Charity Hitchhikers Reach Berlin From Manchester Using Nothing But Charm

Charity teams have reached their destinations after using nothing but charm and perseverance to get there.

The aim was to get as far from the starting point in Manchester as they could, whether that be Surrey or Singapore, using no money, all the while raising awareness of their charity, Manchester Raise and Give (RAG).

All proceeds from the mulit-national event go to KidsCan, a charity research facility established by the University of Salford to investigate childrens cancer cures.

"Winners" were ‘Mr & Mrs Badonde’, a team comprised of third year Biomedical Science Student Gemma Wallcott and boyfriend Chris Carr. They managed to get themselves all the way to Berlin without spending a penny on travel. Their success was a combination of blagging, charm, the kindness of strangers and sheer dumb luck.

Gemma said of their three day adventure, "It was the most surreal weekend of my life. I don't actually know how we got to Berlin but we did."

Their journey saw them hitchhiking the old fashioned, thumbs-pointing-in-the-direction-you're-headed way, a little begging to get rides on coaches, and several arguments with irate Scottish train drivers.

Their trip, however, almost halted before it had really begun, as they were refused passage from their first change of transport. But reaching Dover from Manchester was only the start. From there it was hitch-hiking with a 'dubious-looking' Lativan man with limited English.

“He looked like Gru from Despicable Me. He was quite scary but he was really nice, at heart he was a bit of a softie. We made friends with him by the end.”

An adventure in itself!

But getting on the wrong ferry with him and landing on the shores of Belgium rather than their intended France was the next shocker.

"The Latvian guy asked if we wanted to go to Berlin with him, and we thought we couldn’t miss the opportunity to go to Berlin. We thought it was in West Germany then we realized it was East Germany – we were in his car for twelve hours. There was some hardcore driving in there."

Word by Gemma Clark

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