By RICHARD WOOD
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Their car may only have been used to being driven to the shops and back.
But it has now completed an amazing 9,500-mile challenge across 18 countries after three students went on the drive of their life.
Teddy Chadd, of Brampton, near Beccles, was joined by friends Poppy Rainer and Pete Henriques, both of London, as they took part in the Mongol Rally.
The group of three drove a turquoise Vauxhall Aguila for five and a half weeks as they covered a rocky terrain in a charity effort for Help for Heroes and the Lotus Children’s Centre Charitable Trust.
Together they travelled across western Europe and then on through Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia, before reaching the finish line at Ulaanbaatar.
It was all part of the annual Mongol Rally which sees hundreds of teams challenged to reach the capital in a small car.
Although they did struggle with numerous car problems throughout the journey, teams helped each other and Mr Chadd said that they limped across the line while assisting two other groups.
Mr Chadd, 21, who studies at Oxford University, said: “It was unbelievable. The places were amazing and we did not expect the team spirit between everyone to be so strong.”
He added: “I think the driving was harder than I expected, with the long distance frustrating.
“In Mongolia there were no proper roads, but the worst part was driving on roads in Uzbekistan that had so many potholes we had to stay in second gear for two days.”
Once they arrived in Mongolia, the car was sold on with the money given to the Lotus Children’s Centre Charitable Trust.
Mr Chadd said: “The car is hopefully now doing what it did in Suffolk, just being run down the road.
“The previous owner actually got in touch with us to say how proud she was of her car, which she had for seven years.”
In total Mr Chadd and his friends raised £3,473 for the two charities, but he said it might be a little while before he does something like that again.
“I love travelling but I’ll give it a few years before trying anything else,” he said.