Leeds pals’ Mongolian mission in truck

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A group of pals dodged camels and narrowly avoided a coup to complete a 10,000 mile mission from Yorkshire to Mongolia.

Twin brothers Matt and Will Wild, Olly Hayes and Megan Hampton embarked on the 2016 Mongolia Charity Rally to deliver a 4x4 to be used as an off-road ambulance to charity Go Help in Ulaanbaatar.

The friends, who met at Ilkley Grammar School, faced mechanical challenges, soaring temperatures and high winds during the pan-continental road-trip.

Olly, 23, said: “Not everything went quite to plan; as we entered Istanbul our truck started to leak brake fluid. It’s not easy to drive in Istanbul at the best of times, even with working brakes, so we were very relieved to find some local mechanics keen to help.”

After following the Black Sea through Turkey, narrowly missing the coup, the team headed to the Caspian Sea.

Matt, 24, said: “We crossed the sea on an old German cargo ship, however due to high winds the 14 hour crossing in fact took three days.”

Once in Turkmenistan the team followed the old Silk Road through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Megan, 23, said: “As we headed east the temperature climbed above 40°C whilst the quality of roads and driving declined fast. By Turkmenistan camels and goats were among the latest obstacles in the road.”

The truck will now begin its next adventure, providing access to primary healthcare for some of the poorest communities in rural Mongolia.

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