Driver clocks up cash in Sahara dash

A DRIVER with a zest for life off the beaten track has banked £1,300 for charity after completing a globe-trotting adventure to the Sahara desert.

Alex Collard, of Little Northfields, Barnack, and friend Adam Ataar took three weeks to plough through 6,000 miles, including 3,000 desert miles –from London to Tunisia, then Algeria, Eastern Europe and back to England.

The two thrill-seekers devised the route themselves and travelled in a 1963 Land Rover. Sponsorship and donations for their challenge are going towards Mercy Corps, supporting deprived communities in Africa.

IT manager Alex, 27, who runs A J Computing in Little Bytham, said they had bonded with locals over camp fires and slept in their car along the way. For parts of the journey they drove for 36 hours solid, swapping driving duties.

“When we were checking the digestive biscuits to see if they had sand in them we knew we’d arrived in the desert. There’s a real buzz when you realise you’ve made it,” he said.

On Sunday the drivers came out of the Euro Tunnel, drove on to London and their exhausting rally, which took in nine countries, was complete.

Alex and Adam are still taking donations for their chosen charity. To find out more about their incredible mission, go to www.saharan-rally.co.uk or to donate to the pair go to www.justgiving.com/saharanrally2009.