The Beastly Adventure

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In order to try and gain some extra coverage for our chosen charities we have approached several newspapers who have very kindly covered our story and we are hoping to work with them as we travel. To date we have had coverage in the UKs 'Cambridge Evening News', 'Yorkshire Evening Post', 'Finchley Times', 'Land Rover Monthly', China's Kunming local newspaper, 'China Daily', Singapore's 'The Strait Times' and Australia's 'Overlander 4WD' have kindly covered our story. We have also had TV appearances on Russia's Yekatrinberg television and Lanzhou Television and China's Ganshou televsion and CCTV9.

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Articles featured in the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post 2004

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Article featured in the Cambridge Evening News on 27th May 2004

Beastly journey begins

A COUPLE have bid farewell to Cambridge and set off on an epic 40,000-mile round-the-world journey in a 3.5-tonne truck nicknamed 'The Beast'. Greg McCann, 30, and Alexis Keech, 28, say a "mid-twenties crisis," has prompted them to leave their home, jobs, family and friends behind them and attempt to complete the remarkable feat.

Together with their housemate Tom Hoole, 26, and friend Adriano Truscott, the pair aim to cross six continents within 18 months, raising money for charity and carrying out voluntary work.

After months of preparation, planning and fundraising, they boarded a ferry with their ex-military Land Rover ambulance yesterday from Hull to Rotterdam, where their journey begins. "It is pretty nerve-wracking," admitted Greg, a former sugar salesman, who until now has lived with Alexis, a former environmental consultant, in Green's Road, Chesterton.

"But for me it's about the food and the new cultures. Everywhere that I haven't been before is going to be a new adventure. It could be quite scary at times but that's part of the challenge," he said. In remote areas, such as Kazakhstan, they will have to carry supplies of petrol to fuel the vintage vehicle, which has already survived the Balkan and Gulf wars and UN missions. They now have two weeks to reach Russia, before crossing to China, India and the Far East. From there, they will drive through Africa, Australia and New Zealand to South America and the USA and Canada.

Explaining how they have funded their trip, Greg said: "We have been saving, and I was made redundant, which was quite lucky really. We also made a few hundred fundraising in town by standing on the roof of The Beast and shouting!"

Greg hopes he will find the time to write his first novel during the long stretches travelling in The Beast. He will also record his far-flung food finds on a broadcast-quality video camera. Adriano plans to compile a book with the photograph and story of a child from every country they visit, and all four will write a diary entry for their website every day.

The charities they have chosen to promote are the Land Mine Organisation, The International Fund for Animal Welfare, and UNICEF. Anyone who wants to find out more or make a donation to one of their charities can visit www.beastlyadventure.com

Article featured in the Cambridge Evening News on 27th October 2004

Beastly goings-on galore

BEING charged by Asian elephants, arrested in Moscow, and caught up in an earthquake is all part of the adventure for a couple on their 40,000 mile round-the-world-trip.

Greg McCann, 31, and Alexis Keech, 29, remortgaged their house in Green's Road, Chesterton, Cambridge, last year and set off on a six-continent quest in a 30-year-old ex-military ambulance - nicknamed "The Beast" - which Greg bought for £3,000. The couple, who are travelling with friend Adriano Truscott, 31, an English teacher, are halfway through their 18-month trip, having completed almost 20,000 miles.

They were caught up in an earthquake in Malaysia. They have also suffered numerous mechanical problems, sailed the mighty Mekong, and visited ancient temples ransacked during the Cultural Revolution.

Not only that, they also had Asian elephants charge them, met the Dalai Lama's second-in-command, and were arrested in Moscow for having the wrong stamps in their passport. Alexis said: "They just wanted a bribe, which we were forced to pay after being in custody for three hours - otherwise we could have been sleeping under the posters of AK47s for the night."

Greg and Alexis also got frostbite in Russia with temperatures inside The Beast hitting -10C. They were also initially banned from entering Singapore because they did not have the correct documentation - before top brass intervened. Alexis said: "The assistant chief of police came to the border and signed us into Singapore and then wined and dined us at the police academy."

