Snails on Wheels
23 Nov 2009
Recently, three young Australian friends, Dimitry Peisakhov, Tristan McAfee and his brother Dominic spent over a month cycling around Iceland.
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Recently, three young Australian friends, Dimitry Peisakhov, Tristan McAfee and his brother Dominic spent over a month cycling around Iceland. The route, which took them over a thousand miles, was in aid of the South African charity, Daktari.
‘It was incredibly exciting,’ Dimitry says, ‘three great friends exploring new lands via an unusual mode of transport and all for a good cause! Cycling is not something we’ve ever done seriously.’
So, what is the appeal all about? South Africa’s captivating wildlife is part of an ecosystem increasingly under threat. The goal was to raise awareness, as well as vital funds, to help the charity continue its work. An educational bush school and wildlife orphanage, it encourages compassion for animals and the environment, by educating local children about nature and conservation.
The students stay at the orphanage for one week. They go to classes for general lessons, while being in an environment that encourages hands-on interest in the preservation of their country’s wildlife.
The team named themselves Snails on Wheels’ because they had to carry their homes and equipment around with them for the whole trip. Dimitry tells us: ‘Of course, being snails, we weren’t planning to set a speed record. We also wanted to thank those who were supporting us by giving as much of an insight into Iceland as possible through our blog.’
Dimitry reveals why the Snails chose to support this particular cause: ‘We all love the environment and are concerned about its conservation, especially in more underprivileged areas. We wanted to do something which would help monetarily in a hands-on sort of way.’ To date, the trio have already raised £1,750.
The Icelandic adventure began with a memorable first day. ‘We set off from Reykjavik, wearing shorts and T-shirts,’ says Dimitry. ‘Three hours later, we were riding in a freak summer snow-storm. It soon turned to hail, then to thunder and lightning. It was one of our longest days! We rewarded ourselves by bathing in a hot river at 2am, after pushing our bikes up a hill for three hours.’
Now, the trio are planning for another fundraising adventure. ‘We’re heading out across the east and south of Africa in the early to mid-part of 2010,’ explains Dimitri. ‘The trip will end with a visit to South Africa for the football World Cup in June, which will be followed by two weeks of volunteer work at Daktari.’
Tristan, Dominic and Dimitry hope that people will leave supportive messages of goodwill on their blog’ and donate to the appeal. All monies raised go directly to Daktari, as the trips are funded entirely by the Snails. ‘By doing volunteer work and teaching, we’ll be covering the costs of our living expenses,’ Dimitry says.
‘All of us are really excited about the challenges ahead,’ he adds. ‘We also feel privileged to contribute in this small way to support the future custodians of our natural world, while giving threatened animals a second chance in life.’
Dimitry, Dominic and Tristan at
Hverir, in Iceland ñ a geothermal
area with strange steaming pools,
mudpits and yellow sulfur vents
Photo: © Snails on Wheels
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