DAY 12 and DAY 13

September 19th and 20th

Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria

Being on ITV News in the UK took us international and gave us the good fortune of meeting the lovely Paul and Rebekka who hosted us in Bassersdorf for the night. We had a full roast dinner ready for us on the table and even industrial grade earplugs for Amy and James to drown out Bharat and Rachel’s snoring – clearly we need to send every host our blog in advance!

Have you ever seen a Boeing 777 up close? No, neither had we until yesterday where we had the most amazing experience visiting a hanger at Zurich airport with Sumo. Doing a trip for charity can get you quite far, but this really took the biscuit, as Bharat was waved through airport security, Swiss Army knife in pocket – perhaps they wouldn’t have been so kind if it hadn’t been Swiss…

As the tuk tuk drove into the hanger and under the belly of the Boeing 777, little Sumo became minuscule compared to this mechanical giant. When the plane mechanics tested the engine right next to Sumo we thought she was going to be swallowed up and churned out the other side, but she’s still here! Phew. 

Lunch was in the centre of Zurich with James’ colleague Andreas from BlackRock. Andreas was incredibly hospitable and even provided us with somewhere to park, which in the centre of Zurich is a scarcity. Bharat has always been sceptical of Google maps and we can see why – when he tried to loop round to the parking space he went missing for over 25 minutes. It is not uncommon for Bharat to shift the blame, so when he returned ranting about how his disappearing act was down to Google being “useless”, we took a look at his phone and he’d managed to set his map to “walking” rather than “driving” directions…

The founder of our Swiss sponsor (Aston Saunders Ltd) came all the way to Zurich to join us for lunch, which was really special. After saying farewell to our friends we left for Glarus along Lake Zurich via the Lindt factory, which is throroughly underwhelming (i.e. not the rivers of chocolate we were imagining) except for the smell (and a free chocolate).


The drive past Lake Zurich was beautiful and peaceful until all hell broke loose. Amy, driving the tuktuk, was whizzing along the road approaching a train crossing and as she whooshed past the lights for the crossing realised they were red and slammed on the brakes to avoid being hit by the oncoming train. Bharat, in the support car behind, was too close to the tuktuk and also wasn’t paying attention so as he ground to a halt the barrier crashed down onto the top of the car and an alarm started sounding loudly. James had to jump out and force the barrier up whilst Bharat, who could be heard swearing in Zurich 5 miles away, reversed to safety leaving Amy and Rachel stranded in the tuktuk in the middle of the crossing. Amy, was revving like mad to get onto the pavement to safety, but Sumo couldn’t get up the ledge so they had to creep forwards in an attempt to get to a lower part of the pavement and then reverse out of harms way. Tensions were high as Bharat‘s shouting was getting louder and louder, the alarm was still blaring and everyone behind us had got out of their cars to watch the drama unfold. Seconds later the train hurtled past Sumo who shook in the wake of the train and finally the alarm stopped, the barriers lifted and we very tentatively went on with our journey, praying for no more blog-worthy events.


Dinner in Glarus was with an old friend of Bharat’s, Max. He and his family very generously put us up in a hotel and took us for a very indulgent meal which was a welcome distraction from the day’s events – James, sat next to Max and Bharat had not realised Bharat’s hidden passion for plastic moulds! We also managed to squeeze in a visit to see Max’s impressive factory before we left Glarus the next day.

The drive from Glarus to St Anton was breathtaking and we had so much fun with the go pro and drone, but even these cannot do the views justice. We had a quick drive through Liechtenstein to see Vaduz Castle and before we knew it we were into Austria flanked again by monumental mountains!

We found a perfect part of alpine road which snaked up the hill in a series of hairpin bends, just before St Christopher. In our efforts to get the perfect shot we went up and down it 3 times. On our second time down we saw a police car and as we u-turned and started our third ascent we saw them trying to speed gun us. Obviously the tuktuk didn’t even register, they’ve clearly never driven one up a hill, but regardless they pulled us over and asked us to turn off the engine and handover our driving licences and registration documents. They were obviously bored, and, after immediately losing interest in checking our paperwork, they wanted to know more about the convoy and why we had the tuktuk. The police really had no appreciation for how much trouble James has at hill starts…and so it was unfortunate that they had stopped us on such a steep part of the road. 

Solitary tuk tuk winds her way up the mountain


A slow climb later we turned the corner into St Anton, found a place to sit in the last sun of the day and write this blog. By far, the best day yet.

Sponsor of Switzerland : Aston Saunders Ltd

A boutique risk management company. Email:

Sponsor of Liechtenstein: Harrison Clark Rickerbys

A top 100 UK law firm HCR provide a full range of services to organisations, business leaders and individuals. Their sector experts provide specialist advice nationally and are leaders in their field, recognised with industry award nominations and for their contributions to national conferences.They have offices in Cheltenham, Birmingham, Cambridge, London, Hereford, Thames Valley, Wye Valley and Worcester.


Highlight of the day: We drove along next to Lake Walensee and Bharat told Amy and James they catergorically were not allowed a swim because we would be late to St Anton. Amy and James fell hook line and sinker for Bharat’s prank and, both very grumpy, had to swallow their disappointment as the team pulled into a carpark at the end of the lake and they were able to display their awful diving technique from the pontoon – video below:


Dunces of the Days:

  • Day 12: Amy – Train incident, see above.
  • Day 13: Rachel – who tried to drive Bharat into a hedge after an altercation during the drive into Liechtenstein. Rachel thinks Bharat is deserving of this accolade, but James and Amy only witnessed the hedge incident, so the prize goes to Rachel. 

Funniest moment: Coming out to the tuktuk to see love notes to Bharat stuck on the Tuk Tuk from a Turkish man he’d met the night before. 





Tuk Tuk Trivia:

    • We reached the highest elevation of our trip – 1800m above sea level at St Christophe am Alberg.
    • Number of tunnels driven through: lost count
    • Number of times the tuktuk’s speedometer has broken: 4 (always fixed by going over a big bump!)
    • Number of times Rachel drove on the wrong side of the road: 3


How we’re feeling: Whilst beautiful, there’s something so emotional about driving through mountains. Perhaps because the peaks reach into the sky they have you wondering where the ones you’ve loved and lost are now, perhaps because they’re so majestic and still that it suddenly forces you to slow down and properly remember. Glarus to St Anton was our best drive not just because of the scenery but because we were able to remember Emily and everything that has happened to bring us to where we are now on this challenge. We know Emily is with us every step of the way – why else would the sun be shining the way it has been in the middle of September, when last year they had snow!

Country Count: 9/21

Swimwear tied to tuk tuk to dry in the wind

Lake Walansee

Sumo’s new upgraded dashboard

Our full roast dinner with our 5-a-day one one plate