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Road Trip – Plymouth to Gambia, Africa

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Road Trip – Plymouth to Gambia, Africa

Anyone got the number for the RAC?

Two young surfers, 4000 miles of dirt road, one 1991 VW Polo with 200,000 miles on the clock, one mission; to drive from Plymouth to The Gambia.

During the drive Ian Holford and Tom Neal will give away surfboards to young children they meet on their rally through Europe and then west Africa, raising funds for UK based ShelterBox.

Here at Errant Surf Holidays we are proud support and sponsor the team on their errant journey. We will be providing a platform for the guys to showcase their trip, a surfing holiday to South Africa as raffle prize for anyone who donates over £2 at the Just Giving website.

About Shelter Box

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. They instantly respond to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. Each box supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value.

The cost of a box is £490, including delivery direct to those who need it. Each box bears its own unique number so as a donor you can track your box all the way to its recipient country via the website. Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organisations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.

Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox has firmly established itself at the forefront of international disaster relief providing shelter and dignity following over 90 disasters in more than 60 countries.

We need your help!

These poor lads are going to risk kidnapping, starvation, French toll roads and Al-Qaeda all in the name of charity. If you weren’t convinced before to give a donation through the Just Giving website then we have added a little incentive. If you donate over £2 then you will automatically be entered into a raffle draw to win an Errant Surf Holiday to South Africa! Simply log onto the Just Giving website give over £2 and on the 31st Jan 2010 we will pick at random a winner who will spend a week in South Africa learning to surf, or if you already surf, being taken around to the best surf spots.


The prize has been donated to Ian and Tom free of charge from Errant, there is no fee to enter but we would ask for a donation of over £2. If you would like to enter without donating, please send your name and address to: Gambia Free Prize Draw, 58 Hilgrove Road, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 2QT. This prize has no cash value. Non-Transferable. Holiday does not include flights or personal travel insurance. Judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. In the event of that any prize item is unavailable, the Promoter reserves the right to substitute a prize item of equal or greater value. Except with the written consent of the Promoter, prizes are not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash. The Promoter has absolute discretion as to whether it will provide such consent and need not provide any reasons to any person for providing or withholding consent. A percentage of money donated offline will go towards the expenses of the trip.

The Drive

The original Banger Challenge, that has spawned so many others. In December 2002, the first group of hopeful souls left the UK in a motley collection of vehicles, optimistically believing that Julian Nowill knew what he was doing, and had substance and experience behind his words.  Despite later finding out to the contrary, this first event was a great success and most of the 42 Teams even made it to Banjul.  This Challenge is now in it’s eighth year!

The Banjul Challenge heads South through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal, arriving in Banjul in The Gambia.  The route travels mostly on tarmac roads, but the highlight is the two-day crossing of the Sahara Desert.  The journey is approximately 3700 miles, and can comfortably be covered in three weeks (if all goes well).  Those in a hurry have completed in under two weeks, but that is missing the point, really.   This is NOT a race.  There is so much of interest en-route that it makes no sense to rush your travels.

The Challenge really starts in Southern Spain, where hotel accommodation is provided.   The Road Book provides the clues as the Participants bond over a beer (or two) in the hotel bar, and form into travelling groups for the journey South.  Ahead lies Sand, Sea and… even more sand. Experience the heat of the desert sun, and the challenge of nursing a knackered car all the way to destinations that most people would only consider flying to.

This Challenge is only open to Left-Hand Drive vehicles.  The route can be completed by almost any vehicle, and there is no distinct advantage to having 4×4 drive (except when others are stuck in the sand!).  It is a condition of entry that All vehicles MUST be donated to the Control Committee in The Gambia.   The vehicles are auctioned and the funds raised are distributed to local worthy causes.  This is the only legitimate way to ensure that the best price is obtained and that the funds are distributed appropriately.  Nasty things do happen to those who might flout this requirement, because it is illegal to sell your vehicle privately.

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