Gloucestershire man circumnavigates globe in black cab
The clock is still running as three adventurous men continue their circumnavigation of the globe in a London black cab to raise funds for the British Red Cross.
Paul Archer, 25, Johno Ellison, 28, and Leigh Purnell, 24, have just crossed America in an attempt to circumnavigate the world in a classic London Black Cab. They have already driven from London to Sydney, Australia and hope to raise £20,000 for the Red Cross’ work helping vulnerable people in a crisis in the UK and overseas.
Having sampled the wilds of America, taking in the stunning scenery of the Grand Canyon and enjoying the bright lights of Las Vegas, the group have flown across the Atlantic to Israel. They are now on the final leg through Europe, hoping to return to the UK next month.
Paul, from Avening, Gloucestershire, said: “The USA was all we’d hoped: fast food, endless roads, epic scenery and great people. The reception we got from was incredible; everyone we met was so inviting and kind.
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“We were joined in the US by an American Yellow Cab driven by a Texan called Jon Anders who we originally met in Pakistan last year. He asked us if he could join us for the US section of the trip and we jokily said ‘only if you buy a US yellow taxi.’
“Our sponsor Get Taxi agreed to buy the taxi for him and he’s joined us for the US leg.”
Since they set off from Covent Garden, London, in February last year, the boys have covered four continents, forty one countries, ten times zones and 36,000 miles. They have seen the northern lights in Finland, been detained by secret police in Iran and driven to Everest base camp.
The ‘It’s on the Meter’ challenge started as a hair brained scheme dreamt up during a long and expensive taxi ride home in 2008. The boys, who all studied at Aston University in Birmingham, wondered what the longest and most expensive taxi fare was, and decided to try beating the record – which stood at 21,690 miles.
In 2009 the trio bought a 20-year old London Black Cab for £1,500 on eBay. It already had 300,000 miles on the clock. They named her Hannah - after an old song called Hard Hearted Hannah - and set about planning their route.
From London they drove to Paris, through Denmark, Sweden and Finland and on to Russia, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia. It was then on to Iraq and across the mountains into Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal where they drove the Friendship Highway into Tibet.
After Tibet they drove through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. Here they shipped Hannah over to Darwin, Australia, and finally reached Sydney on December 10. It was here the team’s major sponsor, Get Taxi – a smartphone taxi ordering app – got on board.
Hannah was shipped over to San Francisco for the next leg of her journey, which started in January. The US leg has taken the boys to Hollywood, Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and Death Valley.
It was then on to New Orleans, Florida, Ohio and Pittsburgh before taking in Niagara Falls and Toronto, Canada. From New York they flew to Israel, and are now starting the last leg home. Their route will take them to Greece, Moscow and Eastern Europe before arriving in London hopefully in May.
The epic journey has so far covered 36,000 miles and racked up a bill of £69,000.
For more information and to donate please visit the team’s website: itsonthemeter.com