The trio attracted crowds of up to 100 in China, many of whom had never seen a white western person before, and they appeared on television in front of more than 150 million people. So far, they have visited Europe and the Far East and are currently in Australia. They will stay there for six months to earn enough for the next leg - which involves shipping The Beast to Chile, from where they will drive across South America, before heading on to Central America, North America and Canada.

As well as seeing the world, the trio are raising money and awareness for their chosen charities, Adopt-a-Minefield, IFAW and Save the Children, and are carrying out voluntary work en route. Alexis, who is writing a travel guide and book of their epic journey, said: "The journey has been far beyond our expectations.

"We have met some of the nicest, kindest and interesting people that you could ever expect to meet."

For more information about their trek, see www.beastlyadventure.com

Article featured in the Cambridge Evening News on 11th August 2005

Trekkers go on Oz quiz show

GLOBAL trekkers on a six-continent quest in a 30-year-old ex-military ambulance called The Beast are hoping to win a small fortune on Australian television.

Greg McCann, 31, and Alexis Keech, 29, set on their 40,000 mile round-the-world trip last year after remortgaging their house in Green's Road, Chesterton, Cambridge.

So far, the couple, who are travelling with friend Adriano Truscott, 31, an English teacher, are more than halfway through their trip, having clocked up 32,000km.

After a short break back in the UK over the summer, the couple set sail in September to Australia where they have spent the last four months.

Highlights of their Australian trip include an interview with one of the country's largest offroading car magazines, Offroader, giving a presentation about their trip to more than 200 Land Rover fans at the Land Rover Club of Victoria, and driving through the red centre and along the Great Ocean Road - one of the world's top 10 best drives with stunning coves and rock formations.

But now their attention is turned firmly towards winning $200,000 by taking part in Australia's quiz show Deal or No Deal.

Contestants on the show have to choose one of 26 boxes - containing various amounts of money up to $200,000.

The couple have already auditioned for the show and are waiting to hear about their success.

Alexis said: "We are hoping to get on the show to raise awareness for our charities and obviously we want to win some money as well."

Article featured in the Cambridge Evening News on 10th January 2006

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Article featured in Kunming Local Newspaper

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Advert featured in Singapore's The Strait Times on 2nd April 2005

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Article featured in Singapore's The Strait Times on 9th April 2005

12,000 MILES OF ADVENTURE

by Peter Stebbings

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Safe Down Under: Finchley man Adriano Truscott, centre, and his travelling companions, Alexis Keech and Gregory McCann, with their trusty Land Rover dubbed The Beast

Five months and more than 12,000 miles into his trip, the Finchley man who is driving round the world for charity in an old military Land Rover has reached as far as Australia.

Thirty-year-old Adriano Truscott, of East End Road, Finchley, set out with friends Gregory McCann, 30, and Alexis Keech, 28, both from Leeds, in October, in a Land Rover Forward Control 101, which they have labelled The Beast because of its awesome power and sturdiness.

Starting in the UK, the trio drove across Europe into Russia and then Kazakhstan.

From there they travelled along the ancient Silk Road to China, then down to the South-East Asian countries of Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, from where they took a ferry to Darwin.

Recounting some of their tales so far, Mr Truscott said: "The journey has been incredible, mainly because of the people we've met.

"In China, when we would stop in villages for lunch, people would swarm around the car and us, some just gawping at us, others practising whatever English they had.

"In Russia we had our engine rebuilt for us by a team of local mechanics working over night at the weekend for free."

They are raising awareness of three charities: Save the Children; the International Fund for Animal Welfare; and Adopt-A-Minefield.

Article featured in Finchley's The Barnet and Potter Bar Times on Thursday 14th April 2005

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Our article featured in the Land Rover Monthly Magazine in May 2005

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Our article appeared in Land Rover Monthly Magazine in May 2006

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Overlander 4WD of Australia covered our story in May 2006

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Our article appeared in Land Rover Monthly Magazine in June 2006

Page updated November 2006