Are we nearly there yet?
JERSEY is certainly no training ground for anyone planning a major road trip.
Unless you’re going to explore every one of the Island’s green lanes en route, a journey from Gorey to Corbière would probably be finished well within the hour.
So where does that leave four Islanders who have packed a Fiat Panda for a motoring charity challenge across central and eastern Europe, finishing in Mongolia?
The group – brothers Antony and Nick Scott and friends Ben Crozier and Amy Hayhurst – are taking part in the Mongol Rally, an annual event where drivers attempt to travel 10,000 miles from the Czech Republic to Mongolia in a car with a one-litre engine.
‘I’ve been looking into doing this [the rally] for a long time,’ Antony (32) said. ‘It has taken a bit of organisation – the rally has no set route. It has been difficult – almost a year to get everything together from getting visas to plotting the route.
‘Some days we’re going to be doing nine, ten-plus hours in the car. We’re going to take it in turns to drive. Amy loves music so she is going to be the main DJ.’
The team, who are due to set off tomorrow, might have further to go than most, as they also have a 2,000-mile drive to the starting line just outside Prague. Their trip will take them through a total of 19 countries, clocking up 12,000 miles in the process.
Antony and Ben (30) will be travelling the full distance – and even hope to drive back to Jersey via Russia – while Nick (30) and Amy (31) will join them for some parts of the journey due to work commitments.
‘You can do the whole rally in three to four weeks,’ Antony, a former Victoria College student who lives in St Peter, said. ‘A lot of teams are doing that because they have normal jobs and can only take so much time off.
‘We’re hoping to do it in about seven weeks, but funds could be running low by that point.’
As part of the challenge, teams have to raise at least £1,000 for charity – £500 of which must go to the event’s official charity Cool Earth, an organisation that works to protect rainforests.
Antony, who has spent the past 2½ years as a scuba-diving instructor in the Cayman Islands, said his team was also raising money for Kidney Research UK, as his father, Chris, died from sepsis and kidney disease last year.
When asked if he was anxious about the forthcoming trip, Antony said: ‘I’m nervous about the border crossings, even though we all have our visas. Some countries can be quite funny.’
The team has received sponsorship from JB’s Brewhouse and Bliss Brew Co. To sponsor the team, visit gofundme.com/team-maga-mongol-rally-2018.