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York teenager Jonathon Parish returns from fundraising journey
A TEENAGER who rode thousands of miles on his motorbike to one of the farthest flung corners of the world to raise money for cancer sufferers has told of his adventures as he heads home.
Jonathon Parish, 17, set off from his home in Diamond Street in The Groves in York, in June, and has endured some of the world’s toughest terrain as he headed to the Mongolian plains.
On his Suzuki motorcycle, Mr Parish took in France, Scandinavia and Siberia before heading to Mongolia.
He is now on the return leg of his journey, returning to York via Kazakhstan and Eastern and Southern Europe.
During his mission, Mr Parish has faced snowstorms on glacier-topped mountains, two crashes and a nasty leg injury.
Describing his gruelling expedition so far, Mr Parish said: “I made it to Scandinavia’s North Cape and met Santa in Lapland before heading across Russia where I had a crash on a dirt road and badly burned my leg on the exhaust.
“I managed to keep it fairly clean until I found a town a few days later where a woman took pity on me and bandaged it up and I stayed with her for five days until it had stopped oozing and started to heal.”
Mr Parish’s next stop was Siberia – where he slept in a tent in freezing conditions – before he made it to Mongolia which he describes as a “crazy country” but with “very friendly people”.
“I rode 4,000km through all sorts of terrain, from desert to snowy mountains,” he said. Mongolia’s first snowstorm hit about two weeks ago, and I was on a glacier on Mongolia’s highest mountain. I had to quickly descend and try to find my bike which was covered in snow and get down the side of the mountain. It was difficult; I had only followed goat trails to get up there. I was about to give up when thankfully I saw a little nomad on his horse who signalled me to follow him.”
Mr Parish said it was when he became stranded while hitchhiking across Australia in 2010 that he got the idea for the challenge. A truck driver who drove to the nearest town told Mr Parish that it had been his wish to travel to Mongolia, but a diagnosis of prostate cancer had put a stop to his travels. On his return to the UK, Mr Parish decided to make the trip to Mongolia that his friend was unable to take.
Mr Parish, who is due to arrive back home in January, is raising money for Prostate Cancer Charity. To donate, visit justgiving.com/mission-to-mongolia