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Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Desert Mice, First to the Bar

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T7141

Desert Mice

T7146

First to the bar!

15 Dec They're off! 21 Dec Arrived in Tarifa
25 Dec Marrakech for Christmas 9 Jan Arrived in Banjul
12 Jan Visit to Kings Kid Academy 15 Jan More about Kings Kid
& Finally The Final Reckoning Info More information

Desert Mice LogoDesert Mice (T7141)
Clare Jones de Rocco and Guillermo Rocco from the Netherlands, have entered the 2007 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge as the 'Desert Mice'. They will be helping Pageant to raise money for one of the schools Pageant supports in The Gambia. They will be fundraising for King's Kid Academy in Lamin, to the south west of Banjul. (See the
King's Kid Academy Page)

They are closely associated with another team, 'First to the bar!', consisting of Clare's sister Katie Ball and Adam Richards, both from Cardiff. This page covers both teams.

Clare is from Wales and Guillermo is from Argentina. They are currently living and working in The Hague, Holland. They are both keen travellers and enjoy going to adventurous places, but neither has done anything remotely like this before.

Clare and Guillermo with their VW 'Gerald'

Andre and Jim of De Garagist with Gerald

Clare and Guillermo with their VW 'Gerald'

Andre and Jim of De Garagist with Gerald

Gerald, the vehicle of choice, is a 1988 Jetta bought for €250 from a work colleague. Despite not having been used much in recent years, he sailed through the APK (the Dutch equivalent of an MOT) and is currently staying with 'De Garagist' for a while to get him ready for departure. We are very grateful to the guys from De Garagist, Andre and Jim, for all their hard work as well as their invaluable advice and suggestions.
 

First to the bar! Logo

First to the bar! (T7146)
Katie Ball and Adam Richards, both from Cardiff, have entered the 2007 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge as 'First to the bar!'. Katie and Adam are both barristers, in Cardiff. Katie is Clare's sister, thus the two teams are working closely together for preparations and fund-raising for Kings Kid Academy. Neither have a clue about mechanics but are lucky to have an expert in the family in the form of Chris Ball, owner of Llysworney Garage near Cowbridge in south Wales. First To The Bar have purchased a Dutch registered Ford Escort Estate called Thomas (Thomas & Gerald, gettit?). While he was a bargain at 250, they now face the challenge of getting him UK registered. The first stage of this is the MOT since the Dutch paperwork is not valid in the UK. We will bring you a picture of Thomas soon.

They're off! - Update 15 December

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First to the bar! have been collecting sponsorship pledges and have so far raised over 1000 and estimate the final amount will be in the region of 1000-1500.

The Desert Mice left The Hague for The Gambia today. They have now finished fundraising and have raised €2410 (about 1720) to be used for projects at Kings Kid Academy. They are taking gifts for the school - footballs, skipping ropes, a world map, pens, folders and other stationery. Guillermo has also collected a lot of running shoes, which will be of great benefit to school athletics.

Arrived in Tarifa - update 21 December

Desert Mice and First to the bar! have arrived in Tarifa [map] - the last stop in Europe!! We can see the sea from here - Africa and the real adventure is just over the horizon!! The cars are handling the journey well so far...completed 2,500Km give or take!! Our route has taken us via Bayonne, Tours, Madrid and Cordoba.

We met the other teams last night in Tarifa - enjoyed getting together and shared some stories. There are bound to be many more adventures to share before we hopefully arrive in The Gambia.

Marrakech for Christmas - update 21 December

 


The teams have now driven around 3700 km and both cars are going great.

The drive through Morocco from Tangier port down to Marrakech [map] via the historical cities of Fez and Meknes [map] has taken us through some stunning scenery and we have also had time to look around, do some bargaining in the souks and try some delicious Moroccan dishes.

We are now preparing ourselves for the long haul down through Western Sahara and on to Mauritania, which is expected to be one of the toughest parts of the challenge.

