This summer Charlie, Tim, and Theo have set themselves the challenge of driving 10, 000 miles over 21 different countries, all to raise money for Open Arms Malawi! As well as this, the guys will be climbing a mountain in every country they pass through and sharing their journey on social media.
They hope to raise at least £3,000 so would greatly appreciate any donations and support. We were delighted to speak to them recently to find out more!
What does your challenge involve and when will it happen?
On July 15th 2019, the three of us will begin our attempt to drive 10 000 miles, over half way around the world, to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This will lead us across 4 mountain ranges, 3 deserts, 21 international borders and finally mighty Mongolia, a huge area of open, sparsely populated grassland and desert.
To make it a challenge, we will do this in an awesomely inadequate car, totally unsupported, with the combined mechanical knowledge of knowing how to change a tyre. And to make our expedition worthy of your sponsorship for Open Arms Malawi, we will climb a mountain in each of the countries we visit on route.
What made the three of you decide to take on a challenge?
The three of us have always loved a challenge, competing Ten Tors on Dartmoor together and scrambling up mountains all over the country. Having absolutely no mechanical skills, a limited budget and a desire for adventure, we thought this would be the ultimate challenge. The idea was simple, 2/3 of the way round the planet in a tiny car with no idea what we are doing, share it on social media and raise some money for charity!
How will you fundraise?
We will be actively using social media to share our adventure, both our preparation and time on the road. We will contact local news and media in the run up to the event, in order to reach as many people as possible allowing us to maximise what we raise for charity. To show our ambitions, we are targeting £3,000, or £1,000 fundraising each. But if it all goes to plan, who knows how much we could raise!
You are likely to encounter a few tests and trials along the way, what do you think your biggest challenge will be?
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge we feel we will face is keeping the car going all the way to Mongolia. It is going to take an incredible beating along the way, mostly from awful road conditions, but also from dust, mud, desert sand dunes, river crossings and 5000m passes... potholes the size of Chippenham will wreak havoc with our suspension, and we expect to be changing quite a few tyres. Add to that 10,000 tough intense miles and who knows what will go wrong with our plucky little car. We'll just have to fix it with what we've got!
When we took on this challenge, we could probably just about change a tyre between us. So we have a long way to go before we can bodge a manifold together with fiberglass and gaffer tape, but we can't wait to get stuck in and figure it all out! Other challenges we expect to face include border queues the length of Wales, black market petrol and resisting urge to walk off in 3 different directions after a 28 hours together in a cramped hot sweaty dusty car!
During your journey, which countries and landscapes will you be driving through?
Our route will take us from the top of Pen-y-fan in Wales through 21 different countries, 5 mountain ranges and 3 deserts. These countries will be:
Wales, England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and then finally Mongolia!
This is the planned route; however it may be subject to change due to logistics and changing political situations.
What made you decide to take on such a difficult challenge all in aid of Open Arms Malawi?
In 2016 two of our team member’s, Theo Gammie and Tim Turek, travelled to Malawi with Kingswood School to volunteer at Open Arms Centres in Malawi. They both found it to be an amazing experience and were truly in awe at the amazing work they did safeguarding orphaned and vulnerable children. For us, when it came to choosing a charity as a team, there was only one clear choice.
This incredible trip is clearly going to be a very difficult one, however it will also be extremely rewarding to know how much of a difference the money raised will make to the children we care for at Open Arms Malawi.