Adam Ataar and Alex Collard aka ‘The Rusty Rhinos’ are friends who have a serious taste for adventure. Their story began back in 2007 when the Rusty Rhinos supported Mercy Corps and drove 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia (in a really unsuitable car!) as part of the 'Mongol Rally'. This trip then inspired the pair to develop their own driving adventure; and in 2009 'The Saharan Rally’.was born.
Now most people would have quenched their thirst for adventure after two round the world experiences, but in 2010 the travel bug bit once again. So on Thursday 24th June the Rusty Rhinos set off in their trusty 1963 Land Rover on a 17 day, 5200 mile journey from London to Morocco. Here Adam and Alex describe a couple of their most memorable experiences:
“Our trip to Morocco was another unbelievable experience, but it certainly had a few hairy moments. The one that definitely worried me the most happened when we were driving off road in the middle of the desert crossing some really rocky terrain.” Said Alex
"We had been driving all day in 46 degree heat so we were absolutely knackered and then about twenty miles from the village we were heading to disaster struck - our chassis snapped in two places on the front wheel! After a quick examination of the car we discovered that the entire front was only being held together by two very fine pieces of metal so the car could literally fall apart at any time. Having no support vehicle to call, our only option was to try and get to the nearest village, so we set off at 5mph. Unfortunately to add to our troubles it became dark soon after we set off and we had to navigate across sand dunes, not an easy task when your car could fall apart at any moment. Three hours later at 11pm we finally reached a small village and were amazed to discover that the not only the car garage was still open but that they were also fixing other Land Rovers - what were the chances! Our car couldn’t be fixed until the morning so we set up camp next to the garage and spent the evening chatting and drinking mint tea with the mechanics, definitely one of our best evenings. The next day, our car was welded together and we were off on our merry way - what an adventure.”
“One of the most fantastic things about this trip was the people that we had the pleasure to meet; they were genuine, hospitable and extremely kind to us, this became apparent during another one of our tricky moments.” said Adam
“We were driving along the top of the many Atlas Ranges when we realised that we had somehow missed our off road trail and had actually ended up on a completely different mountain range. We didn’t have much fuel left and didn’t want to waste what little we had by aimlessly driving until we found our route, so we decided to try and find a nomad who could help. Luck was on our side and a short while later we came across a nomad family walking through the mountains; with no common language we offered the children sweets as a friendly introduction and we were soon friends in no time! After explaining the situation, the father hopped in the car and insisted on showing us back to our trail which was about a 15 minute drive away. He then had to walk back through the mountains to reach his family again, so we gave him as much food and juice as he could carry as a thank you for his help.”
Adam and Alex are truly amazing people, not only do they manage to organise and complete these fantastic adventures but they also raise a lot of money for Mercy Corps in the process. Since they set off on their first trip in 2007 Adam and Alex have raised over £3300 for Mercy Corps projects around the world.
To find out more about the Rusty Rhinos visit their website.