Tuk tuk-ing across the islands of Indonesia

Team Black SheepA couple from the United Kingdom whose nose for adventure landed them in Taranaki are planning their next challenge – 3000 kilometres across Indonesia by rickshaw.

Jo Coston and Jonny Williams, Team Black Sheep, will attempt to cross Sumatra, Java and Bali in the Rickshaw Run Indonesia, an event organised by UK-based company The Adventurists.

The 25 teams are given 12 days with no set route, no booked accommodation and no support team to rattle their way across the three Indonesian islands.

The team name Black Sheep reflected the couple’s adventurous lifestyle.

“We were drinking Black Sheep beer from Yorkshire when we came up with the idea.

“Also, we’re the black sheep of the family because everyone else is getting married and we’re off around the world,” Mr Williams said.

The couple moved to Taranaki from the UK two years ago.

“The beach and the mountain and being surrounded by countryside, that’s what we’ve always dreamed of,” Mr Williams said.

The team snagged their first sponsor last week in local clothing brand Resident Clothing, kickstarting their fundraising effort with an injection of $500.

Each of the teams were required to raise $2000, which was split between the official charity Cool Earth and a local charity chosen by the team.

Black Sheep chose Unicef because of its projects devoted to sustainable access to safe drinking water.

“Travelling in places like that you see the everyday life of people, many without clean water. It’s something you take for granted at home,” Mr Williams said.

The race isn’t a first for the intrepid pair. They met on a rock climbing expedition in Costa Rica, did a race through Africa in a 900cc Fiat and have completed another rickshaw race through India. Ms Coston said the hardships of their last rickshaw race were forgotten and they were ready to take on the challenge.

“You say, ‘That’s it, I’m never doing it again,’ then a couple of years down the line you think, ‘Let’s do it again’.”

She said getting off the beaten track appealed to the couple.

“We love the unconventional. If you break down the locals come out and help. The people are really helpful and friendly.”

The couple had planned to take part in the event this January but had to push it back to April because of her work.[]


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