There has been a lot of chatter lately about the overuse of the word “epic.” If you want to know the true definition of that word, then look no further than this story about two Irish adventurers who made an incredible journey from Istanbul, Turkey to Shanghai, China – finishing up yesterday.
Maghnus Collins and David Burns set out on their long distance odyssey last March with a plan to cover the 14,000 km (8700 miles) on bike, foot and water. Their journey took them along the old Silk Road trade route between Europe and Asia, crossing over the Himalaya and rafting down one of the most iconic rivers in the world – the Yangtze. Along the way they helped raise nearly €25,000 ($33,450) for Self Help Africa, an organization dedicated to helping rural Africa gain economic strength.
Collins and Burns’ called their expedition Sand2Snow Adventures
. The duo rode their bikes across the first stage, covering 8000 km (4970 miles) from Istanbul to Kathmandu before transitioning to foot. They then proceeded to run an additional 1000 km (621 miles), at one point running 25 marathons in 27 days across the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau. Finally, they finished up their journey by rafting more than 6300 km (3914 miles) down the Yangtze, ending on the Bund in Shanghai. That was quite a contrast to earlier sections of the journey when they encountered no other living souls for days on end. At one point, while on the river, they actually traveled for 17 straight days without seeing another person.
On this excursion the two men faced a host of challenges in addition to the physical, mental and geographical ones that you would expect. For instance, at one point they lost their raft that included much of their gear, including Collins’ passport. While running through the Himalaya they also wore “appalling blisters” on their feet and after one particular run Collins was even pissing blood. In the end, they were even racing the clock, as their Chinese visas were set to expire in just a few days and it was important that they reach the finish line before they did.
Sounds like it was an amazing experience and I’m sorry I wasn’t following it more closely when it was going on. Better late than never I suppose. Congratulations to Maghnus and David on a job well done.
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