Mon­go­lian char­ity the driv­ing force

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

Many peo­ple would con­sider driv­ing from Eng­land to Mon­go­lia, through some of the world’s rough­est ter­rain, sheer lu­nacy.

But Ian Wal­lace and Garth Bri­den will take up the chal­lenge of driv­ing 16,000km through 18 coun­tries for a good cause in July.

When Mr Wal­lace heard about the Mon­go­lian Char­ity Rally last year through a friend, he had no hes­i­ta­tion in sign­ing up.

“You can have a lot of fun do­ing it and what’s great about it is we’re rais­ing funds for char­ity.”

They’ll be col­lect­ing money for Save The Chil­dren, and will gift the ve­hi­cle they’re trav­el­ling in to the Mon­go­lian-based Chil­dren’s De­vel­op­ment and Pro­tec­tion Foun­da­tion af­ter the rally.

They’ve named their team the Won­der­ing Sailors af­ter they met five years ago on the wa­ter.

Mr Wal­lace, 58, grew up in Zam­bia and has trav­elled through­out Asia, South Amer­ica and Europe.

“In those days there were all dirt roads ex­cept for the town­ship. In the rainy sea­son it was noth­ing for the truck to fly off the road and into the bush.”

While his trav­el­ling com­pan­ion hasn’t trav­elled quite as widely, that doesn’t phase Mr Bri­den, 70.

“I have al­ways been an out­doors man and spent a lot of time on a mo­tor­bike,” the Royal Oak res­i­dent says.

“It’s a good ex­cuse to be tied up in some­thing worth­while.”

And with 10 hours a day of driv­ing in front of them, the duo say they wouldn’t mind hav­ing a third per­son to share the load, with the cost per per­son set at around $11,000.

Any­one who wants to sign up for the trip would need a sense of ad­ven­ture, a lot of pa­tience and a good sense of hu­mour, Mr Wal­lace says.

“We could be at a bor­der cross­ing for six hours.

“Some of the roads are pretty aw­ful. We’ll be down to 20kmh for days.”

But the Hills­bor­ough res­i­dent says tak­ing it slow through­out parts of the trip will have its ben­e­fits.

“The ge­og­ra­phy up there is as­tound­ing. And with the his­tory and the cul­ture, I just love it.”

They’ll also have to buy most of their pro­vi­sions and the ve­hi­cle they’re driv­ing over­seas, be­cause of weight re­stric­tions when fly­ing.

To do­nate money to Save The Chil­dren through the pair’s web­site visit www.just giv­ing. com/ won­der­ing­sail ors.

To in­quire about join­ing the pair on their trip con­tact Mr Wal­lace on 021-2165417.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Ad­ven­ture seek­ers: Garth Bri­den, left, and Ian Wal­lace will travel around 16,000km and through 18 coun­tries dur­ing the Mon­go­lian Char­ity Rally in July.

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