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Globe-trotting Grandmother

Foreign travel is no mystery to pensioner Mary Jefferies 66, from Horning on the Norfolk Broads, but sightseeing from the back of a camel is.

No stranger to the Southern African Kalahari and Namib deserts, nor the Atacama desert in South America, Mary has risen to the ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses) challenge to cross the Mongolian Gobi desert on a camel.

She comments, "I think the Gobi camel challenge attracted me because I like vast open spaces and wild places and besides I have only ever ridden a one hump dromedary - the idea of the 2 humped Bactrian camel is something quite different - an experience not be missed !"

Before departing on her expedition in September Mary is getting in some regular practice riding her son's 18.2 hh part shire horse, "so that she is used to being high up!"

The ride across the Gobi desert is just part of the challenge, the other is raising the £2,500 she needs to allow her to take part. She has organised various fundraising events over the coming months and is asking people to give generously to help the ILPH:

" Bingo evening, at 7.30 pm on 23 March at Ludham Church Hall;
" Mary, accompanied by her two Scottie dogs, is walking 10 miles from Salthouse to Overstrand on 21 April and is looking for sponsorship;
" Bridge Drive at 2 pm on Sunday 25 April, at Horning Village Hall. Tickets £6 each which includes tea;
" Big raffle with many good prizes.

Mary is also holding a car boot sale in May and would welcome any suitable items.
All those wanting to support Mary or who would like more information should call Mel Edwards, ILPH Support and Liaison Officer on 0870 366 6953.



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