Pedal power raises money – and awareness

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Two friends have completed an epic bicycle journey from England to Thailand – all to help people living with HIV/AIDS.

Catherine Howett and her friend Liz Darley arrived in Ban Chang, Rayong, after an epic journey across dozens of countries.

The pair decided to do the ride to raise funds and promote HIV/AIDS prevention.

They began in London and then cycled more than 12,000km through Turkey, Iran, India, China, Vietnam and finally to Thailand.

Catherine and Liz leave the Camel Pub followed by dozens of well-wishers on the last leg of their epic journey.Catherine and Liz leave the Camel Pub followed by dozens of well-wishers on the last leg of their epic journey.

The last leg of their journey was from the Camel Pub in Ban Chang to the Camillian Centre, on Sunday March 20. The pair led off a procession of bikes and were followed by several children from Camillian, teachers and students from Garden International School and other well-wishers.

At the centre everyone was welcomed with performances and a disco.

There were two aims behind the ride. The first was to take part in a ‘Voices’ oral history project, that captured diverse opinions in one-minute video clips from people they met on their trip.

The second aim was to raise funds for the Camillian Social Centre in Rayong, which provides support to orphaned children and adults living with HIV/AIDS. Money will also go to help the Food Chain, which gives nutritional help to chronically ill people living with HIV/AIDS in London.

Catherine and Mee Nooi, a bear that travelled with her on the trip, answering questions at Garden International School.Catherine and Mee Nooi, a bear that travelled with her on the trip, answering questions at Garden International School.

While in Rayong, the pair visited Garden International School, which has many students from the Pattaya area, to talk about their trip.

As well as being a keen cyclist, Catherine is a teacher with an MA in Education, Gender and International Development and an MA in Performing Arts. Her sister, Lucy, is a teacher at Garden International School.

For more on Garden visit www.gardenrayong.com or to find out more about the cycling journey go to www.onelittlewheel.com.