Tak­ing rough route home

To NZ via Mon­go­lia

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By JEREMY SMITH

‘‘Ridicu­lous luck and hard work.’’

In part, that’s what Chris Pevreal, orig­i­nally from Mata­mata, at­tributes the mam­moth achieve­ment to.

He and part­ner Laura Glas­gow are home in New Zealand hav­ing com­pleted a 25,000km over­land jour­ney from New­cas­tle, Eng­land to Bei­jing, China.

The jour­ney, which the pair com­pleted as far as Mon­go­lia in a 2003 Citroen Dis­patch panel van which they nick­named ‘‘Chezza’’, dou­bled as their re­turn home af­ter spend­ing two years in Lon­don and a way to raise money for three dif­fer­ent char­i­ties.

It took Chris and Laura more than four months to travel through 21 coun­tries – a trip dur­ing which they raised about NZ$1200 which they will now split be­tween the North of Eng­land Chil­dren’s Can­cer Re­search Fund, Half The Sky, a char­ity formed to en­rich the lives of or­phaned chil­dren in China and Mon­go­lia, and the Can­cer So­ci­ety of New Zealand.

From Mon­go­lia they caught a train to China and a flight home to New Zealand.

They nick­named the jour­ney the Stan Crawl: Toon To New Zealand.

Speak­ing with the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle last week Chris said he was un­sure if he would re­peat such a jour­ney but most cer­tainly doesn’t re­gret hav­ing done it.

‘‘I was also re­ally pleased we could sup­port those or­gan­i­sa­tions through do­ing this,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s pretty hard to sum­marise the jour­ney, it was weird, it was bizarre, it was bloody epic.

‘‘There are just so many sto­ries. One thing I am re­ally proud of is Chezza the van.’’

‘‘We com­pleted a jour­ney that, on pa­per, we may have thought we were ill-equipped for. We drove a two- wheel drive van with low ground clear­ance across deserts, com­pleted a river cross­ing and drove on some of the rough­est roads in the world. I guess that’s hats off to Citroen,’’ Chris said.

An un­doubted high­light was at­tend­ing what’s known as an ea­gle fes­ti­val in Mon­go­lia, he said.

Chris, a for­mer St Peter’s School stu­dent, paid trib­ute to Laura, say­ing the jour­ney was a two-per­son team work.

‘‘You wouldn’t want to do a jour­ney like that alone. Ad­min­is­tra­tion-wise the trip was chal­leng­ing.

‘‘We needed a visa for pretty much ev­ery coun­try we went through. We made a re­ally great team.’’

As the old maxim goes, ‘‘if you want to get to know some­one, go trav­el­ling with them’’ and Chris said he had no doubt that they would work well to­gether.

‘‘I’ve known Laura for a long time. We left New Zealand to­gether for Eng­land so I knew we had the strength of re­la­tion­ship there.’’

Next up for the pair is find­ing work in the area. Chris, a trained engi­neer, spent some time work­ing for his fa­ther and started work at a Hamil­ton firm on Mon­day.

There are other travel plans in the works for the cou­ple, al­though those may be some time in the mak­ing.

‘‘We’ll have to save up some money first,’’ Chris said.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Fly­ing high: Chris Pevreal, orig­i­nally from Mata­mata, up close with an ea­gle at an ea­gle fes­ti­val in Mon­go­lia, where they left their van ‘‘Chezza’’ be­fore catch­ing a train to China and fly­ing home to New Zealand.

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