The Thames Towpath 100km by Dan Edmundson

TPCIt all started around seven months ago with a casual chat in the kitchen at work. Simon, Tom and Stuart were discussing walking 100km which was the bright idea of ex work colleague Gavin (we always knew that we should never listen to him!) As someone working my way from lazy, unfit and slightly overweight office worker to their first marathon in May, I was happy to sign up noting that 100km didn’t seem that far and if I was aiming to run 42km then this challenge should be a walk in the park. I happily signed up whilst making the usual loud bursts of bravado with no idea what lay ahead. Our team was born, with Simon, Stuart, Gavin, Tom and his younger brother Mike joining me on our quest for 100km.

The first challenge before we reached the start line was to start work fundraising for Send a Cow, an amazing charity that aims to help impoverished communities in Africa, extending further benefit through the pass it forward principle. The idea is not to simply supply handouts, but provide tools and support for individuals who can use them to better their lives and that of others. For instance, if a cow is supplied to a family then any livestock that animal produced would be passed to another family thereby extending the benefit forward from a simple handout. This charity was apt given that it started in Tom and Mike’s hometown in Devon. You can find out more about this wonderful organisation here: www.sendacow.org.uk or donate to our cause here: www.justgiving.com/HelpNoMadRush

To warm up for this challenge, we decided to undertake practice walk in early June to test our ability. Si had plotted a nice casual stroll from the centre of Chelmsford to conveniently finish at his house with the promise of a lovely

The whole team at the starting line.

The whole team at the starting line.

barbeque and a disappointing England game to spur us on as an incentive. The practice walk was a good opportunity to test our mettle over about 32 miles and learn what we would need to for the main event. A number of themes emerged from this little trek in that running shoes would not be sufficient for the proper walk, I shouldn’t wear swimming shorts as they make me walk funny and Tom likes to talk about his nuts. And if you must know, England managed to fully embarrass themselves yet again with a 2-1 loss to Italy; neither of which would make it through the group stages which was topped by the mighty Costa Rica.

As the challenge approached the excitement started to kick in, I was freshly warmed up from the Great North Run the weekend before and our pre-walk team lunch was going down a treat. Rather than discuss anything of relevance, much of our lunch was spent ribbing Gavin for ordering some trekking poles for our challenge. Particular credit should go to Stuart who aptly christened them Eda and Olga and myself who supplied constant digs as we polished off our healthy pre-walk burgers.

The morning of the challenge was upon us and I woke up at the very reasonable hour of 05:30 noting that this would be the last time I felt its comfy warm embrace for at least 24 hours. A quick check of my kit bag and a healthy bowl of porridge plus banana later and I was on my way to the train station and the start line. The early morning one mile stroll to the station attracted many funny looks, but this was perhaps down to me dragging a helium filled cow balloon (that was later named Ermintrude by Gavin) throughout the streets. One by one I met my team-mates with Gavin and I

Dan at the start, before we got mooo...ving!

Dan at the start, before we got mooo…ving!

bumping into each other on the tube and Simon and Stuart awaiting our arrival at the start. Predictably the Lawsons were late; deciding that turning up 15 minutes before we were due to leave was adequate.

After posing for a few team photos and having a dance wearing my cow head and waving Ermintrude which appeared on the big screen, we were off for what would be one of the most challenging events any of us had ever embarked upon. After the customary ‘Are we there yet?’ joke we left Barons Park in good spirits with hundreds of other walkers on our quest for Henley. The kilometres were falling rapidly at the start as we were all fresh and full of energy, spurred on by walking in such a large group. Less than 10k, into our challenge and disaster had already struck. An angry runner, taking particular exception to the hundreds of people walking the ‘wrong way’ down a public footpath took his anger out on poor Ermintrude. Running as fast as he could, he hit Ermintrude and I full on before leaving the scene without an apology, but what did sound like a snide angry comment as he faded into the distance. Fortunately Ermintrude acted as an airbag, cushioning me from the impact and the only damage being a snapped lead that was rectified by tying a string around her neck. We proceeded on to the first stopping point in Richmond Park in good spirits.

The first rest stop was brief, with us enjoying the huge range of snacks on offer and those who opted for Mike Ashley brand footwear applying tape to their feet as it was quickly becoming apparent how useless they were. I took great

Action shot...note Tom's immaculate hair!

