trip started in the North Island of New Zealand and continued down to Wanaka
in the South Island, where Liz and Chris first met 5 years ago. From here
they flew to Melbourne, Australia and cycled 3000km up the east coast to
Brisbane. Next stop: the Indonesian Islands of Bali and Java. From Jakarta,
Indonesia’s capital, they then took a 28 hour ferry ride to Singapore where
they filled their bellies with great local food before cycling north up the
west coast of Malaysia to Penang. From this small island they took a sailing
boat to Krabi in Thailand exploring small islands on the way. They left
Krabi in June and arrived in Chiang Mai on June 29.
Here they met the founders of Child’s Dream - the charity
they hope to raise ฃ20,000 for. This money will be enough to build a school
in a rural area of the Sub Mekong Region for underprivileged children. The
couple have arranged to volunteer for one month, teaching English, in one of
the schools that Child’s Dream have helped build. The school is in the
Tomato village near Mae Hong Son, 2 kilometers from the Thai/ Burmese
border. It provides free, daily English classes to local children, many of
whom are Burmese refugees.
Liz said, ‘It’s a great opportunity to get to know a
small community, particularly the children and a privilege to connect with
people from a different culture. By helping these kids at least with basic
English skills they can find work more easily,” Liz said.
Once they have completed their volunteer placement, the
couple will set off from Chiang Mai and cycle into Laos. After Laos, visa
permitting they will cycle through central China then across the Gobi desert
into Mongolia. They may be forced to take a short break while in China as
crossing the Gobi desert in winter can be very chilly indeed with Chris
reporting it can reach minus 40 Centigrade. From Ulaan Batar they plan head
west into Kazakhstan, Russia and the Ukraine until they reach the Black Sea.
Here they hope to follow the Danube River to Germany then cycle into France
and finally arrive in England, where their bicycle adventure will end.
The two did a practice run in the UK, going from top to
bottom, with Liz adding that while it is difficult, she is really enjoying
the travelling aspect of the trip. “For him its more of a cycling trip, for
me, its travelling, seeing cultures and meeting people. Everyone has been so
generous, we have had such good hospitality everywhere we go.”
All the money raised goes to Child’s Dream, the trip is
self-funded with equipment support from Pedal Power +, Hilleberg, Buff,
Icebreaker, Hahnel and Tilley.
To find out more about the trip called Bikeabout, visit
the website www.bikeabout.co.uk where you can read their travel blog and
find out more about cycle touring.
To learn more about Child’s Dream or to make a donation
please visit www. childsdream.org. Please mention bikeabout when asked how
you found out about Child’s Dream, so that your donation can be linked to
their cycle ride. You can also email Liz and Chris [email protected] to
leave a comment on their website’s donation page.