Guillermo and Clare in Meknes >>

 

Guillermo and Clare in Meknes

Arrived in Banjul - update 9 January

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Desert Mice and First to the bar! finally arrived in Banjul late on Jan 7 after an 8 hour wait at the Barra ferry terminal [map]. Both teams have been free from mechanical troubles and the cars, Gerald and Thomas, are in tip top condition ready for the charity auction. Neither car has needed as much as a wheel change and so all the spare parts will be sold for charity as well. Several Gambians have already shown an interest so the cars will hopefully go for a good price at the auction. Tomorrow we are visiting Kings Kid Academy - we'll let you know how it goes and send you some photos.

Visit to Kings Kid Academy - update 12 January

 

The staff and children welcomed both teams with a one-hour presentation and everyone was very happy! Jacob Amadi (Headmaster of KKA) wanted to thank Pageant personally for suggesting that his school should be one to receive support from rally teams. He said he was truly grateful for the assistance they are receiving and that the children were very excited about seeing the rally teams (and vehicles, I expect!).  We will bring you pictures as soon as we have them.

More about Kings Kid - update 15 January

 

Teams Desert Mice and First to the Bar have arrived back in Holland and Cardiff respectively after driving 8100 km through seven countries to get to Banjul. Both teams had a fantastic experience and were lucky to avoid mechanical or other serious problems. A highlight of the trip was the visit to the Kings Kid Academy where the headmaster showed them the school and they saw the work that has been carried out so far, such as the windows and doors of the two new classrooms. The children had been practising a performance which included songs, dance, poetry and a play. They even sang a song that mentioned 'Welcome Desert Mice...Welcome First to the Bar'. Clare, Guillermo, Katie and Adam would be keen to keep informed of progress regarding this school and to perhaps help again in the future if possible.

Both cars almost obscured by the children of Kings Kid

The teams and the children outside the Kings Kid school buildings

Both cars almost obscured by
the children of Kings Kid

The teams and the children outside the Kings Kid school buildings

Adam, Katie, Clare & Guillermo with Kings Kid headmaster Jacob Amadi

Adam, Clare and Katie with Pageant's agent Alimatou and headmaster Jacob Amadi

Adam, Katie, Clare & Guillermo with
Kings Kid headmaster Jacob Amadi

Adam, Clare and Katie with Pageant's agent
Alimatou and the headmaster

the unfinished toilets

Guillermo & Clare with the world map

the unfinished toilets

Guillermo & Clare with the world map

and Finally

 

By mid-January, Desert Mice and First to the Bar! had already collected over 1800 for Pageant, and expected the final total to be around 3000. This is all going to Kings Kid Academy, and has exceeded the original target of 2300. 1000 has already been given to the school, and Pippa will be taking more during her February visit, so that the school can continue its improvement programme. We at Pageant would like to express our thanks to the teams for all their efforts on behalf of this little school. We know how extremely grateful and pleased they are to have the teams' support.

Both cars were sold in the first charity auction of 25 vehicles, held at the Safari Gardens Hotel in Banjul on 14th January 2007. (see full auction results) The Desert Mice Jetta sold for 57,000 Dalasis (about 1,022) and First to the Bar's Escort raised 66,000 Dalasis (about 1,184). These were about five times the prices paid for the cars!

More Desert Mice, First to the bar! & Plymouth-Banjul Info

 

The Plymouth-Banjul Challenge started in 2003 as an ironic tribute to the Paris-Dakar Rally. Instead of highly expensive cars driven by world class rally drivers, with large back-up teams, this challenge consists of small teams on strictly limited budgets, and at the end of the challenge, the cars are auctioned for the benefit of local good causes. For further information, and news of other teams, see our 2007 Challenge Page.

Desert Mice and First to the bar! will be using this page rather than creating their own website. The links below give access to Team Pages on the Plymouth-Banjul website and any field reports they might send back by text message during their journey.

Desert Mice First to the bar!  

PBC Team Page

PBC Team Page

simple gateway pages

PBC field reports

PBC field reports

messages sent back during their journeys
 

Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963

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