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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 21:21 GMT 22:21 UK
Panda completes 9,000 mile rally
Bobo the Monkey Tank
Bobo the Monkey Tank covered a total of 9,000 miles
Two women have completed a 9,000 mile rally from Glasgow to Mongolia in five weeks in a 999cc Fiat Panda.

Lorraine Hutchison, 26, and Nina Rooke, 32, from Glasgow, travelled through Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

They slept with bears in woods in Siberia and crossed Kazakhstan's nuclear waste lands in a car bought for 150, which broke down 13 times.

Ms Hutchison and Ms Rooke, both engineers, raised 5,000 for charity by reaching Mongolia.

It was such a colourful whirlwind of different people and cultures
Nina Rooke

Their one litre Fiat Panda, christened "Bobo the Monkey Tank" broke down almost every second day at one point.

The brakes also failed and the car caught fire along the way.

Their journey started officially from Hyde Park in London on 22 July and took in 17 countries, crossing Europe from Belgium to Bulgaria through to Turkey and then Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and ended when they reached Mongolia on 25 August.

'Eating and dancing'

Rally Rules said that all the vehicles should be below 1000cc, with a capacity of no more than one litre.

Both women described their journey as an amazing experience and said they would jump at the chance to do it again with Ms Rooke wanting to drive back from Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia.

She said: "We didn't need a support team because all the local people helped us when our car broke down and they invited us to eat with them and go to dances.

"I think the trip was good because when we tell people about the beautiful scenery of Afghanistan and the friendly people, it changes their perceptions."

She added: "It was great, it was such a colourful whirlwind of different people and cultures, it was amazing to watch the atmospheres and scenery change so drastically as we moved on."

Ms Hutchison said: "It was an unreal experience. I just loved it and I definitely will do it again."

Only 64 cars have so far finished the rally.

Of the 160 who set off, 19 have been abandoned and 77 are still on the road.

The women chose to give the money they raised to charities Mercy Corp and Send a Cow, which help people in the Third World.

Glasgow to Mongolia in 999cc car
28 Apr 06 |  Glasgow and West

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