Three lifelong friends have raised almost £3,000 for St Michael’s Hospice, in St Leonards, by driving 11,000 miles across 21 countries.
Brothers James and Patrick Carroll, from St Leonards, and Jonny Hoath, from Hurst Green, took on the once-in-a-lifetime Mongol Rally to raise money for the charity which cared for James and Patrick’s mother in the final days of her battle with a brain tumour.
They have so far raised £2,530 for the hospice.
Jonny said: “The trip took us through Europe in countries such as France, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Germany.
“We then travelled into Armenia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Mongolia.
“A number of these countries are portrayed so badly in the media but all the people we met were so nice and couldn’t do enough for us.
“We had one fairly major car accident out there and the locals wouldn’t let us leave until they had fixed the damage to the car.
“It was an interesting experience to see places from a car but it was a great experience.”
The three men set off on July 16, 2017, in a Mazda Demio they purchased off eBay for just £350.
Seven weeks later, on Friday, September 8, the men completed their journey across Europe and parts of Asia before finishing up in Mongolia.
Jonny added: “Driving along the Pamir Highway (at around 7,000ft) in Tajikistan we drove past a football pitch with three kids and an adult playing, so we decided to pull over and have a kick about.
“Quickly it turned into a football match. The guy was then on his phone calling in reinforcements, before we knew it the whole village turned up for a big game. The score ended 2-2.
“The trip was just full of so many unforgettable moments.”
Jonny, a mechanic, took a sabbatical from his work at SLM Nissan while James and Patrick quit their jobs as they head on to Australia to continue their travels.
Jonny added: “This trip coincided perfectly for both James and Patrick.
“We knew we wouldn’t have too many opportunities to do a trip like this so they decided to use it as the start of their travels across the world.
“I’m back at work now but I must thank SLM Nissan for their sponsorship and allowing me the time off to do this trip.
“A massive thank you must go to all those who donated as well.”
If you would like to make a donation to St Michael’s Hospice, you can do so here.