Wednesday, 27 August 2008

08/08/27: Pedal Joe finishes the European leg of his trek to South Africa

Joe's contact in Spain until Monday 01/09: +34627795786

After having logged more than 3200 kilometers in his pedal go-kart since he left Paris, on the 10th of May, across France, Spain, Portugal and again Spain (including a quick walk through Gibraltar), the Brazilian José Geraldo de Souza Castro, alias Pedal Joe (Zé do Pedal), bound for South Africa, where he plans to assist the Football World Cup "South Africa 2010", arrived at Tarifa, ending thus the European part of his unusual adventure.

On Monday he will cross by boat the Strait of Gibraltar, bound for the Moroccan city of Tanger.

The most heart felt moment of the trip was when Pedal Joe met with José Lima and Rosa Carvalho in the Portuguese town of Quarteira. Lima and Rosa had just crossed Portugal (870 km., north to south) on wheelchairs to incentivate the Portuguese to become more aware of the necessities and basic rights of the physically disabled.

Pedal Joe informed that in the first stage of his voyage he received much support, especially from the Moto Clubs of Faro (Portugal) and of Jerez de La Frontera (Spain) and of several Lions clubs of Portugal. In all the Portuguese cities where there is a Lions Club I was received with great warmth by its members. Important also was the support of the delegations of the Portuguese Red Cross of Vila Viçosa, Beja and Vila Real de Saint Antonio.

The pedal go-cart specially prepared for this trip, manufactured in Holland by the toy company BERG Toys, was based on the model BERG X-plorer X-treme and is equipped with tires of high durability, rims in polyethylene, armoured transmission chain, torque bar, steel frame, 7 gears, head lights, ergonomic seat, LED lights, rear-view mirrors and odometer.

According to the environmentalist, the objective of the voyage is to call the attention of the international community to two of the biggest problems that affect children's eye sight, all over the world, but especially in the poorest countries: cataract and glaucoma, and to spread the word about the International Lions Clubs great campaign: the program SigthFirst.

During the 700 days (17.500 km approximately) the trip is expected to last, Pedal Joe will cross the following countries: France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

Pedal Joe expresses a special thank you to his Portuguese companions of the Lions Club: Julia Lima and Brito Rocha.

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