On June 23rd three two-person teams started the adventure of their lifetime in the eneloop expedition 2100. The winning team will be awarded a cheque of € 21.000 that will entirely go to the good cause organisation of their choice. The teams are travelling on foot across Europe to the finish in Milan, each via a different route of approximately 2100 kilometres long. In total, they will have to complete 40 challenges and social media battles during their journey as well as stop at 4 cities. They are equipped with the best outdoor gear and hiking food, but they can always barter rechargeable eneloop batteries for extras. By now, they are halfway through this unique adventure and that means: time for an update!
Team Yellow: “It's never too late to explore”
Romas Usavicius and Simona Vidunaite of Team Yellow, 2 Lithuanian lovers living in the UK, started their adventure at home. They are now crossing France and have completed 2 out of the 4 City Stops. The next 2 City Stops are in Konstanz (Germany) and Lugano (Italy). As you can tell by their Facebook pictures, they are the most artistically talented of the teams. They mostly stay with locals or they camp out in gardens. They've accustomed to cooking the most delicious Lithuanian dishes as a way to thank their hosts. “It's been 3 weeks since we last slept in a bed, but we are very happy that our dream to wake up in the mountains came true. Also, we don't miss watching TV because there is nothing better than to dose off by a crackling fire. We don't miss politics and thinking about what to wear every day. We just live in the here and now and are enjoying being part of this wonderful planet”, Romas and Simona tell enthusiastic.
So far, they have completed 18 out of 34 challenges and have gathered 47 points. They chose to represent the Lithuanian Čepkeliai-Dzūkija PAN park to spread the message that there is no second earth.
Team Purple : “Collect moments, not things”
The two brothers Anders and Kasper Toft Braun from Team Purple are from Denmark, where they began the expedition. They are currently travelling through Germany and have completed 2 City Stops. They will be stopping in the German cities Bischofsheim and Freiburg next. Anders and Kasper are the youngest expedition members of the lot. Being close to nature whilst walking on hiking trails is a close match to their environmentally friendly organisation, Sorex. Most of the time they can stay in different places provided that they tell all their expedition stories. “We're halfway through the expedition – we've crossed the 1050 km mark today! For the last two months we have seen a lot of new places and met some amazing people on our way. Let the journey continue because we are hyped for more”, the brothers enthusiastically exclaimed.
Team Red : “Travel, eat, sleep, repeat”
Team Red consists of Michał Chowaniec and Paweł Kalisz. They are the only team who have already stopped in 4 cities, which means they are now on their final stretch to the finish line in Milan. But they still have to pass their biggest challenge: the Alps. However, they both love adventure and long walks in natural wonder. One rainy day in the Ceski Krumlov region, Paweł's knee was not in a good shape, but they decided to go on despite all odds and Paweł had to limp through a dense forest. They arrived in a small forest where they spotted a single house and where they set up their tents next to a landlady's empty parking spot. “The next morning, we woke up and saw an old man with an ancient beard and a cowboy hat who must have been the owner of separate building proudly called 'Arthurs Pub'. He invited us in and showed us his treasures, photos with his bearded friends trekking all over the globe. Hundreds of medals, hats and artefacts were hanging on the walls. The language barrier disappeared after one shot of his super strong spirit. As a real macho, he asked us not to tell his wife about his secret stash of fire water bottles. We had coffee, shared some stories, and then we told him about Paweł's knee. He knelt down and started to hover his hands up and down, magically traking the pain away! Then he proudly took us outside and showed his selection of herbs, among which was bielinka. The leafy vegetation, he said, has healing powers. After two days, the knee was back to normal. We still carry the walking stick we found for Paweł with us today. Arthur, you are great! We owe you a big e-mail after the expedition.”
The optimistic travel brothers walk the distance for Amnesty International.