Lucy Dalby, who lives in Tooting Bec and her friend Lauren Joseph, will be setting off on Sunday 20th July from Battersea Park, to drive a third of the way around the globe to Mongolia in an old banger called Mildred, bought for £700 on EBay.
Their adventure is in memory of Lauren’s brother Guy, who was tragically killed in a paragliding accident in 2011 at the age of 25. Guy was the ultimate adventurer and Lauren felt that this challenge would be a tribute to her brother’s enormous zest for life, and would also hopefully raise lots of money for Guys Trust, the charity set up in his memory.
Guy's Trust offers educational opportunities to disadvantaged young people in developing countries, particularly those with which Guy had a special connection. Since the charity was founded just two years ago, the charity has built two pre-schools in Nepal and has paid for a third that will be started shortly. The money that Lauren and Lucy raise will help to build a school in an impoverished area of Cambodia where only 60% of children complete primary education.
Lauren and Lucy will shortly say farewell to their NHS jobs at St. George’s NHS Healthcare Trust, swapping their respective positions as a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist for mechanics (gaffer tape and superglue), gourmet cuisine (baked beans and fermented mare's milk) and luxury accommodation (back of a van with their legs sticking out of the window).
After sticking a pin in a map and considering war, instability, and the fact that 40-degree heat requires knee exposure, they chose a route from London to Ulan Bator through Lithuania, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and everything in-between.
They've got six weeks of off-road driving with battered suspension and no satnav, border control queues, digging the van out of the Gobi Desert and questionable bathroom facilities to look forward to, but they say that they “can't wait for the opportunity to confront the unexpected and hopefully survive it!”
Lauren and Lucy are funding the trip entirely themselves so that every penny raised goes directly to Guy’s Trust.
Find out more about Guy’s Trust at www.guystrust.org Follow Lauren and Lucy’s blog as they make their way from Battersea to Ulan Bator at www.nodirectionmongolia.wordpress.com Sponsor Lauren and Lucy at www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/laurenandlucy Based on information supplied by Lucy Dalby.