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Mongolia or bust for this duo

PUBLISHED: 08:34 25 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:54 02 June 2010

Two gap-year students are embarking on the journey of their lifetime, hoping to drive 10,000 miles to Mongolia in aid of charity.

Tom Balfour from Swaffham and Phil Nicholson from Dereham are bracing themselves for the gruelling drive that will take them across Europe, through Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhastan, Russia and Mongolia at the beginning of July.

Two gap-year students are embarking on the journey of their lifetime, hoping to drive 10,000 miles to Mongolia in aid of charity.

Tom Balfour from Swaffham and Phil Nicholson from Dereham are bracing themselves for the gruelling drive that will take them across Europe, through Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhastan, Russia and Mongolia at the beginning of July.

They are hoping to raise £1,000 which will be split between Norwich-based charity Nelson's Journey, and Save the Children which operates in Mongolia.

They have already raised £500 but are looking to find as much funding as possible.

“I hasten to add that all the money we raise will go directly towards the charities and not the costs of our trip,” said Tom, 18.

“We will leave from Swaffham covering some 10,000 miles and 14 countries at the beginning of July. There is no doubt that driving roads ranging from motorways to the open plains of Kazakhstan will not be without its challenges. We are looking to catch the Trans Siberian train across Russia and catch a flight from Moscow back to England. If all goes well we hope to be back by the beginning of August.”

Tom, who is looking to do a degree in English at Queen's University, Belfast, from September, is looking to acquire a second-hand VW for no more than £300 from eBay.

“There are around 70 teams taking part in this year's rally,” he said.

“There is not a competitive element to it. We are all allowed plenty of time to complete the journey. Hopefully there won't be too many unpleasant hurdles to pass. It's such a fantastic opportunity that we just couldn't pass up,” he added.

Further details of the event can be at www.mongoliarally.co.uk or at Tom and Phil's team website www.mongolwarriors.com

Anyone who wishes to sponsor Tom and Phil can e-mail tom.balfour@virgin.net

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