AN intrepid pair of charity fundraisers have returned home safe and sound after driving nearly 4,000 miles through Europe and back in a 21-year-old car.
Andy Ward, a hospital technician from Sleaford, accompanied by his friend Glen Plaice, from Maidstone, have been raising cash for Leukaemia Research, Macmillan Cancer Care and the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance with their Scirocco 2 Morocco challenge.
Nearly two years ago, Andy, 42, was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, a less aggressive form of the disease. He has vowed since to raise money for the research charity.
The pair drove a donated VW Scirocco called Scarlet from Sleaford, across the Channel, through France and Spain with the intention of crossing to Morocco before returning home again.
They were almost successful, getting within 18 miles of their destination, ending up in the car park of Morrisons supermarket in Gibraltar.
But Andy said: “It was simply the fact that we were unable to secure a return crossing to Morocco for what we considered a reasonable price.
“We decided in the end that discretion was the better part of valour and that paying over 400 for a short hop over to Morocco and back within 12 hours was just extortionate.”
He also had to endure a possible broken big toe when being stopped and searched at the Spain/Gibraltar border crossing. Andy decided to unhitch their specially-made equipment trailer while Glen reversed up to it but he dropped the towing arm onto his left foot.
They returned home after eight-and-a-half days and they have so far collected 2,869 for their three charities.
Among the highlights of their journey was the crossing of the Millau viaduct in southern France, the highest road bridge in the world, designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster.
Their journey, including ferry crossing, covered 3,979 miles.