Dar­ing trio heads off to Mon­go­lian rally

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

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.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

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.

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