Rob Southwell has recently completed a fundraising bike ride in Thailand and raised more than $13,000 for charity.JESS CRAIG January 31, 2014 4:43am
Rob Southwell has recently completed a fundraising bike ride in Thailand. Photo supplied by Rob Southwell.
Brilliant, memorable and fantastic is how Rob Southwell described his ride of a lifetime through Thailand to raise money for children affected by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
Mr Southwell had been training for the Hands Across The Water ride since last year and had to raise $10,000 to be eligible to take part.
‘‘I raised more than $13,000,’’ he said.
Mr Southwell headed off on his adventure earlier this month, ready to ride the 800km from Nong Khai to Yasothon.
Riding in a group of 19 and accompanied by a support crew, Mr Southwell said the experience was like no other.
‘‘It was brilliant,’’ he said.
‘‘We rode for four days, then we had a rest day and then we carried on
‘‘There were days where you weren’t quite sure what day it was or where you were because they started to blend together.
‘‘It wasn’t too humid or too hilly and everyone supported each other.’’
Mr Southwell said the ride took him through many small villages and communities, where the group were greeted by excited locals.
‘‘They would all come running out and call out ‘hello’ and ‘Happy New Year’ and wave as you went past.
‘‘They’re a very friendly group of people.’’
The father said the highlight of the trip was the chance to meet some of the children who were living in the orphanage.
‘‘The first time we met them, it was a surprise visit, so we didn’t know it was going to happen,’’ he said.
‘‘They came to our hotel while we were on a rest day and they were hugging us
The group shared dinner with the children a few days later.
The final day came as they arrived in Yasothon.
Tired and hot, Mr Southwell said the greeting was second to none.
‘‘We felt like kings,’’ he said.
‘‘They were so happy to see us they basically carried us off our bikes and took us over to where they had drinks set up.
‘‘The kids put on a performance for us and then we went on a tour of the orphanage.
‘‘They’ve had very hard lives
‘‘To see the orphanage and where the money I raised went made it worthwhile.’’
Mr Southwell acknowledged the support of people who donated to the ride.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Mary and Molly Byrne are urging others to support National Bandanna Day today.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
The annual Deniliquin Garage and Town Sale event is being held tomorrow, and more than 16 homes are registered for the bargain day.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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