Many of you will remember that in February 2011 Howard and Elizabeth Reece-Smith cycled 1,500 miles from Nairobi in Kenya to Serenje in Zambia, to raise the money to equip an operating theatre in Serenje hospital. In the end they raised over £20,000 which went towards not only the operating theatre but also the wider Serenje project. You can hear Howard talking about that whole experience here.
Well they've now come up with another crazy idea, which is to cycle from Bracknell to Istanbul (they originally wanted to cycle all the way from Bracknell to Serenje, but cycling through Northern Africa was just too complicated / dangerous!). The aim is to raise the money required to properly kit out the girl's dormitory in Serenje with all the equipment required such as beds, wardrobes and dining room tables and chairs.
They plan to leave on the 18th April 2013, and expect the ride to take about 4 weeks. The route is from Bracknell to Portsmouth, the ferry to St Malo then due south across France to pick up the Loire. They will follow the Loire to Bern then change rivers to the Rhine into Germany, then follow the Danube to Belgrade. From Belgrade it is pretty much a straight ride to Istanbul!
If anyone would like to join them on the ride they will be very welcome - I'm going to go as far as Portsmouth but sadly can't find the time to go any further. They are also looking for someone who can drive a support car with the luggage who will also be able to go ahead and arrange lunch and accommodation. The driver and any additional cyclists would have to pay their own costs, but would be part of an amazing trip for a very worthy cause. The aim is to stay in youth hostels which should help keep the costs down.
If anyone is interested in cycling or driving then please get in contact with me and I can pass your details on to Howard. I'll also give you all details on how we can sponsor them nearer the time.