Chatteris fundraisers Dan and Dave set off on nine week, 12,500 mile adventure to Tokyo and hope to raise £1,000s for Children in Need along the way
Intrepid fundraisers Dan Handley and Dave Brooks were given a massive send-off as they started their 12,500 mile drive from Chatteris to Tokyo yesterday (Sunday).
The friends, who work at Toyota specialists Fensport Performance, set off from the firm's premises in Dock Road with the best wishes of their family and friends still ringing in their ears.
They were waved off by their relatives, co-workers and friends, from a special 'bon voyage' barbecue at lunchtime on Sunday for the start of their mega journey, which will see them travel through 20 countries to reach their Japanese destination.
They will travel on inhospitable roads and gruelling terrain, passing through countries such as France, Austria, Switzerland and Bulgaria and others whose names turn up as quiz show answers – Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan – through Mongolia, Russia, South Korea and Tokyo.
And they will be doing it all in a specially adapted 16-year-old Toyota Yaris, which cost just £1,000 off eBay.
Fortunately the pair have plenty of experience of fixing Toyotas and they're hoping the elderly five-door model will take them all the way.
They will be camping for the majority of the trip, which they expect to complete in nine weeks, arriving in Tokyo, if all goes well on October 5.
They will then spend a week exploring Japan before flying home. The car will return to the UK in a container thanks to the generosity of one of the trip's sponsors.
The car has on-board Slingshot 6 which means the daring duo will have 4G wi-fi so will be able to keep everyone updated with a blog and there is also a tracker fitted so people can follow their progress online.
It has taken the pair over a year to plan and to get all the necessary visas in place for the various countries they pass through.
They hope their spirit of adventure and one-off feat will help raise bumper sums for the BBC Children in Need appeal. They have earned sponsorship for all the trip's costs, so any money donated will go to the charity.
More details about their trip and details of how to contribute to their fund-raising can be found on their website here: www.chatteris2tokyo.com where you can also follow their journey.