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Issue 290 – Frome couple return from charity rally

An intrepid Frome couple have returned from the trip of a lifetime, taking part in a rally from Somerset to Bishkek, in Kyrgyzstan, in an old banger bought for under £100.

The challenge was simple – drive a £100(ish) car from Somerset to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 17 days. Frome’s own Team Hawes and Cart, made up of local herbalist Zoe Hawes and her husband Spencer, rose to the challenge, returning earlier this month.
The couple bought a 1998 Citroen Xantia 1.9 Turbo Diesel SX on Ebay for the rally, which took them across Eastern Europe into Russia and across central Asia to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The adventure was in the name of charity too, as the couple are raising money for Friends of Chernobyl’s Children and orphanages in Kyrgyzstan.
Zoe told the Frome Times, “It was just amazing to go to places that people wouldn’t normally choose to go to on holiday and it was refreshing to go places where there are just local people trying to scratch a living who aren’t trying to sell you things because you’re a tourist.
“I would recommend a trip like it to anybody – it’s a great way to see a really interesting part of the world.”
“The only real repair we had to make on the car was on the exhaust when we were in Ukraine. It was a patch repair and it lasted for 2,500 across the desert until we reached Kazakhstan.
“Some of the driving conditions were pretty tough through the desert. The roads fell apart and there were huge potholes like craters. The suspension on the car was pretty ropey.
“We visited orphanages in Kyrgyzstan and saw the great care the children are receiving there. It was a real eye opener to see little babies being given away because they had hair-lips. Whereas here it is a minor operation, there they cannot afford it.”

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