NEARLY 300 days in to his cross-continent sand to snow adventure, and Maghnus Collins is already thinking of the next leg of the journey - the one home.
This Wednesday, he and his fellow traveller David Burns are set to arrive in Shanghai after a 16,000km journey from Istanbul since last March.
Maghnus, from Corbally and his college friend David, 27, from Coleraine, are on the final leg of their mammoth expedition, in aid of Self Help Africa, which was founded by Limerick man Ray Jordan.
Their voyage has seen them travel through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal and finally up towards the Yangtze river, and their only means of travel has been by bicycle, on foot and by raft across Asia.
They are now paddling some 50km a day up the Yangtze river in China, and are endeavouring to reach Shanghai by this Wednesday, January 16. An expatriate group in Shanghai, Le Cheile, are ready to welcome them when they arrive, but they are equally ready to come home, and are due to fly home on January 19.
“They said it has been absolutely amazing, with lots of ups and downs, but missing Christmas brought it home to them how homesick they now are,” said John Hogan, a spokesman for the duo.
By the end of this expedition they will have cycled 8,500km from Istanbul to Kathmandu, run 1,000km over the Tibetan Plateau, and then paddled all 6,300km of the river. They are looking forward to the comfort of finally travelling home by plane. Maghnus said his adventure streak was borne as a result “of disillusionment with my choice of career, a naive sense of philanthropy and an inexplicable urge to see Africa”.
With over €24,000 raised to date, from this challenge alone, Sand2Snow Adventures are hosting a charity ball on Friday, February 15, to welcome back Maghnus and David home, in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. It will include a drinks reception, four course meal, raffle, music from Midnight Soul and a special Valentine surprise. To purchase tickets email Claire@sand2snowadventures.com.