Land Rover enthusiasts tour the world
Updated: 2013-07-15 20:51
By FU JING in Brussels (chinadaily.com.cn)
A group of Land Rover fans from Hong Kong cheer before Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels over the weekend to celebrate completing one-third journey of their expedition in sixteen countries. [Photo/Provided for China Daily]
Fans of the iconic British brand break 100-day global journey to party in Paris
A group of Land Rover enthusiasts from Hong Kong took a break from their grueling global expedition schedule on Sunday to join France's National Day celebrations in Paris.
The adventurous band of amateur drivers stopped for a break in France after completing just over a third of their journey through 16 countries, covering four continents in celebration of the 65th anniversary of the first Land Rover four-wheel-drive vehicle in 1948.
The entire tour is expected to last roughly 100 days and cover more than 33,000 kilometers, heading westward from China, through Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. Crossings of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are to be made by ship.
After Sunday's fun in Paris, the team will spend a week in the UK, headquarters of the premier brand of off-road vehicles, which is particularly suited to difficult driving conditions. The drivers are scheduled to arrive in Beijing in time for China's National Day, which falls on Oct 1.
“This is an expedition of pleasure and dreams,” said the Eric Ma, 58, one of three organizers behind the journey, during an interview with China Daily. “Actually, we have spent two years preparing to realize this dream of a global expedition. Of course, every day we have had the pleasure of driving on different roads and in different cultures.”
The other two organizers are Michael Lee, 60, and Tommy Choy, 58, both from the Hong Kong Land Rover Club, which was set up in 2006 with about 100 members.
With the arrival of the summer holidays, the team has swelled in number, with the core of drivers being joined by various family members. As it prepares to cross the English Channel, the group consists of 15 Land Rover vehicles of various models, with 54 registered drivers and assorted family members.
“This is the time for summer holidays and some family members, especially students have joined us by flying to Brussels, Paris or London,” said Choy. “So safety is the priority when we design our route, despite the fact that we, as Land Rover fans, would like to explore more difficult terrain.”
The original route would have taken the drivers through Iran, the Middle East and Turkey, and then across Europe. However, the plan has since been modified for safety reasons.
“Because of being joined by our families, we have abandoned this difficult route,” said Choy.
After leaving Hong Kong in June, the group drove along the ancient Silk Road through China and Central Asia, then to Russia and Europe, finally arriving in France at the weekend.