Tag Archive for #ESSEX2INDIA

Essex to India Rajasthan Bike Ride Part 1 – In the City of Djinns

Throughout Denise Van Outen and Lydia Rose Bright’s epic cycle challenge across Rajasthan – “Essex2India” – arranged in conjunction with Hello Magazine and Charity Challenge, our veteran tour leader, Trevor Gibbs, was on hand to make sure that everything went off without a hitch. Below is the first instalment of his reminisces of the fascinating, and eventful, journey that they undertook…

“My name is Trevor and over the past few years I have had the privilege of working on a number of Charity Challenge trips throughout the world. My latest adventure saw me riding across Rajasthan with Denise van Outen and Lydia Bright, as they attempted to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. The following is a brief glimpse into the incredible journey that they undertook…

The adventure began amongst the chaos of Delhi and, in particular, its old Muslim quarter. Built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century, the labyrinthine streets of Old Delhi still exude a little of the magic and mystery of a city that is all but lost now amongst the bustling thoroughfares of India’s thriving capital. Once surrounded by high walls and dominated by the imposing majesty of the Red Fort, this is home to the magnificent Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque and a spectacular piece of Mughal design capable of holding some 25,000 worshippers. This was where our journey began in earnest, as we headed out to explore the rambling back streets by rickshaw.

The city was beginning to take on a party atmosphere, with tomorrow heralding the start of the Holi festivities and, as we negotiated our way through the meandering streets, making our way past ruminating cows, spice stalls and tea houses, we could sense that celebration and mischief were in the air. The first water bomb came out of nowhere and hit Lydia. The second covered Denise in purple dye. Then suddenly, from all around us, water and dye hit us from every side. Our gentle amble through the back streets had turned into an ambush!

Now rickshaws are not renowned for their speed, or their manoeuvrability. Neither do they offer particularly good protection against a concerted assault from water bombs and buckets. As water and paint rained down on us we made a frantic, but ultimately futile dash for safety. By the time we finally escaped the alleyways of Old Delhi we were a bedraggled and bemused mess, with Denise and Lydia bearing the brunt of the afternoon’s onslaught. Conversely (and bizarrely) our team photographer, Gareth, had managed to run the entire gauntlet unscathed. Whilst the rest of us looked as if we had just swum through blancmange, he still sported a pristine T-shirt and a sparkling camera. The Lord Vishnu obvious had his favourite!“

To find out more about Trevor, and read more blogs of his adventure, please visit his website at www.agamaconsultants.co.uk. Also, if you loved these vibrant pictures of the team exploring India, you can visit  (the before mentioned Lord Vishnu favoured photographer behind these great images) at www.garethgatrell.com.

To learn more about all our Rajasthan tiger Challenge challenge and many more, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com, and to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

The Charity Challenge Epic Cross-Train-A-Thon Challenge! So it begins…

The Charity Challenge Epic Cross-Train-A-Thon!!

So, as our two groups of intrepid North Pole explorers set off within the next two weeks, we at Charity Challenge have decided to set ourselves a challenge of our own, in aid of the fantastic charity Sport Relief.

The distance that these Challengers travel in their quest to reach the northern-most tip of the world is roughly 68 miles. This includes pulling tons of food and equipment behind them on a sledge, battling the extreme conditions and taking their chances against the elements. Short of setting up a fan and a snow-machine in the office, there isn’t much we can do to replicate these circumstances. But we are going to try and make the 60 miles on our office Cross-Trainer, which is the closest thing we can get to actual skis!

Today is the big day, and already Sharmee has got us off to a great start. The cross-training machine has been kindly donated to us by our Hire Fitness, who also supplied Denise Van Outen and Lydia Bright with their equipment for their recent “Essex2India” Rajasthan Cycle challenge!

We will be keeping you updated on our progress throughout the day on Facebook and Twitter, but if you want to donate to a really excellent cause and make a difference to thousands of families across UK and the rest of the world, then please find our JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/charitychallengeskitonorthpole.

We going to try really hard to smash our target, cross-training non-stop from 9-5.30pm, but every donation keeps our morale up and spirits high. A massive THANK YOU to all those who have already donated and brought us up past the £500 mark!!

And if our humble attempt has inspired you to take on the real thing, you can find out more information on dates, costs and itinerary for the North Pole expedition here.

Charity Challenge of the Week: The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge

Denise Van Outen and Lydia Bright last Thursday completed their epic cycle challenge, cycling 430kms through Rajasthan, Land of the Kings. Despite the limb numbing nature of the challenge, the Essex Girls had only good things to say/tweet about their Indian Escapade!

“Just finished our 485km cycling challenge around India Bst experience of my life Ill never forget…a dream” – Lydia

“I would also like to thank @charitychall for making this trip possible. You never let me down! Best experience of my life” – Denise

We’re glad they liked it! And we’re really pleased to see that, inspired by Denise and Lydia’s fantastic effort, more and more people are taking an interest in the challenge and are keen to follow in their glamorous Essex footsteps. So if you think an Indian cycling adventure might be for you, keep reading!

