Adventurous pair now six weeks into 800-day round the world trip
A pair of adventurous friends have embarked on a journey around the world, stopping to help charities along the way.
Emma Smart, who had lived in Dubai for three years, and Andy Smith, of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, are six weeks into their epic journey ,which will take them 800 days – loosely in the style of intrepid traveller Phileas Fogg who did it in 80.
Emma, 35, is a marine biologist and she ran a ‘wadifish’ project in the UAE, discovering a new freshwater species in Oman which was named after her, Garra Smarti.
Andy, who is an artist and IT engineer, met Emma while working in Cyprus and when she became depressed after two people close to her died within a year, they decided to make the joint expedition.
They bought a 1994 Toyota Hilux Surf, named it Bee Bee, equipped it with an airtop roof tent, a fridge, water tank and shower system and set off on their trip from Dover in the UK on June 12.
Their journey has taken them to Thomsk in Russia so far, having crossed France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
From Russia, they will travel to Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and India.
Smart said: “The last 18 months have been tough, I lost my beautiful best friend Eilidh Cairns in February 2009 and my beloved granddad 12 months later.
“Depression hit hard and I began losing faith in my work and purpose. Suffering a series of losses made me focus hard on life and put into perspective what was really important.
“Eilidh and my granddad are my inspiration for the ultimate adventure ‘around the world in 800 days’.
“Kindred spirits, myself and Andy made this trip our ambition in life... to travel the world, visit people and places, have fun, learn, help, be happy, share our experiences and live life to the full.”
The pair have already travelled 9,725km, filled the tank of their 4x4 36 times, visited 10 countries made 10 ferry crossings and, they say, been stopped by the police three times.
Their progress can be followed at www.aroundtheworldin800days.com