Grandparents travel from Britain to the Great Wall of China – on their BIKES 

Grandparents travel 12,000 miles across 16 countries from Britain to the Great Wall of China – on their BIKES

  • Peter and Chris Lloyd embarked on the journey after deciding to ‘do something a bit different’ in retirement 
  • The ultra-fit OAPs traversed cities, deserts, mountains and everything in between on their 18-month trip 
  • Peter said the moment they finally got a glimpse of the iconic Great Wall was ‘really emotional’ 

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An inspirational couple in their 60s has travelled 12,000 miles across 16 countries from Britain to the Great Wall of China – riding their bikes the entire way.

Grandparents Peter and Chris Lloyd embarked on the epic 18-month journey after deciding to ‘do something a bit different’ in retirement.

The ultra-fit OAPs traversed cities, deserts, mountains and everything in between as they crossed Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

Grandparents Peter and Chris Lloyd travelled 12,000 miles across 16 countries from Britain to the Great Wall of China – riding their bikes the entire way. They’re pictured here on the Great Wall

The ultra-fit OAPs traversed cities, deserts, mountains and everything in between as they crossed Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Chris is pictured here in China

The ultra-fit OAPs traversed cities, deserts, mountains and everything in between as they crossed Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Chris is pictured here in China

Peter, 66, said the moment they finally got a glimpse of the iconic Great Wall after a year and a half of pedalling 30 miles a day was 'really emotional'. Chris is pictured here on the Pamir Highway

Peter, 66, said the moment they finally got a glimpse of the iconic Great Wall after a year and a half of pedalling 30 miles a day was ‘really emotional’. Chris is pictured here on the Pamir Highway

The married couple of 37 years nourished themselves with local delicacies and spent most nights inside a tiny tent pitched wherever they could find shelter.

Peter, 66, said the moment they finally got a glimpse of the iconic Great Wall after a year and a half of pedalling 30 miles a day was ‘really emotional’.

At the end of their journey, the unconventional pair from near Carlisle in Cumbria didn’t fly home but instead opted to book a cabin inside a 400m-long container ship.

Peter travelling down an icy road in Georgia in April 2018. He said: 'You never know what the day is going to bring. All you know is you are going to get on your bike and cycle'

Peter travelling down an icy road in Georgia in April 2018. He said: ‘You never know what the day is going to bring. All you know is you are going to get on your bike and cycle’

Peter said: 'Every day is an adventure, every day is new and the feeling of being on a road with the sun shining and the world at your feet is amazing'. Pictured is one of their camping spots in Tajikistan

Peter said: ‘Every day is an adventure, every day is new and the feeling of being on a road with the sun shining and the world at your feet is amazing’. Pictured is one of their camping spots in Tajikistan

The couple had lots of interesting encounters along the way, including with this scorpion in Kazakhstan

The couple had lots of interesting encounters along the way, including with this scorpion in Kazakhstan

The pair's creepy crawly encounter list also included this camel spider in Kazakhstan

The pair’s creepy crawly encounter list also included this camel spider in Kazakhstan

The final leg was a three-week voyage from Singapore across the Indian Ocean and into the Mediterranean before docking at Southampton.

Peter said: ‘You never know what the day is going to bring. All you know is you are going to get on your bike and cycle.

‘Every day is an adventure, every day is new and the feeling of being on a road with the sun shining and the world at your feet is amazing. 

Some parts of the journey were a little too rough for cycling, such as this spot in Tajikistan

Some parts of the journey were a little too rough for cycling, such as this spot in Tajikistan

The roads in Kazakhstan were deserted, as this stunning image taken in June 2018 shows

The roads in Kazakhstan were deserted, as this stunning image taken in June 2018 shows

The Pamir Highway scenery was jaw-dropping. This image of Chris among it was taken in July 2018

The Pamir Highway scenery was jaw-dropping. This image of Chris among it was taken in July 2018

The couple admitted that the journey threw up some 'testing times'. Pictured is Chris on the Pamir Highway

The couple admitted that the journey threw up some ‘testing times’. Pictured is Chris on the Pamir Highway

The pair had all the space in the world in which to camp in Tajikistan. This image was taken in August 2018

The pair had all the space in the world in which to camp in Tajikistan. This image was taken in August 2018

Roughing it: In China the pair pitched their tent in a rubbish-strewn tunnel

Roughing it: In China the pair pitched their tent in a rubbish-strewn tunnel

Conditions in northern China were bitterly cold at times. This image was taken in November 2018

Conditions in northern China were bitterly cold at times. This image was taken in November 2018

Smiles better: At the finish line in China with Jane Fulbrook (second secretary to China)

Smiles better: At the finish line in China with Jane Fulbrook (second secretary to China)

‘There were obviously testing times along the way, having to get on with life in such foreign places wasn’t always the easiest.

‘Overall the experience was absolutely incredible.’

He added: ‘If we can do it, just about anybody can do it.’

At the end of their journey, the unconventional pair from near Carlisle in Cumbria didn't fly home but instead opted to book a cabin inside a 400m-long container ship

At the end of their journey, the unconventional pair from near Carlisle in Cumbria didn’t fly home but instead opted to book a cabin inside a 400m-long container ship

The couple pose in front of the container ship that would take them home

The couple pose in front of the container ship that would take them home

The couple boarded the container ship in Singapore, which eventually docked in Southampton

The couple boarded the container ship in Singapore, which eventually docked in Southampton

Peter and Chris initially set out to cycle from Britain to the Great Wall in January 2017 but were forced home after a freak accident two months and 1,000 miles in.

They had cycled all the way to Hungary when Peter slipped on tiles at a health spa and broke his femur, requiring a large metal plate and screws to be fitted into his leg.

After seven months of recovery, in October 2017, the couple set out again, from the original start line in Cumbria.

Among their highlights was travelling along the stunning 600-mile long Pamir Highway in Tajikistan and enjoying the culture in Turkey.

After arriving in China in November last year Peter and Chris travelled through South East Asia into Singapore, where they boarded the container ship.

Ultimately, both Peter and Chris agreed that the best part of the entire trip was encountering the kindness of strangers along the way, many of whom invited the couple for food and drink.

A map showing the couple's incredible journey. The top line shows the route the couple had to abandon in Hungary

A map showing the couple’s incredible journey. The top line shows the route the couple had to abandon in Hungary

Neither is a hugely experienced cyclist but they did warm up for this challenge by cycling home from Greece in 2015.

Chris, 64, said: ‘We felt very lucky that we had the time to do it and we could afford to do it as well.

‘It was a wonderful experience, particularly wonderful because of the amazing people we met along the way.’

She added: ‘We are not super fit but we could cycle and we thought if we just do it slowly we would get there eventually.’ 

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