We approached many local businesses to seek sponsorship to no avail. Undeterred we set about fundraising the hard way.
Having set off from Arnold in Nottingham on New Years Day we travelled down to the channel tunnel and over to France making our way down to Southern Spain and the ferry to the Port of Tangier.
A 28 hour stay at the Port due to paperwork issues added to the sense of adventure. Having left the port, we made good progress daily through Morocco and to the border with Mauritania.
The Morocco / Mauritania border crossings although time consuming was uneventful and we negotiated No Mans Land and the reported land mines safely.
Mauritania was the part of the drive we had decided to complete as quickly as possible due to the travel advice that had been issued and we made good progress driving long days to cover the ground. We made the border with Senegal with no issues and despite a minor problem with Merkels exhaust both ambulances were running well.
We crossed the border into Senegal again with no issues.
When we set off we anticipated that the journey would take us 14 days and with the end in sight we knew we were going to be early.
There had been elections in The Gambia and the President had lost but refused to step down. Politically clearly the people wanted change and ECOWAS had vowed to end the political impasse and enforce the will of the people.
Senegal was the final leg and at 1531 on the 11th January we crossed the border into The Gambia at Amdallai.
A long hot shower and a cold beer was the order of the day.
It was clear that the Political situation was tense as we set about delivering the school equipment we had shipped over.
Everywhere we went we were greeted enthusiastically but as time wore on there was clearly a great amount of fear locally as ECOWAS threatened to deploy troops to enforce the election result.
Our trip was sadly cut short as the Foreign Office changed its travel advice and sadly we had to leave early.
The ambulances had been serviced and some minor repairs undertaken.
The political situation made the official paperwork process difficult and that was something that had to be done without us and as we were forced back early Baba was entrusted with finalising the details and delivering the vehicles.
Soon we had heard that both vehicles had been used effectively and lives had been saved.
Merkel the Mercedes is based at Farato and Marianne the Renault up river at Kani Kunda.
We soon decided on getting back that the effort involved in this project was so worthwhile we decided again to undertake another #ambulancerun.