Action shot…note Tom’s immaculate hair!

delight in the pick and mix nuts available, and it was clear how well organised this event was, hats off to Action Challenge. We moved on towards our next checkpoint with the sun blazing in Richmond Park and many families enjoying their day. Spirits remained high at this point as we passed the wonderful Hampton Court Palace and making the East Molesey rest stop and quarter distance point in good time.

The first rest stop was a good chance to take stock of where we were, and commence the team tradition of using the medical tent at every checkpoint where necessary. The first victim at this stage was Mike, who let them kindly address his blisters. Popped and taped up, Mike was feeling good that his left foot was now back in action and ready to go. We all devoured our pack lunches (with the exception of Simon who chose now to start his diet) as we were hungry due to our exertions so far. We didn’t stay long and left, with Tom starting to contemplate how much food he could steal to feed himself at work.

The next stop was but a mild 8km away and we were basking in the early Autumnal sun. Our route headed towards Shepperton and through a lovely little village fete that had been put on by the riverside. Our very own Tom and Simon were interviewed, with Tom responding well until Simon was required to articulate the benefits of the charity to the audience. Meanwhile the toils of the challenge were starting to tell. Blisters were starting to become the enemy of many, including myself, however they unleashed their greatest anger on Mike who had been walking slightly awkwardly on his right leg to accommodate the evil fiends on his left foot. Mike had felt a pain in his right ankle and had needed to rest. He managed to limp over the line to the rest stop whilst I chatted to an incredible man who had not long recovered from serious illness to walk the 50km. I was pleased when I had later seen he had managed to complete his challenge.

At the rest stop Mike was patched up by the medics as we waited patiently for his ails to be attended to. His caring brother Tom belatedly poked his head in to see what was going on, returning with a positive verdict. Mike was eventually out of the first aid tent, bringing the news that if his tendonitis is worse by the next checkpoint he should pull out of the challenge. With that sombre note in our head we pushed on towards the halfway stage and Runnymede. The path started to open out at this stage into the rural idyll that would be ever present for the remainder of or trek, and there was some stunning scenery that was lit up by the late afternoon sun. Our team became slightly fragmented at this stage with Gavin racing off into the distance and the remainder of us plodding along. The challenge was starting to have a physical effect upon us all as well as mental, but this was broken up by a petition table set up by some girls who were also supplying treats to walkers. With the petition signed by all, we set off to achieve the 50km mark driven on by the prospect of a hot meal. The stretch to Runnymede involved passing numerous quaint river boats as the sun started making its farewell for the day, the view interjected by a wince of pain as one of my blisters exploded in the final 2km.

The halfway point was reached with a concoction of mixed emotions; elation that we had reached the psychological halfway point but trepidation in that we had only completed half the challenge and were starting to feel worse for wear. We all sat down as a team and tucked into a hot meal of beef pasta, garlic bread and the world’s most chunky Cornish pasty; well all but Simon who was continuing to fast managing a few small bites and an energy gel. This food went down a treat, instantly providing us a boost as our stomachs were now full. Further elation was supplied by watching competitors finish their 50km challenge providing us with optimism that in just 50 short km we could also be collecting our trinkets and glass of fizz whilst trying to avoid the slightly annoying sailor dude conducting interviews. Before leaving Mike and I attempted to visit the medical tent for ankle and blister related problems, but it was evident that there were travellers and finishers in greater need than ourselves and so with night starting to draw in we decided to push on to the next stop where we thought the medical tent would be quieter.

Tom having a nap and Gav about to go mining!

Tom having a nap and Gav about to go mining!

The sixth leg of our journey could be described as the most eventful and demoralising stint of the entire challenge. The early evening light was starting to fade as we departed Runnymede, but were generously supplied with glowsticks and an amusing slap wristband which reminded me of my younger days helped lift spirits along with the food we had just devoured. Excitement was starting to flood over ourselves as the prospect of seeing the stars and a peaceful moonlight walk appealed to the urbanites among the group; however this idyllic image was swiftly shattered by the sound of vomiting. Our team leader Simon had finally had enough of eating high sugar food in the form of energy gels and was promptly sick in the dark at 53km. After stopping to ensure Simon was fine to continue, we pressed on with only our torchlight to guide us. Our walking rhythm was no sooner restored before our journey hit the most devastating twist as we ascended the steps just past the 55km mark.

