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.
The fire in the Creightons Creek region, south of Euroa, is continuing to burn today and the CFA is warning residents to be cautious of falling trees.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
Multiple fires on the Northern Hwy, Echuca are now being listed as under control by CFA. However, traffic diversions remain between Echuca and Rochester.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
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