Oxford to Oxford in an Oxford
By ROXANNE MILLAR
THEY have dodged camels in Egypt, avoided elephants in India and even encountered the odd monsoonal moment, but the journey is almost over for English fundraisers Tim Nicholson and Joanne Bowlt.
The two Red Cross volunteers arrived at Fingal Head Public School yesterday on the return leg of their cross-continental trip to raise money for the Red Cross.
Joanne and Tim have driven from Oxford in England to Oxford in New Zealand in a 1954 Morris Oxford, as part of a longed-for adventure, fun- draiser and birthday present for the car.
Their trip has taken them through 12 countries including Africa, Europe, India, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Nicholson said they were now on their way back to Oxford and had enjoyed an adventure of a lifetime on the road.
"When we hit North Africa the driving standard started to deteriorate, but we have been sharing the driving and really enjoying it," he said.
"The car is so simple, there is very little that could have actually have gone wrong and it is very robust so we have had few problems.
"We have had some interesting times. Driving in India was a challenge because there are all types of obstacles on the road, from elephants to ox carts and tractors. And at night motorists don't turn their headlights on.
"We have had to come to terms with different cultures, especially the call to prayer in Africa. Where we stayed there was a mosque on both sides of us that seemed to be in competition with each other each morning."
Mr Nicholson said the pair gave up high-flying jobs in London before hit- ting the road in the hopes of having an adventure together.
"We had the idea to go from Oxford to Oxford and it evolved when we found out Morris had their 50-year Oxford anniversary. It seemed sensible to drive," he said.
"India was our halfway point and worked out well because they have a car based on the Oxford still, so we could schedule repairs there."
The pair estimate they have raised around $25,000 for the Red Cross through their self-funded and partially sponsored trip. You can donate to their cause on their website oxford2oxford.co.uk.