A brave couple made a 255-day epic journey across the globe and through dangerous territories - all to get home to see family in Frampton.
Despite hair-raising encounters with a group of armed bandits in Nairobi and a pack of hungry hyenas in Kenya - the pair say it was the ‘trip of a lifetime’.
Sophie and Richard Morgan had been living in Sydney, Australia, for four years when they decided to return home in time for Christmas day.
They took to the roads and treacherous dirtpaths in their Mitsubishi 4x4 on an adventure which took them through 21 countries including Australia, Africa, Israel and Italy, before finally arriving back at Frampton.
Their travels took a year to plan and saw them cover a distance of 25,165 miles.
“We escaped an armed robbery in Nairobi - which turned into a two-hour gun seige,” said Sophie, 32. “We were camping and six armed gunmen came in, tied up the other guests and robbed them. They seemed to miss us as our tent was more hidden away, so we managed to get away. That was certainly a scary experience.”
Other experiences included being stranded with a Kenyan tribe after rain and mud made roads impassible, breakdowns in the desert, having to scare off a pack of nine hyenas as they sat at a camp fire in Zimbabwe, and crossing through lines of armed soldiers in Jeruselem.
Their encounters gave them many stories to tell Sophie’s family over the dinner table.
Sophie’s proud mum Maggie Peberdy said: “The challenges they faced were often immense, but their own determination and the generous help of fellow travellers and local people helped them through it all.”
Despite some of the more hairy encounters, there were many happy memories too. “We hiked to see silverback gorillas in the wild in Uganda, and sat so close to them,” said Sophie. “That was one of my favourite experiences, as was swimming with whale sharks.
“Ethiopia was also amazing and nothing like how it is shown on television – it was very green and beautiful, with such a great history.”
Ex-Boston High School pupil Sophie, and husband Richard, 35, who is originally from Wales, decided to move back to the UK and tick off a few things from their bucket list along the way. They chronicled their epic journey via a personal website with blogs and photos.
The pair said they made this their last adventure before they ‘settle down’ and have children.
“Despite our love of the Australian lifestyle, beaches and weather, it can never be a replacement for family and so we made the difficult decision to head back,” they said.
“We don’t want to spend a lifetime behind a desk, in the hope we can experience it all when we’re retired – we want a lifetime of adventures, starting now. We’ve had a number of close friends already having to battle against cancer recently and it’s made us realise that life is too short to wait.”
Their trip raised 1,500 AUS dollars for the Against Malaria Foundation.
For more details about their adventure visit morgansafari.com