News

Couple Cycled 12,500 Miles Through 25 Countries During Seven Year Trek Across Continents To Celebrate Beating Cancer

SWNS

A globe-trotting couple have cycled 12,500 miles through 25 countries as part of an epic seven year bike ride across every continent to celebrate one of them recovering from cancer.


Intrepid Gabriella Gratrix and Chris O'Hare began their journey in Manchester - just 12 months after Gabriella was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

The pair have already pedaled through Europe and Western Asia to end up in far-flung Vietnam and will continue into Australasia then the Americas.

Eventually they plan to brave the ultra-hostile conditions of Antarctica and finish up in Africa in around 2025.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

Their adventure began in July 2018, shortly after Gabriella, 47, had a double mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy following her cancer diagnosis.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

Gabriella said:

"At the end of my treatment we knew we needed to do something big."
"We both love traveling and cycling so decided to set off on this amazing journey around the world."

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

She added:

"It's definitely tough but we're having the most incredible time."

Gabriella was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, just weeks before her and Chris were due to embark on a world cycle tour that had been years in the planning.

Google Maps

Her intensive course of treatment meant their arrangements were put on the back burner so doctors could perform a double mastectomy and put her on to chemo.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

Barely 12 months after the diagnosis Gabriella was in recovery and she set off on a world tour with Chris from The Nightingale Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital, where she was treated.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

The couple, who are from Thistleton, near Preston, Lancs., are raising money for the Prevent Breast Cancer charity, which supported them throughout the ordeal.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

Gabriella, who is a seamstress, said:

"The people there became like members of our own family, they were absolutely amazing."
"I want to give back what I can and I think raising money through this cycle ride is a great way of doing that."

Chris O'Hare / SWNS

Her and Chris, 44, a former businessman, were no strangers to travel before setting off and had previously completed 3,000 mile tours through Europe and Southeast Asia.

Chris O'Hare / SWNS

After leaving Manchester and cycling to the south coast the pair got a ferry to France and pedaled across Western Europe before ending up in the Balkans.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

The couple then entered Asia through Turkey, which is where they experienced some of the most hostile weather conditions to date - enduring temperatures of well below zero.

Chris O'Hare / SWNS

They then went through a number of countries far off the beaten track including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

It was during this period they traversed the Pamir Highway, which is a spectacular road going through mountainous terrain in Central Asia.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

Chris said:

"So far that has been the most spectacular place we have been, the views were unbelievable."

Chris O'Hare / SWNS

While traveling through this part of the world, which is not considered a tourist destination, the couple ran into a spot of trouble from local law enforcement.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

Chris said:

"At one point we were in our tent and woke up to find about 30 soldiers with guns surrounding us."
"It was quite alarming but luckily we gave them a nice smile and things went smoothly in the end."

Chris O'Hare / SWNS

The couple then traveled through China into Taiwan and then Vietnam, which is where they're currently resting up.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

Remarkably, they spend almost every night in a tent which they carry on their backs.

Chris O'Hare / SWNS

Chris said:

"We just pitch up wherever we want, which is much easier than trying to find a hostel or something like that."

Chris O'Hare / SWNS

The pair's journey will continue through Southeast Asia into countries to the west including Nepal, India and Pakistan before getting a ferry to Japan.

After traveling through Australia, New Zealand and the Americas they will take on the toughest challenge of the lot, by traversing the hostile terrain of Antarctica.

Chris O'Hare / SWNS

Chris said:

"That is going to be an incredible journey and the biggest challenge of all."
"Because of the terrain we won't be able to cycle the whole way but we'll definitely get on our bikes for the bits we can."

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

The penultimate leg of their journey will be South Africa, before they cross the finish line in the island of Madagascar off the coast of East Africa.

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

Donate to their cause and read more about their story here: https://chrisandgabsworldcyclingtour.com/donate/

Chris O’Hare / SWNS

*A version of this story originally appeared on SWNS and was written by Barnaby Kellaway

Don't Go, There's Video!