A local man and his work colleague are taking part in an epic motoring event to raise money for charity.
Jamie Twell, of Fishlake, and his colleague Joe Hawley, from Wakefield, have joined The Mongol Rally – an annual event which thunders 10,000+ miles across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia.
Both Jamie and Joe work for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and are determined to raise as much money as possible from their life changing trip; the charities benefiting from their epic drive being the mental health charity MIND, and the environmental charity, Cool Earth.
The Mongol Rally is a driving event where participants are encouraged to take the least sensible vehicle they can find and drive it thousands of miles across the world, to the far reaches of Russia, in order to raise money for the driving team’s chosen charities.
Following five months of planning and preparation, which included finding and equipping a vehicle, poring over maps for possible routes across many unknown mountain passes, and applying for the endless visas needed to pass through many countries outside of the European Union, Jamie and Joe started out on their adventure from Goodwood Motor Circuit on 16 July.
The intrepid pair – who have called their two-man team ‘The Yorkshire Nomads’ – are travelling in a ‘ridiculously small and unsuitable car’ bought in Oldham for £650, and with 70,000 miles already on the clock. The red VW Lupo, named ‘Patricia’, will hopefully carry Jamie and Joe across 22 different countries as they look to reach the finish line. The pair have no backup, no support and no defined route – just their problem-solving abilities and total determination to get to the finish line, in Ulan-Ude in Russia, by 24th August.
Four weeks into their adventure, Jamie and Joe have already passed through England, France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and the Ukraine before leaving Europe via the enigmatic port of Odessa. From there the pair travelled across the Black Sea via a ferry, then through Georgia and Armenia and on to central Asia.
A spokesperson for Jamie and Joe said: “They have visited some amazing cities, met some wonderful people and seen some awesome natural sites. They crossed the Carpathian Mountains in Romania via the Transfăgărășan highway (of Top Gear fame); undertook a thought provoking visit to Chernobyl; spent a frustrating four days on a very slow Black Sea Ferry (which was not quite the plan), finally entering Middle Asia. They pushed on through Georgia before averting a potential night-time disaster when they managed to rip the fuel pump off the car in the middle of nowhere in Armenia. Helped by some amazing locals (and a lot of sign-language as neither side spoke the others language), they managed to get the car repaired so that the Yorkshire Nomads could be ‘back in the game’”.
Jamie & Joe are clear why they are taking part the rally: “As members of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service we believe no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone. This charity rally gives us a chance to raise money to further the work of the charity MIND, who support everyone experiencing a mental health problem, ensuring they get help and respect”.
To learn more about the pair’s journey, visit: www.yorkshirenomadsrally.com
You can also donate to Jamie and Joe’s cause via: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/YorkshireNomadsRally
Follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheYorkshireNomads