From Chatteris to Tokyo: Fen duo leave Kyrgyzstan after driving through ‘steepest and dustiest roads ever’
- Credit: Archant
Chatteris duo, Dan and Dave, have just passed through central Asia on their gruelling 12,500 mile journey from the Fens to Japan in a 2002 Toyota Yaris in aid of Children in Need.
The pair left Cambridgeshire on Sunday, August 12 with a blue-light escort from the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and they were waved off by members of the public.
Dan Handley and Dave Brooks, both mechanics from the Cambridgeshire town, will pass through 20 different countries before reaching their final destination in Tokyo, the capital of Japan.
They are currently 7,000 miles deep into their journey that should end at the beginning of October. You can track them live on their website and see daily updates on their Instagram and Facebook page ‘Chatteris2Tokyo’.
The 52-plate Toyota – named Larry by Dan and Dave – has suffered some minor issues along the way. The car receives regular check-ups at garages across the journey to make sure everything is running as it should.
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While in Switzerland, Dan said: “The Swiss people keep on giving! We had a couple of worries with the Yaris, one being an oil leak and two, a rotational noise coming from a front wheel.
“We pulled in at a local garage to find a very helpful team of mechanics who were gracious enough to look over the car for us.
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“They pressure cleaned the oil from underneath and even drove Dave to the local supermarket so we could buy a torque wrench!
“Once again the lovely people of Switzerland insisted on not taking any money from us and settled for photo with the car instead! What a country!”
Half way through their trip in Kyrgyzstan Larry has received his first flat tyre. Dan says he’s “not surprised” as its “taken an absolute beating” whilst driving through central Asia.
He said: “We’ve spent the last three days driving the steepest and dustiest roads we’ve ever witnessed! Poor old Larry has taken an absolute beating in Kyrgyzstan and is caked in dust inside and out.
“He’s still going strong! Yesterday he got his first flat tyre, which after 7,000 miles we’re not surprised! And then today one of the top mounts almost came through the bonnet.
“A quick stop in Karakol visiting a very helpful mechanic, Azamat, and we were back on the road within the hour. We were then on a mission to get to the Kyrgyzstan - Kazakhstan border as it closed at 6pm!
“After taking a few wrong turns and getting stuck on a rocky incline, we arrived at 6.05pm, which was acceptable for the Kyrgyzstan border control, but the Kazakhstan guards weren’t having any of it and literally shut the gates in front of us!
“A bit of pleading, banter and bribing with cigarettes and the gates magically opened and we flew through customs! We should be OK for signal for a while now so the live tracker is back online.”
To track the guys and for more information, visit: www.chatteris2tokyo.com