Beijing Biddies reach last leg of trip to China

'Beijing Biddies' Kate Sleath and Edwina Sorkin at the Chinese border with a guard.
'Beijing Biddies' Kate Sleath and Edwina Sorkin at the Chinese border with a guard.

On the last leg of their 30 day challenge to reach Beijing, the charitable duo known as the Beijing Biddies have now reached the Chinese border.

Travelling in a seven-year-old Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 across unknown terrain through Holland, Northern Europe, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Siberia, and Mongolia to China, Kate Sleath and Edwina Sorkin set off last month after 16 months of planning.

Their aim is to raise £150,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK, as both women have been affected by cancer during their lives.

However, at the Chinese-Mongolian border, which they reached this week, they faced some challenges.

After a customs officer disappeared with their passports, the pair were ordered to empty their vehicle.

The former Wetherby neighbours were then left concerned about cameraman Gary who didn’t have his passport stamped.

They wrote on their blog: “The challenge was to be the next part on entering the Chinese border.

“It was very interesting to go from a very unprofessional confused Mongolian border to a very efficient, disciplined and officious reception from the Chinese border police.

“A series of inspections were made of the vehicle and many photos taken of the outside of the vehicle and the contents.”

The pair were then told by their guide that, until the paperwork was completed, the car would have to stay where it was, and they said they hoped it would be ready by today to take them all the way to the last stop in Beijing.

With 70 donors already, the pair have raised £20,752.39 including gift aid, all of which will go to the charities.

Edwina’s daughter Deby was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer seven years ago and has been on a successful Neo Tango trial which is allowing her to lead a full life and have a successful career.

On their website, Edwina wrote: “You feel very helpless as a mother when your child is faced with such a fight, and her drive, determination, attitude and focus are an inspiration to us all.”