Reaching the top of the tall ascent, Mike emerged and informed us that he felt a twang in his foot. His face instantly indicated that his challenge was over, and the prospect of dragging him a further 7km to the next checkpoint was out of the question. Mike had ruptured his ligament in his ankle, and it was clear that his disappointment at having to leave the challenge outweighed the pain he was suffering. A call was placed to the Action Challenge emergency number and twenty minutes later they informed us that they would send a car to collect him however this would take around 40 minutes to arrive. We waited patiently with Mike showing solidarity as a team despite his insistence to move on, but after 20 minutes it was clear that members of the team were starting to seize up. With a heavy heart we decided to push on, feeling slightly vindicated in that Mike was on a main road and other challengers kept coming past every minute or so. The car duly picked Mike up, took him to the medical tent for assistance before driving him home. The response of the organisers was first rate and it was comforting to know Mike was safe and well.

Whilst the events of the last 5km had cast a sombre mood over the remaining team members, further evidence of the magnitude of the challenge was to strike. Not long after the 58km mark, and a delightful conversation with Tom about how we only had to walk a marathon to the finish my right leg started to hurt in many of the areas which were tight following the Great North Run but 6 days ago. In particular my knee was starting to attract a dull ache, to which Tom told me it was quite ballsy to take on such a challenge so close to this monstrous event. We trundled to the midway checkpoint at Eton Wick after watching revellers stumble through the beautiful streets of Windsor, highlighting how we could have been spending our Saturday night instead.

The fatigue at the 62km checkpoint was evident amongst the surviving members, with the departure of our sixth team member still fresh in our mind. We were all relieved he was ok, but would have loved him to complete our journey with us. Yet again, another trip to the medical tent was undertaken, which coincided with the generator powering the lights failing. This resulted in the Si assisting the in medics applying tape to my sore feet as I held the torch; a truly painful experience but needed to try to prevent fresh damage. My mood was somewhat lifted by my decision to use my fresh clean socks, never has a man been so happy to have that freshly laundered feel caress his tired feet. Boots back on and it was time to push towards the penultimate checkpoint and a second deserved hot meal.

The next leg mirrored the toils of the previous in that the darkness and monotony of the path had added an extra factor to this arduous challenge. Such was the frustration of constant narrow, dark paths littered with tree roots and stones which did not assist blisters sapped any goodwill that remained. Furthermore, this leg resulted in an increase in knee and leg pain for me; however Stuart was also starting to feel the effects also by helping to form a knee sympathy party with myself. We stopped several times in the dark, suffering all the while and losing heart, including a brief stint of sitting on the ground. Despite several more rests and my snail like pace we made it to the 77km stop at Marsh Mount (right next to Cock Marsh) with the prospect of some warm food.

A pulled pork sandwich awaited, and whilst lukewarm it did the trick of at least making me feel better. As the others perfected the art of table sleeping, I visited the medic tent yet again for an appraisal of my knee. When explaining to the doctor I thought it may be a retriggering of the twinges caused doing the Great North Run, he replied ‘Were you drunk when you signed up to do this’, helping to vindicate my own thoughts that I was foolish to tackle this so close to an endurance event. He suggested that the best course of action was to receive some physiotherapy from the staff, however after spending 20 minutes being ignored and witnessing some lovely sights such as a girl throw up blood and another convulse on the floor, I stormed out and gathered the rest of the weary travellers to push on in a feat of freshly motivated rage.

The stars and the moonlight, blister pain, the hoot of an owl, the stillness of the crisp night air, knee pain. The monotony of the narrow path, blister pain, knee pain. The uneven surface of the ground, knee pain, knee pain, some blister pain but mainly knee pain. Field after field with gate after gate, knee pain. Have we been here before, knee pain, nope just another field, knee pain. 81km marker, still knee pain, blister pain, knee pain, very far to go, bench and salvation. Motivation all but depleted and unlikely to finish the challenge. A big sigh knowing failure was inevitable was accompanied by a Big Si who sat with me on the bench. Somehow, his soothing five minutes of support and reminder that I was in the middle of nowhere, unlikely to be rescued by the organisers meant that I had no choice to push on. I could always bow out at 88km, safe in the knowledge of medics and a fast track towards home. I therefore lugged my sorry carcass up and pushed onwards towards the next rest stop and salvation.

The journey to the final rest stop however was not smooth, as the weariness of my fellow travellers were beginning to tell. The concept of time had all but evaporated, minutes and hours blurring into steps and kilometres. We pushed on with Stu feeling a little worse for wear as we headed for the final rest stop, Tom vanishing into the distance and being nowhere to be seen at this point. I had somehow managed to get a second wind and kept reasonable pace with Gav, almost powering to the finish 88km rest stop. As we rounded the corner an almost tearful looking Tom who was waiting for us looked instantly relieved as he had thought we had ditched him letting us know it was the most demoralised he had felt on the entire trip. What Tom didn’t factor in was how much of a hindrance I was being, and the very concept that I could have outpaced a snail brought a wry smile to my face.

