knew already) so that Emma could say goodbye. This was Emma's and Lotte's final farewell before Emma passed away a few days later. I still shed tears, but hopefully my tears of sadness will one day turn to tears of happiness and loving memories."

Together with his dog Lotte, Goodey cycled through his daisy trail of Europe, thoughts of Emma never far from his mind. His efforts raised more than £10,000 for charity along the way.  

After more than a month on the road, he finally arrived at his end destination yesterday lunchtime to an enthusiatic reception. Goodey found time for a few words for Total Croatia News on his feelings about his emotional journey:

"Blown away by the fantastic welcome across the finish line yesterday.   A great and emotional finish to the epic journey.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way."