A group of six pensioners are going against the laid-back attitude to retirement to embark upon an ambitious round-the-world charity expedition in two Suzuki Jimnys 4x4s equipped with Cooper tyres.
"Heaven Can Wait, I'm Busy" is not only the name of the group, but the guiding approach to life that has motivated the six men to traverse 16,500 miles across 16 countries, three continents and some of the world's most treacherous terrain.
Dubbing the expedition The Ultimate Challenge, Les Carvall (72), Alan Butler (76), Glyn Maher (74), Charles Scott (75), Roger Winkworth (70) and Graham Higgins (69) comprise Heaven Can Wait, I'm Busy.
The group, all from Lymington, Hampshire, and with a combined age of 436, are due to set off from Trafalgar Square in the centre of London on March 31st. From there, they will journey through France and Germany, before heading across Eastern Europe to Mongolia.
After traversing Asia, they will have to cross the sea to Japan and the North Pacific Ocean to the USA, where they will land in Seattle, Washington. Rather than heading directly east from the Emerald City, they will journey north to Anchorage in Alaska before driving down through Canada and the US to Newark, New Jersey.
They will then make the long trip across the Atlantic to Antwerp before finishing at the Southampton Boat Show on September 12th after 153 days on the road.
The motley crew are taking a camera along the way and hope to create a film from the resulting footage entitled While We Have Time. Any proceeds made will be donated to charities, including Save the Children.
Cooper's Discoverer A/T3s were chosen as the tyres for the Suzuki Jimnys after a recommendation from the company themselves, based upon the extent of the trip and the locations visited.
"It’s exactly what we’ll need as it’s a tyre that allows a high cruising speed for when we’re travelling across the better quality road surfaces, but they’ll also look after us on the tougher terrain," said Mr Carvall, the project founder and director.
Sarah McRoberts, the European marketing manager for Cooper Tire Europe, explained that the company had wanted to support the expedition from day one.
“When we heard what Heaven Can Wait, I’m Busy was planning to do, we were very keen to support the team. It’s fantastic that the team is proving that anyone can still live life to the full, embarking on an incredible journey and raising a great deal of money for some very worthwhile charities along the way. We wish them the very best of luck and look forward to supporting them on a phenomenal journey," she said.
Mr Carvall explained that it would be very easy for the six of them to have the easy life, spending their days reading and talking about their gardens.
"For me it is different – I can’t sit still long enough – and driving around the world is the ultimate challenge, the chance to turn a dream into a reality," he said.
He described how his life nearly came to an end on four occasions so the trip represents a way to give something back to those that helped him.
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Posted by Danielle Barge