It was evident at the final rest stop that tiredness was starting to creep in as witnessed by everyone but me deciding to catch 40 winks. As I was not tired, I occupied myself by harassing the cows in the field next to the rest stop, taking an obligatory cow selfie. I also sampled the delights of the food table, eating as a way of occupying myself. I even grabbed a handful of sweets so that we could turn the last 12km into a party atmosphere. After 20 minutes I was thoroughly bored as my intrepid travellers snoozed, and it was time to rouse them for the final push. Gav’s supposed alarm that he set did not go off, so they had to make do with the Dan alarm. Tom was the heaviest sleeper of the lot, and duly picked his carcass up from the floor. It is perhaps ironic that he was the most tired given that he was the only one who slept in on the previous night…

Pushing towards the finish line the morning was crisp, the sun starting to cast its rays on the plush Berkshire countryside. I began to warm up my blisters for the final time as Si and I took point with the others not far behind. It was a serene atmosphere with the still of the world surrounding us only broken by the occasional spoken word and dog walkers and well wishers. Indeed, a lovely couple had arisen to usher walkers to the end, with my cow balloon providing some mild enjoyment. This continued for the next blissful 3km until my dreaded enemy, the knee, decided that it was bored of walking and would create a painful protest; one in which it would not abate until I stopped.

After a brief rest it was clear that I was in discomfort, however there was but 8km to go and I wasn’t going to fail now, not for any other reason in that I never wanted to walk 100km again and if I failed I would have to. I pushed on but was struggling, with the others stealing a march. We had planned a stop at around 94km, however I had to rest on a bench slightly before after some words of encouragement from Katie on the telephone. An organiser who was running backwards to help walkers offered support, but her friendly chat and offer of sweets motivated me to push on. Around the next corner I caught sight of the rest of the party but continued past them, allowing their rest and knowing they would catch up.

Stu and Gav at the finish line.

Stu and Gav at the finish line.

The last 6km was incredibly tough as my knee was hurting the most all trip, and the option of painkillers was out given that I was probably already overdosing at this point anyway. It was now possible to see Henley; however it was some distance down the river. After stopping on a bench again with around 4km to go, the rest of the party caught up including Si who now needed to stretch his legs due to us laggards holding him back. Si has also elected to partake in the supporting of other competitors by hugging random girls who were crying; claiming he wasn’t the cause. After catching up with me Si informed me he was pressing to the end, noting that my determination would push me to the end. Stu, Si and Gav slowly vanished into the distance leaving a wounded Tom who was also starting to suffer with knee pain and me to quest towards the line.

Upon entering Henley I was disheartened to see that we had only covered 98km and thought about stopping, however

Just 1km to go...

Just 1km to go…

Tom encouraged me to go on. We were pondering whether the others were finished now, and hoped that they had made it in one piece. It was indicated how nice it would be to cross the line together, but understood if they wanted to push on. We reached the point where the organisers, having what was possibly the biggest laugh at competitors decided it would be fun to send us up a gigantic mountain before sending us down the other side, a pointless but punishing exploit to add around 0.5km to the overall distance. Going down the hill finished my knee off, with each step agony as we reached the 99km marker. Fortunately this was a ghost marker, with the finish much closer than this. As we rounded the corner there I spied three individuals sitting by the fence, around 20 yards from the finish. At this point the happiness of my team-mates waiting for us filled Tom and I with a warmth, and I attempted the most pathetic sprint finish to catch up with them. Our herd stood up and we all crossed the line together as we started, a team. We were handed our medals, received an obligatory team photo and a glass of fizz to signify 100km completed.

