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Issue 284 – From Somerset to Kyrgyzstan in an old banger…

How far East can an old banger bought for under £100 take you? That’s the question local woman Zoe Hawes and her husband Spencer will be asking themselves next week when they set off on a rally all the way from Somerset to Bishkek, in Kyrgyzstan.

The challenge is simple – drive a £100(ish) car from Somerset to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 17 days.
Zoe, who is a medical herbalist in Frome, along with her husband Spencer, will be embarking on the trip next Friday, in a 1998 Citroen Xantia 1.9 Turbo Diesel SX bought on Ebay. Together, they will be taking part in the rally as ‘Team Hawes & Cart’.
They are hoping the car will take them across Eastern Europe into Russia and across central Asia to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The adventure will be in the name of charity too, as the couple are raising money for Friends of Chernobyl’s Children.
Zoe told the Frome Times, “We’ve never done anything like this before. We have both done a bit of travelling, but this is a little more intrepid!
“When we get there, we will be handing over the car for auction, and the money made will go to a local orphanage there.
“The rally finishes in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, which is conveniently on the route of the Silk Road Train so we’ll be travelling all the way back by train, via Moscow.
“We are raising money for Friends of Children of Chernobyl, a UK charity that works to bring orphaned and disadvantaged children from Belarus to the UK for a month’s holiday each year.
“Belarus received the greatest concentration of fallout from the Chernobyl disaster and this is reflected in the very high levels of birth defects and children’s cancers. By giving these children a month away, in clean air with good nutrition, their immune systems can have some respite and help to improve their health and wellbeing for the future.”
Zoe and Spencer have set up their own webpage where people can sponsor them for taking part in the rally at

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