A TRIO of cyclists have returned from a mammoth three-month ride along the Danube in Europe, raising more than £2,200 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Along the way they had to deal with torrential rain, dodge landmines and even fend off a pack of wild dogs in Romainia as they cycled along the famous river.
Eddie Hastie, who owns the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth, along with his son Nigel and his friend Ralph Smart, undertook the challenge of cycling through a number of countries, including Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia, as a way to raise funds for a charity all three of them feel passionate about.
They left the UK in April expecting warmer climates in Europe, but instead found themselves faced with heavy rain and driving winds, but completed the 3,600km cycle ride in just over six weeks.
Eddie said: “We’d start every day getting up at six o’clock in the morning, have a big breakfast to set us up and then set off cycling until about four o’clock in the afternoon.
“At the end of the Danube and after cycling 3,600 kilometers, you realise what an experience it has been.
“The local kids in each country we cycled through were all very friendly and some spoke very good english and wanted to ask us lots of questions like ‘are you from England’, ‘where are you going’ and more like that so it was fantastic to talk to them.
“At times it was a real contrast between wealth and poverty and we will certainly never forget it.
“We’re very happy that we’ve been able to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
“I think some famillies have really suffered from having friends or relations who have died of cancer and the help the charity gives to them is quite amazing and I think they do a magnificent job, especially considering they’re a charity and they’re not funded.”
To watch an interview with Eddie, click on the video player above...