TWO TRAVEL weary Irishmen arrived in Shanghai this Wednesday morning, after travelling for nearly 300 days from Istanbul on foot, by bike and on a canoe up the Yangtze river.
Maghnus Collins, from Corbally and his college friend David, 27, from Coleraine, have now finished their latest adventure to raise funds for Self Help Africa, a charity founded by Limerickman Ray Jordan.
Their voyage has seen them travel through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal over a course of 16,000km of gruelling terrain.
An expatriate group in Shanghai, Le Cheile, welcomed them on arrival, amid a frenzy of Chinese cameras and media crew.
After being treated to a shave, a haircut and a three-bedroom suite in a five-star hotel in Shanghai, which learned of their travels, they are now thinking of the next leg of the journey - the one home.
On arrival, Maghnus said he was struggling “to get my head around” what they’d achieved, and paid tribute to their team of supports who made this possible.
“I can’t quite believe we are done,” said David. “After over nine months on the road the feeling is a mixture of disbelief and relief.” The intrepid explorers are due to fly home this Saturday, where they will receive a heroes welcome in their native counties.
At the end of this mammoth expedition they cycled 8,500km from Istanbul to Kathmandu, ran 1,000km over the Tibetan Plateau, and then paddled all 6,300km of the river. Not surprisingly, they are looking forward to the comfort and ease of travelling home by plane.
Maghnus said his adventure streak was borne as a result of a disillusionment with his choice of career, “a naive sense of philanthropy and an inexplicable urge to see Africa”. This is their second expedition together, after they cycled from Ireland to the southern tip of Africa and home again. Sources say this won’t be their last voyage either.
Over €24,000 has been raised to date from this challenge alone. A charity ball will be held on Friday, February 15, in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.
Email Claire@sand2snowadventures.com to book tickets