Adam Ataar and Alex Collard of Woodford Green to drive 10,000 mile trip to Beijing for Mercy Corps charity

Alex Collard and Adam Ataar with their 1963 Land Rover at the green next to the cricket club in Woodford Green.

Alex Collard and Adam Ataar with their 1963 Land Rover at the green next to the cricket club in Woodford Green.

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Wanstead & Woodford

Two friends are setting off on their fourth gruelling trip in an old Land Rover, this year travelling 10,000 miles from Beijing to London.

Adam Ataar and Alex Collard of Woodford Green, who met 18 years ago at Woodbridge High School, will travel from London to Beijing in 28 days from June 21.

The men, now 32, bought their 1963 ex-military vehicle for £500 seven years ago and both work in IT, Adam as a freelance and Alex owning Lincolnshire-based AJ Computers.

The trip will cost around £2,500 to finance and the friends have been saving up for two years.

They will travel for two days straight to Belarus, before driving through Kazakhstan and Mongolia and finishing the trip at the Great Wall of China.

Adam is single but Alex is married to Zoe with two sons Rowan and Josh aged 3 and 8 respectively. 

Adam, from Broomhill Road, Woodford Green, said: “Zoe is really supportive of us disappearing for a month. She helps us out with ideas of where to go next, and the kids like their cars, they are so excited when they see the Land Rover. 

"My parents do get nervous about it, but that is only natural, we make sure we write on our website every day to keep them updated."

The pair have had trips in 2007 to Mongolia, 2009 to the Saharan desert, and most recently in 2012 with a 6,000 mile trip to Morocco.

Adam said: “This is our fourth and most ambitious trip yet.

"Our scariest moment has to be in 2012 when we drove through a Nigerian village and a group of around 30 locals crowded around the car and started grabbing and physically holding the car and then following us on their motorbikes, it is the only time I have felt threatened."

“The trips are a really enjoyable experience though, it is a great way to see the world and we love off-road driving, the sunsets can be incredible in the Sahara."

Charity Mercy Corps works in more than 40 countries worldwide helping communities affected by natural disasters, conflict and poverty.

Adam and Alex have raised over £1,000 for the charity so far this year and hope to reach their £4,000 target before they leave.

To donate to their cause visit: www.justgiving/beijingrally
 

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