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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 May 2006, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
Two in a tuk-tuk for 12,000 miles
Pink tuk-tuk
Their three-month journey will take the pair through 12 countries.
Two women are driving a pink motorised tuk-tuk from Thailand to the UK to raise cash for a mental health charity.

Their three-month, 12,000-mile rickshaw journey will pass through 12 countries.

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, from Norfolk, and Jo Huxster, from Brighton, both 27, set off from the British Embassy in Bangkok on Sunday.

Ms Huxter chose to support Mind as a psychology graduate who had depression as a teenager. Ms Bolingbroke-Kent knew a friend who committed suicide.

The tuk-tuk driver let me sit in the front ... and that's how it happened."
Jo Huxster

The pair hope to raise 50,000 during their travels, and will travel through Thailand, Laos, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France to England at an average rate of 150 miles a day.

Suspension on the rickshaw, which can travel at up to 70mph, has been raised and special brakes fitted to make the journey safer.

Ms Huxter, who is due to start medical school in the autumn, came up with the idea during a visit to Thailand four years ago, where tuk-tuks are a popular mode of transport for tourists.

'Suffered depression'

She said: "I was just driving around Bangkok with two friends, and the tuk-tuk driver let me sit in the front to pretend I was driving.

"I thought 'one day, I will drive one of these back to England'.

"And that's how it happened."

And she said: "I feel very passionate about supporting Mind because I suffered from depression in my adolescence, and I was helped by Mind when I was unwell."

Ms Bolingbroke-Kent, a television producer from Norfolk, said she decided to join Ms Huxter after a friend committed suicide.

The pair are hoping to arrive in Brighton for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

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