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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 10:17 GMT
Chocolate truck drives to Africa
The land rover which uses fuel that began life as chocolate
The chocolate-fuelled Land Cruiser was left in Mali as a gift
Two British men have achieved a feat of driving to Africa in a lorry powered by fuel that began life as chocolate.

Andy Pag and John Grimshaw arrived back in Britain on Sunday night after their 4,500-mile drive across the Sahara.

They left Poole, Dorset, on 26 November and arrived in Timbuktu, Mali, on Boxing Day.

Buoyed by their success, the pair said the next challenge was to visit China in a rubbish-powered plane - but they had to learn to fly first.

The aim of the Mali trip, by the two environmentalists, was to raise awareness of the benefits of bio-diesel.

CO2 savings

They travelled across France, Spain, Morocco, and Mauritania to reach Mali.

During the trip the pair had to battle with sandstorms and what they said were corrupt customs officers.

Days earlier, four members of a French family were also shot dead while on holiday in Mauritania.

Map of the route
The 4,500-mile journey took just under eight weeks

"It's a real shock that something like that can happen," said Mr Pag, 34, from Croydon, London.

"We'd passed through that exact spot a week beforehand and we were just lucky not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Their Ford Iveco Cargo lorry and two Land Cruisers, which were rescued from scrap yards, were also left behind for the Malians.

The lorry is being used to transport flour and concrete and the Land Cruisers have been adopted by tour operators.

Mr Pag, an engineer-turned-journalist, is now planning to drive to China using bio fuel.

Along the way, in each country, they will also take flights in a paramotor - a powered paraglider - using an experimental carbon-neutral fuel made from landfill waste.

"It's a bit like [the movie] Back To The Future where they put banana skins in at one end to make it fly," said Mr Pag.

"That's science fiction but there is this technology that's a little bit like that."

He said a firm in Preston, Lancashire, named Trinity Research, was researching ways to turn landfill waste into fuel on a large scale.



SEE ALSO
Country profile: Mali
18 Jul 07 |  Country profiles

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