Sand of the line for daring rally pair

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THEY have camped in the middle of the desert, bathed in the hot springs under the stars and lived on a month's supply of noodles as part of a charity rally through nine countries.

THEY have camped in the middle of the desert, bathed in the hot springs under the stars and lived on a month's supply of noodles as part of a charity rally through nine countries.After 24 days, driving 6,000 miles, 3,000 of which was through the heat of the Sahara desert, Alex Collard and Adam Ataar are putting their feet up as they soak in the memories of their mammoth journey.

For the duo have just completed a Sahara Rally which took them through countries including Italy, Tunisia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary and Austria – all in the comfort of an old rust bucket.

Luxury was no option for the pair, who bought a 1963 ex-military Land Rover Series 2A SWB.

They set off on January 30 to France, where they spent their first night sleeping in the old car behind a service station in -5C temperatures.

After waking up to ice on the inside of the windows, they drove on to Italy and then Tunisia where their adventure begun.

The good days saw the pair explore canyons, salt lakes, waterfalls, soak up the atmosphere in the desert and bathe in the hot springs.

Alex, from Barnack, near Stamford, said: "It was very rewarding to find out the donations had passed the 1,000 target when we got back."

The pair hoped the trip would raise at least 500 for the Mercy Corps, which works to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.