The full 100km challenge was completed in 25:37:30, with five of our members making the distance. Our team ranked 429 out of 632 competitors that finished. An initial 920 set out on the 100km so we were firmly in the top half! Ermintrude completed the challenge also, but was not classified on account she is a cow. Looking back at the challenge, there were many things that I learned, which can be summarised as follows:

  1. Walking 100km in one go is a ridiculous task, it takes ages and is boring, painful and pointless. Never attempt it again.
  2. If you ever want to taken on a challenge, buy the proper equipment sooner than three weeks and spend the money. Do not buy Mike Ashley specials and think that two wears are enough to break them in; clearly they will take significantly longer.
  3. Tom has the most solid hair in the universe, as not a hair was out of place despite a 100km walk which included a sleep on the floor.
  4. Long challenges like this are not so much fitness based, but more willpower. If I listened to my body, I would have given up halfway.
  5. Never underestimate the power of teamwork as without the support shown by each one of my comrades at some point in the journey. Without their support and threat of bullying at work on Monday I would have not made it.

by Dan Edmunson

25

09 2014

The Thames Towpath 100km Walk

TPCFounding NoMad Rush Si Salter has today registered a team of brave souls to compete in the Thames Towpath 100km Walk on 13 September 2014 for sendacow.org.uk.

We like the way the charity works hand in hand with families in Africa and look forward to raising money to help their cause.

“Ending poverty in the heart and on the land”

There approach to ending poverty is unique. A powerful mix of practical farming, emotional support and a culture of sharing that is changing the future for millions of African families. But millions more still need help.

Below are the 6 members of the NoMad Rush Towpath team.

Si SalterGavin LondonStuart Carter
Tom LawsonMike LawsonDan Edmundson

25

02 2014

The Essex Way Mud Bath!

Essex Way Challenge – April 2010

The Essex Way is a long distance footpath stretching for 82 miles right across Essex. Starting at Epping train station and taking a route through the Essex countryside all the way to Harwich through ancient woodland, open farmland, tree-lined river valleys and leafy green lanes.

Si and Al Start of Essex WayOur challenge was to complete the full 82 miles of the Essex way, starting on Saturday 3 April and continuing non stop through day and night until completed.

The weather was against us …

A tall order at the best of times, however on the date we choose to undertake the 82 mile challenge the weather was certainly against us.

For the first four hours of the walk we were battling against pouring rain through soaked footpaths, then staggering along muddy fields and paths for another 21 hours. Alex was interviewed by Ian Wyatt at Essex radio about the challenge.

We managed 60 miles and 75.5 miles in the mud!

Simon’s legs went at 60 miles. Alex somehow managed to carry on to 75.5 miles just 5.7 miles from the Harwich Lighthouse finish line before his knees finally gave out.

Si and Al in HarwichCharities

For the Essex Way Challenge we were fundraising for Heybridge pre-school (£825) and the MS Society £288) (see charities page for more information).

04

04 2010

Plymouth-Banjul Update No.12 – The End!

17 January 2007
They made it! After very little sleep they continued the journey this morning, over the ferry crossing and to Banjul! This was followed by a parade through the town with all the vehicles, and a football match (of which Si scored the first goal!). They can now look forward to a couple of days rest and celebration!

Si Celebrating

Wilfred will be auctioned on Sunday 28th January and we will let you know how much money Wilfred has raised for the Gambian charities.


Auction update
We finally found out how much Wilfred went for in the local auction to raise money for the Gambian charities. Wilfred raised a fantastic £1,847.82.

That now brings the grand total raised by NomadRush for all the charities in the Gambia and back home to £6273.84

MacMillan Cancer Support £2,349.76
The MS Society £2,076.26
The Gambian charities £1,847.82

Well done Si and Alex for getting the car all the way from Essex to Banjul and all the money you have raised for charity along the way!


Sponsors

As well as helping us by donating money through the Justgiving website, the people listed below have contributed with the Plymouth-Banjul Rally in 2006/07 and we thank you for your support:

  • Swan Public House, Lt Totham – www.theswanpublichouse.co.uk
  • Universal Tyres in Tilbury
  • Sara-Jade Piper and her colleagues and managers at Waterstones
  • Maldon Accessory Centre
  • Billericay Round Table – www.billericayroundtable.co.uk
  • Foremost Insurance Services,
  • Keith Martin Upholstery www.keithmartinupholstery.co.uk
  • The people from Basildon District Council
  • Read and Simpson, the Jeweller
  • Nick in Bexhill
  • Adrian Tribe – for providing us with the web space for this site.
  • Ernest Doe
  • Lockwell -Industial Electrial Distributors – www.lockwell.co.uk
  • P & S Pets and Aquatics

With acknowledgement to The Alpine Room Danbury, The Pharmacy at Bentalls, Heybridge also Upstairs Downstairs, Edwards Walk, Maldon and Mr Bunting the butcher.

