Archive for the ‘Plymouth-Banjul’Category

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!


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 –
  • Universal Tyres in Tilbury
  • Sara-Jade Piper and her colleagues and managers at Waterstones
  • Maldon Accessory Centre
  • Billericay Round Table –
  • Foremost Insurance Services,
  • Keith Martin Upholstery
  • 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 –
  • 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


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.


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.


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


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


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!


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


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!


01 2007

Plymouth-Banjul Update No.6

7 January 2007
Reached Dakhla where they camped in a very hard, gravelly camp site, so were pleased of their camp beds that lifted them off the hard ground.

Banjul Team Shot

8 January 2007
The guys and 4 other teams stopped in a half built hotel at the road side. I think the others in their convoy are Ice cold in Banjul , Desert Scousers , Keep the meter running , and another team in a BMW.

This is on the road that leads to the border with Mauritania (so really in the middle of nowhere), but they wouldn’t have so far to go to reach the border the next day – as they were told it was a long drive. They didn’t fancy the hotel menu, so were cooking their army rations when I spoke to them. Alex was in the middle of cooking the desert for Si.


01 2007

Plymouth-Banjul Update No.5

6 January 2007
Today’s drive took them out of the relative comfort of Morocco and into the disputed territories of Western Sahara. They drove for 9½ hours and reached Laayoune. Laayoune is the largest city of the territories and home to about a third of the population. Wilfred

Located to the north of Western Sahara, it is surrounded by desert and sand dunes – the guys narrowly missed a herd of camels on their way there! There are now 7 cars in their convoy.

Alex and Roadside


01 2007

Plymouth-Banjul Update No.4

4 January 2007
Now in Marrakesh (although a day late because of the attempt to reach Imilchil yesterday). They are booked into a good hotel with some of the other teams and chilling out before heading off to the main square for the evenings entertainment.

The main Marrakesh square called Djemma el-Fna comes to life at night with dozens of food stalls, dancers, musicians, snake charmers, story tellers etc they should have fun!

Dinner Time in Marrakech

5 January 2007
They are now in Agadir, with a few of the other teams resting before the journey into Western Sahara tomorrow. They had an easy drive from Marrakesh today.


01 2007