No money, no clothes, no food, and lapping Oz in eight months. Could you do it? Imagine spending eight months travelling through Australia with no money, clothes, food and fuel. Three Poms have been doing this for the past eight months. Without a stitch of clothing (they started off wearing garbage bags) and without spending any money on themselves, Anne Race, Gareth Owen and Phil Car have travelled more than 20,000km around Australia raising money for Book Aid International.
They’ve cleaned up after all kinds of animals, picked fruit and worked hard on various jobs. They campaign for donations, swap work for things they need and rely solely on the kindness and generosity of strangers. All the money they earn and receive has gone straight to charity. So far they’ve raised more than $20,000 to help children’s literacy.
It’s not an easy thing to do, being out of your comfort zone in an unknown land. Sure, the As Cheeky As You Can’t trio have had their days of bad luck – they haven’t gotten paid for working at Alice Springs Table Grapes yet, and one night in Perth a few drunken idiots threw a bottle through their (donated) van as they slept in it.
Nonetheless, the trio have had far more good days than bad. They’ve experienced true Aussie hospitality. “We’ve been astounded by how generous Aussies have been,” says Anne. “People have always come to our rescue.” They’ve had all types dig deep to help them, from rich philanthropists to a homeless man offering them his last 45 cents. They’ve received so many offers that sometimes they have to turn them down for lack of time.
They chose Australia for the challenge of going around a huge country and they’ve been amazed by the changing landscapes of the country and the isolated outback. Mostly, though, they’ve been surprised by how quick Aussies are to help and how mateship is well and truly alive. As they near the end of their trip, Anne says they are excited to achieve their goal and see it done. “It’s been a life-changing experience.”
To donate to Book Aid International and read their blog, visit www.ascheekyasyoucant.blogspot.com