We’ve also received generous donations towards the charities and the challenge from the following:
Legal and General, Zurich, Artemis, Clerical Medical, Peter Jackson and colleagues at AWD Chase de Vere, Saunderson Plant Hire

17

01 2007

Plymouth-Banjul Update No.11

14 January 2007
Rest day at the Zebrabar campsite near Saint Louis. They say it’s really beautiful there and they are relaxing a bit before carrying on to Gambia tomorrow. They were just going to go off on a boat trip to see the sights.

15 January 2007
Well they were going to carry on to Gambia today, but they were enjoying themselves so much at the Zebrabar that they decided to stay another day. They really will travel on to Gambia tomorrow (or so they say!)…

Senegal Kids

16 January 2007
Journey through Senegal with customs escort. As so many cars had congregated at the Zebrabar, the convoy to cross Senegal became fairly large (in the region of 30 cars) which meant lots of waiting for people to catch up. Also the guide did a fair bit of stopping and asking for directions as well by the sounds of it. Instils confidence doesn’t it! They ending up getting to the border very late and only managed about 4 hours sleep in a compound there.

16

01 2007

Plymouth-Banjul Update No.10

12 January 2007
Back in signal range about 4 o’clock for Alex’s phone only. They have had a good few days in Mauritania, spent pulling the other cars out of the sand. Wilfred was the only car that didn’t get stuck in the sand by the sounds of it and they spent the time helping out the others. They had fun driving down the beach road! Camped on a hotel roof at Nouakchott – they’ll have to explain quite how this worked?? But they did get to use the hotel facilities and had a well needed shower after the days in the desert.

Earlier – still out of signal range. They should have camped last night by the beach and set off early on the beach road this morning. The beach road actually isn’t a road and just involves driving along the beach and hoping not to get cut off by the tide coming in.

They would have needed to have left early this morning to make the journey – so with the Atlantic Ocean one side and high sand dunes the other, it’s imperative they get through this stretch in good time before the high tide comes in!

Alex in Wilfred

13 January 2007
Disaster struck for team Ice cold in Banjul, on the road leading towards the Mauritania / Senegal border. It sounds like they went down a very large rut in the road and smashed up the front of the car. The steering shaft went and there was lots of damage to the engine. So they had to ditch the Fiesta as it wasn’t drivable or repairable.

Thankfully the guys were ok but very shook up. They are now passengers in the black cab, with their gear in with Si and Alex.
So, they carried on and reached the border. They managed the border crossing into Senegal in just 3 hours. This sounds like a lot but apparently that’s quick and they were expecting much longer. Si plus Dom (from team Keep the meter running) managed to negotiate their way through in this record time.

They phoned to let us know the progress and events of the day once they had reached the Zebrabar.

13

01 2007

Can’t out of the Newspapers!

11 January 2007 – Essex Chronicle
Two Heybridge adventurers are halfway through the challenge of a lifetime…

Essex Chronicle

11

01 2007

Plymouth-Banjul Update No.9

11 January 2007
Today after a desert camp, they should be driving back towards Mauritania’s coast (coming out of the National Park at Nouâmghar) and then driving along the beach before setting up camp once again.

Beach Drive 1

Beach Drive 2

Beach Drive 3

11

01 2007

Plymouth-Banjul Update No.8

10 January 2007
No phone signal from now for a few days, however I shall let you know where they are supposed to be for each day – let’s hope all goes to plan!

Habba

Today they drive off road into the Sahara, in groups of 4 or 5 cars and each accompanied by a local guide. This is rougher terrain for some of the cars to handle and many get stuck in the sand and need digging, pulling / pushing out.

Wilfred in Sahara

Hopefully Wilfred will be OK! They’ll camp in the desert over night and then head back towards the coast tomorrow.

Gary and Gloves

10

01 2007

Plymouth-Banjul Update No.7

9 January 2007
Today they should cross the border into Mauritania and drive the famous road which has land mines either side.

I have now been assured that the mined areas to the sides have now been fenced off, so not as precarious as it had appeared in the DVD we watched of the first Plymouth – Banjul run, where they simply had to follow the tyre tracks left in the sand by the previous car and hope that the wind didn’t blow the sand over these! The DVD had also shown half blown up cars either side as a result of what happens when someone ventured too much to one side.

Alex and Wilfred Pose

They rang later from Nouadhibou where they arrived safe and well. The most eventful thing that happened on the mined stretch of road was the Fiesta (driven by Ice cold in Banjul) getting stuck in the sand. Wilfred had no problems!

09

01 2007