They’ve made it to Benidorm!
Kirkwood Hospice supporters James Conyers and Emma Maude, who run The Pie Shed Café in Dewsbury, took part in Benidorm or Bust! – an annual race challenging competitors to drive 1,500 miles from Dover to the Spanish resort in as cheap a car as possible.
More than 170 bangers – all costing under £500 – took part in the four-day adventure, which proved incident-packed for the Dewsbury duo.
James, 43, and Emma, 33, travelled in an 18-year-old orange £300 Volvo Volgatti – but found it far from reliable.
“Challenge isn’t a big enough ford for it!” said James. “We had eight breakdowns. We had a fuel pressure issue that kept bursting the fuel pipes – which isn’t good in a hot country. Fortunately, we had a lot of other teams help out.”
When the car broke down in one small French village, members of a rival team wearing hi-vis jackets who had decorated their car as a helicopter took to directing the traffic while the Volvo was repaired.
“When we arrived in Bordeaux late and in the dark, there was a storm with heavy rain and wind blowing bins across the road,” said James.
The couple still managed to reach Benidorm in four days and just three hours behind schedule. Now they are taking a break in Spain for a few days while their car is in the garage undergoing repairs before returning home.
Supporters were able to follow their journey on Facebook – with Emma drawing the winners of raffle prizes at each stop-off on the route.
The trip took them to Benidorm via Rouen, Bordeaux and across the Pyrenees to Zaragoza and on to the coast. Said James: “It’s a fantastic drive. We have been through small villages most people have never heard of and driven over the Pyrenees, which was stunning.
James and Emma expect to raise well over £1,000 for the hospice at Dalton. Said James: “2017 is their 30th year, which they are really pushing. The reason we chose Kirkwood are very personal, both Emma and I had loved ones that spent their final days there and we were touched by how well they were cared for. It’s something that will never be forgotten.”
James and Emma have also been accepting donations through their Virgin Money Giving page www.kirkwoodhospice.co.uk/benidorm .