Daring trio heads off to Mongolian rally
Browsing through his local newspaper set off a chain of events that will see Lloyd Buckingham take the trip of a lifetime.
While reading this newspaper in March, the 62-yearold saw an article about Ian Wallace and Garth Briden, who were looking for a partner to join them on the Mongolian Charity Rally in July.
“I guess I’m a mad sort with a bit of a sense of adventure, so rang Ian and said, ‘I believe you’re looking for a third’,” Mr Buckingham says.
“I thought, ‘what am I going to do this year for a holiday?’ and then thought, ‘why not?’”
The rally is a 16,000km driving odyssey through 18 countries, starting in England and finishing in Mongolia.
Along the way the trio, dubbed the Wondering Sailors, will raise money for Save The Children and donate the vehicle to the Mongolian-based Children’s Development and Protection Foundation after the rally.
Mr Buckingham says he’s never been one to take a traditional holiday, with previous trips to Thailand and the base camp of Everest in Tibet.
“I once went on a coach tour with the blue-rinse crowd but that doesn’t appeal again.”
Mr Wallace says fundraising is going well with more than $3000 raised for Save The Children so far.
The group has also bought a Nissan two-door light truck for what promises to be a journey through difficult terrain, particularly over some of the tracks in Mongolia.
“There’ll be 1000m drops. It’s as rough as guts.”
They’ll also be travelling through Mongolia’s Gobi desert during the rally.
“We’ll be relying on compasses and following tele- phone lines. As long as you go east you’re fine,” the Hillsborough resident says.
Visas to enter various countries have been received or are being processed.
But they will have to pick up certain supplies such as vodka and cigarettes, which can be consumed or used for bribing border guards along the way.
“We’ll pick up some vodka in Turkmenistan be- cause you can’t take alcohol through Iran and we’ll get our cigarettes in Turkey.”
Mr Wallace says adding a third person helps take the pressure off financially, with each man contributing to the cost of the truck.
And it could also make for a safer journey.
“Having three on board is great because one person is driving, one is navigat- ing and one can rest, especially in some of the Asian countries where there’s rougher terrain and rougher drivers on the vodka,” he says.
To follow the Wondering Sailors’ progress visit http:// mongolia.charityrallies.org/ en/WonderingSailors.
To donate money for Save The Children go online to www.justgiving.com/ wonderingsailors.
Ready to rally: Wondering Sailors Ian Wallace, Garth Briden and newest member Lloyd Buckingham are set to take part in the Mongolian Charity Rally in July.