Angry Birds get happy

Isis Town and Country - - Life -

IT IS not ev­ery day you see three grown men dressed as char­ac­ters from a game throw­ing candy to chil­dren, but then Childers lo­cals Ross Nu­gent, Damien Tarda and John Cole aren’t on an every­day trip.

The trio are in the mid­dle of the 2014 Camp Qual­ity es Carpade, a 3500km out­back road ad­ven­ture in its 23rd year.

This year the track runs from Bro­ken Hill to Al­bury, with fun stops along the way to bring smiles to chil­dren’s faces.

It is the sec­ond year Nu­gent has par­tic­i­pated in the event, with last year’s ef­fort from Bund­aberg to Wol­lon­gong rais­ing more than $10,000.

On that oc­ca­sion Nu­gent, Cole and Ge­off Knowles trav­elled as the “Mud Rats”, kit­ting out a DJ40 Land Cruiser and don­ning mud rat “one­sies” for the ride.

This time they’re tak­ing a Holden Com­modore VP on the trek, but the trusty car – com­plete with the red angry bird on the roof – has ar­guably a lot more driv­ing than other crews.

“It’s been about 12 months of work,” Mr Nu­gent said.

“We had to drive about 21 hours there (in­clud­ing breaks) but al­lowed 24 be­fore we had to be at the start line.”

All ve­hi­cles must be at least 20 years old, mak­ing for a car-lover’s dream sight as the con­voy cuts across out­back roads.

It’s the first time Mr Tarda has taken on the chal­lenge, and will be the first time he’s vis­ited the re­gion.

“The guys asked me to come along and I was keen,” Mr Tarda said.

“I did the wiring for the car and the shirts. It’s my first trip down that far so it’s go­ing to be good.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the event or to do­nate, go to www.es­carpade.org.au.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

ON THE ROAD: Childers trio (from front) Ross Nu­gent, Damien Tarda and John Cole with their “714 Angry Birds” Holden Com­modore. The trio are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Camp Qual­ity es­Carpade which runs from Bro­ken Hill to Al­bury.

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