Two men and a panda called Jacky

Friends set to make epic journey from Chiswick to Mongolia for charity

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On 22 July 2006, Chiswick friends Chris Allen and David Mortimer will begin an 8,000 mile journey from London's Hyde Park to the Mongolian Capital of Ulaan Bataar.

As part of the infamous Mongol Rally the pair will travel over one quarter of the earth's surface through some of most inhospitable terrain know to man. All this will be done in a 14 year old Fiat Panda called Jacky - a car that most people would consider underpowered for doing their shopping.

“We are taking on this challenge to raise money and awareness for two extremely worthy charities – Mercy Corps and Hazel’s Footprints Trust. We need all the help we can get!” said David.


David Mortimer is the older of the two drivers. Although since hearing about the Mongol Rally he has thought of little else, his place in the car is justified only by the fact he has years of experience driving rubbish cars. David brings no mechanical knowledge to the team.


This small team is completed by Christopher Allen. Often compared to a young James Dean he brings to the car a daunting music collection to see the pair through their late nights of driving and some innovative navigation skills. Chris also brings no mechanical knowledge to the team.

Their trip will initially take us through European countries including France, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and the Ukraine. The second leg will then take them into Russia, followed by Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, before crossing back into Kazakhstan and then into Russia again before finally entering Mongolia.

“Then it’s just the final trot or splutter on to Ulaan Bataar capital of Mongolia on some of the worst roads known to man. On arrival all we have to do is track down UB’s only Irish bar.”

The pair was inspired to make the epic journey for different reasons.  David Mortimer is a trustee of Hazel’s Footprints Trust which was set up in 2004 in memory of Hazel Scott Aiton, whose tragic death in a car accident, at the age of 21, left an unfillable hole in the lives of everybody who knew her.

The trust set up in her name, Hazel’s Footprints, seek to provide funding for dedicated individuals wishing to work voluntarily in schools, charities or community projects abroad. These individuals enrich the lives of the communities they work in whilst also expanding their own horizons through their experiences. HFT also make an annual donation to the Otjikondo Village School in Namibia where Hazel spent a year after leaving school.

The Pair are also supporting Mercy Corps, a leading international relief and development organisation, who work in thirty five countries around the world delivering emergency relief, rehabilitation and long term development programmes.  Over the past five years Mercy Corps has established a strong reputation across the vast Gobi region, and continues to work with business associations and local organizations to ensure a robust economy that preserves ancient traditions.


July 19, 2006