Taking rough route home
To NZ via Mongolia
‘‘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.
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.