Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The spirit of adventure

Just as I was about to leave Beijing a few weeks ago, a friend of mine forwarded me an e-mail about this grand quixotic adventure. Three young Brazilians - journalist Richard Amante and his mates Edgar and Paulo Scherer - plan to drive a beat-up secondhand Santana all the way from Beijing to London.

They set out from the Olympic Green in Beijing 10 days ago, and are aiming to arrive in London on the 27th July - in time for the Opening Ceremony of the 30th Olympic Games. That means they'll be covering more than 20,000km and traversing at least 25 different countries in just 57 days. That doesn't leave an awful lot of time for sightseeing, much less any mechanical mishaps.

They are, of course, completely MAD. And I wish I was going with them.

You can follow their progress on their Olympic Expedition website.

Best of luck to you, Richard, Edgar, and Paulo!!! 
I hope to see you in London next month.

Unhappy update: Damn, I hope I didn't jinx these boys! I'd been worried when they hadn't updated their blog for a few days at the end of their first week... It turns out they ran into problems trying to get their car across the Chinese border - full sorry details here, a prime example of how maddeningly incompetent and obstructive Chinese bureaucracy can be!

They reluctantly left their car behind in Xinjiang, and are now seeking to continue their journey by whatever alternative modes of transport they can contrive... a bit of hitching, a bit of flying....

I am not in the least surprised by this turn of events, but very, very disappointed for the lads. Way to party-poop, China!!

Happier update: Well, I'm glad to see the lads made it to London on schedule. And they seem to have had a lot of fun along the way, despite that unfortunate early setback.


John said...

A handsome bunch of lads I think anyone will agree, can't say the same about the car though. Top Gear this is not!

FOARP said...

Unfortunately they've already had to ditch the Santana - not because of mechanical problems but because of bureaucracy. Anyone find themselves suffering Visa/banking flash-back when they read about the cops not letting them through with the car simply because they couldn't be bothered to do the paperwork?

Froog said...

Oh, bum! I thought that might happen.

Another reminder of why it is good to get out of China.