Group who set off by car from S'pore on Aug. 25, 2019 finally arrives in UK 115 days later

A Singaporean on the team was the only one to have made the trip before.

Kayla Wong | December 15, 2019, 02:37 PM

A group of eight travellers who set off from Singapore on an epic overland trip in late August have finally reached their destination, the United Kingdom, 115 days later on Saturday morning (Dec. 14).

Land Rover used 64 years ago restored for the trip

According to a press release, the entire journey, dubbed "The Last Overland", started on Aug. 25, 2019, and spanned 19,000km, two continents, and 23 countries.

The trip was taken to recreate The Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition (The First Overland), which took place in 1956, and was said to be "one of the most historic automotive events of the 20th century".

'Oxford', the Land Rover that was used for The First Overland, was restored for the trip as well.

Image via The Last Overland

The 64-year-old vehicle was maintained by the team's Indonesian doctor and mechanic Silverius Purba, and its restorer, Adam Bennett, who gave remote support by delivering replacement parts through post.

Team included a Singaporean

The team consists of members from the U.K., France, the U.S., Belgium, Indonesia and Singapore.

According to his profile on The Last Overland's website, the Singaporean, Larry Leong, is an experienced overlander, having travelled overland from Singapore to London with his wife and daughter in 2015, through Southeast Asia, the Stans, Russia and Scandinavia.
He was also the only one in the team who has made a similar trip before.

Faced multiple challenges along the way

The group's expedition saw them traversing "the jungles of Malaysia and Myanmar, the frozen plateaus of the Himalayas and Tibet", as well as other countries, such as Nepal, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey.

Along the way, they faced several challenges like extreme altitude and temperatures.

At certain points along the journey, they even had to rely on supplementary oxygen while coping with altitude sickness.

In addition, they experienced the occasional food poisoning episode.

Welcomed by surviving member of The First Overland

Upon reaching Folkestone, a port town in the county of Kent, which was the point of entry for the team in the U.K., the group were welcomed at an arrival party.

One of the three surviving members of The First Overland, 88-year-old retired documentary maker Tim Slessor, was there to receive the team as well.

A number of their sponsors were in attendance too, such as Singapore Tourism Board and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as members of the public.

Hope for British travellers to visit Singapore for their "own adventure"

After the welcome party, the team then set off for their final destination, The Hilton Park Lane in London, a location that was just metres away from the start line of The First Overland Expedition.

They were received by London's Singapore High Commissioner, Foo Chi Hsia.

Carrie Kwik, Regional Director for Europe at the Singapore Tourism Board, was present at the ceremony as well.

Kwik said the return of 'Oxford' to the UK is "a wonderful closure" to the journey, and an "apt way to conclude the commemoration of the Singapore Bicentennial this year".

She also hoped the team will allow British travellers to "better understand what Singapore stands for", which is "a place were explorers meet", and where "your passions are made possible".

You can see videos documenting their epic journey on their Facebook page here.

Top image adapted via The Last Overland's Facebook page


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