The first day of our Rajasthan Tiger Challenge begins in the hustling bustling capital of Delhi, where you have a chance to soak up the atmosphere and explore it’s labyrinth of streets and markets, crowded with exotic produce and a bewildering mix of people. Journeying on to Agra, the cultural exploration of India continues with a visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the most awe inspiring and extravagant monuments ever built. The serenity of the Taj Mahal is just the peaceful interlude needed before the real hard work begins!

Starting from Taj Mahal, the serene and classical Indian vision quickly becomes the wildest dream of a Mountain Biker, as the roads terrain turns from tarmac stretches, to country lanes to smaller more pothole ridden dirt tracks.

As days pass, the sheer variety of Rajasthan’s roads is matched only by the beautiful and imposing nature of its landscapes. Your eyes can’t help but stray from the road as you cycle through dramatic desert landscape, lively cities, tranquil country-side and old forts seemingly frozen in time.

On day 7 the roads and backdrop take a backseat to the spectacular array of Indian Wildlife that make their home in Ranthambore National Park. As your journey takes a meandering route through the park, keep your eyes peeled for sambas, cheetahs, wild boars, leopards, sloth bears, jackals, hyena and of course the eponymous and majestic Tigers, the namesake and symbol of this challenge!

On day 9, you’re forced dig real deep for the final 80km stretch from Bhanderej to Jaipur. For many these final few hours are turbulent, as emotionally and physically you’re spent, but glimpse of villages and locals waving to you in support spur you onwards on road to Jaipur. And what more jubilant place to celebrate the victorious end of the challenge than “the pink city”. Jaipur is  Rajasthan’s vibrant metropolitan capital, where colours, cultures and seemingly traffic combine as vegetable laden camel carts thread their way through the streets jam-packed with rickshaws, bicycles, tempos, motorcycles and traffic dodging pedestrians! If you’ve got the energy, there’s plenty to do in Jaipur, there’s lot of beautiful and historic sights to be seen or you can take a leaf out of Denise and Lydia book and hit the shops!

So if you’ve been inspired and want to take part in one of our Rajasthan Tiger Challenges, please click here to see all our available departure dates, and click on the date you’re interested in to see the itinerary, costs, kit lists, and much more!

This month, in honour of Lydia and Denise epic challenge, we’ve also got a £50 discount on our Fri 15 February 2013 challenge, check it out here!

You can also click here to see a Lydia and Denise Essex eye view of the challenge, and watch this amazing video that was filmed on location in Rajasthan last year.

To learn more about all our challenge, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com, and to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

#ESSEX2INDIA – Essex girls Densie Van Outen and Lydia Bright to cycle across India

First the immense challenge of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro, a 6 day trek to Machu Picchu in Peru and now a 485km cycle for charity across Rajasthan in India. Much loved TV presenter Denise Van Outen is unstoppable! This time she’s taking her friends Lydia Bright from The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) and Kirsty Williams from The Insanity Group of Companies.

The girls have chosen to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital which desperately needs money to provide vital up-to-date equipment and fund research into better treatments for children.

The challenge is being organised by Charity Challenge, and Denise, Lydia and Kirsty started preparations in early January 2012 as they began their pre-event training.  They were each provided with a fantastic hybrid (road/mixed terrain) bike from Specialized and a top of the range indoor exercise bike from Hire Fitness; a nationwide company that hires gym quality fitness equipment to use at home.  The Hire Fitness bikes proved an essential part of their training as the snow fell outside and temperatures plummeted!

As they embarked on their strict fitness regime, they realised they were becoming hooked on cycling when they started turning down opportunities like VIP seats at premiership football matches in favour of checking out the best cycle routes!

“I’m turning into a biking geek” Says Kirsty, “cycling to and from work and at weekends and using my Hire Fitness bike at home”.  A quick 24 mile cycle is now nothing to them but it’s not been without challenges along the way! For one, It’s really NOT easy fitting 3 adult bicycles into the back of a car!! But the girls just about managed to squeeze them into Denise’s Volvo XC60.

So challenge #Essex2india is nearly here.  With just a few weeks left before the big event the girls are training hard, through everything the weather has to throw at them!

“Going cycling today to train for my Essex2India bike ride – I must be crazy it’s freezing out there!” tweets Denise.

They’ve prepared well but what they can’t prepare themselves for is the extreme heat that they will be enduring as they cycle across India.  And what will they do after all this with so much free time on their hands you may well ask?  Perhaps another Charity Challenge?

Click here to for learn more about our Rajasthan Tiger Challenge – the challege Denise and Lydia are so bravely taking on! To keep up to date on all our challenge news, and hear the latest updates about the Essex girl’s challenge, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.