Friends reach end of 10,000-mile journey for charity

TWO housemates driving 10,000 from England to Mongolia to raise money for charity have reached the end of their journey. David Pipe and Craig Bellars, of Blenheim Way in Stevenage, set off from Goodwood on July 18, along with 300 other teams taking part i

TWO housemates driving 10,000 from England to Mongolia to raise money for charity have reached the end of their journey.

David Pipe and Craig Bellars, of Blenheim Way in Stevenage, set off from Goodwood on July 18, along with 300 other teams taking part in the Mongol Rally, and took 40 days to reach Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital.

The pair travelled through 17 countries in their nine-year-old Nissan Micra, including Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan - visiting Stevenage's twin town, Shimkent, along the way.

Craig said: "The final stretch of the rally, about 1,000 miles across Mongolia, has been a completely different animal to everything that went before it. The roads have been terrible and it has been really hard going.


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"A lot of teams have dropped out on this final stretch and we also began to have some problems. We had to have our fuel pump replaced, we snapped one of the springs on our suspension, and we also broke the belts that charge our battery and drive our engine's cooling system."

The pair had to fjord a 50-foot river which was knee deep, making it across while another team's car got stuck halfway, ending their rally there.

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Craig said: "The car's not exactly in top condition anymore but we've both been really impressed with how it has stood up to some incredible punishment on a succession of very, very bumpy roads, and still somehow kept running."

Craig and David have raised more than �2,000 for Mercy Corps Mongolia.

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