News News Once in a life time adventure in aid of Papworth Hospital Charity Fundraiser Bertie takes part in the Mongol Rally in aid of Papworth Hospital Charity. Bertie was born with a congenital heart condition for which he has had multiple operations, including open heart surgery on two occasions. His condition is now fully corrected. On 16th July Bertie set off from Goodwood with 5 friends in one white and one red, timeworn, 2002 Nissan Micras, driving 10,000 miles to Mongolia. On 30th August after 15,000 miles, 22 countries and numerous breakdowns they returned to the UK in the white Micra. The adventure tested the group both physically and mentally. At one point they were struggling to see past an inevitable flight home when the white Micra’s gearbox started failing in an ex Soviet uranium mining town called Aktau in Kazakhstan. They passed through 50º deserts, 5000m high mountain ranges and dozens of different cultures leading them to slaughter goats, drink fermented mares milk and come face to face with the law. They encountered a couple of near death experiences and the Micras encountered numerous mechanical problems that were patched up with rubber from their ping pong bats, plastic wadding from a Turkish shotgun cartridge, socks, parts taken from other cars, cable ties, ratchet straps and of course duct tape. The red Micra died 100km from the finish line. The white Micra gallantly towed it to the podium where it heroically donated its radiator, fan, and temp sensors to the white car. After finishing the rally in Ulan Ude on 23rd August, with only 7 days remaining on their Russian visa the group had a big decision to make; scrap both cars and fly back, or attempt a 6500km drive over 6 days crossing Russia to reach the safety of Latvia, but more importantly the EU. Challenge accepted and with their parents, ‘you’re idiots’, ringing in their ears Tobin, Arch and Bertie left Ulan Ude at 6:00pm on the 23rd having scrapped the red car. Fueled by Russian energy drinks, caffeine chewing gum, petrol station coffee and ration packs they drove for 78 hours across 5 time zones, eating, sleeping and drinking in the car, only stopping to fill up with fuel until they reached Moscow early on the 27th. With only 24 hours in Moscow and a short 10hr drive with some minor overheating problems they made it back into Europe on the 28th. Bertie explained looking back on their trip: "It’s been an epic adventure all in the name of a fantastic cause." Berties raised a staggering amount of just over £9000 for Papworth Hospital Charity to support the Congenital Heart Service at Papworth Hospital!