THERE'S nothing unusual about two teenagers from the UK enbarking on a backpacker pilgrimage to Byron Bay, except if they choose to do it on bicycles.
Over the next nine months, Mohan Everett and Finn Cotton, both 18 from Brighton in the UK, intend to pedal almost 15,000km across Europe and Asia, then from Darwin down to Byron Bay, to see the world and raise money for the Red Cross.
The intrepid pair were farewelled by their parents this month as they set out on the Newhaven Ferry.
After two long weeks (and only two short showers), the boys are now in the Swiss Alps and, according to their blog, getting used to life in the saddle.
They are carrying all their supplies and are basically living on soaked beans and cooked grains, plus the odd meal from farmers as they follow the back roads of Europe.
Finn's mother Alison Cotton told The Northern Star the idea began as a bike trip to Greece.
“Then one day Finn came home saying 'Now we're going to cycle to Australia' and I kept going, 'yeah sure',” she said.
“They set about planning, saving and raising sponsorship while finishing their final school exams and will start university when they return.
“When Finn went off every week for more and more injections I knew he meant business,” Mrs Cotton said.
Mohan's mum, Udita Everett, said it was hard to let her son go but she was proud of him.
“They are both so adventurous, courageous and curious about the world and have such open minds to take up such a challenge. I pray they will not take risks and be safe but I think they are setting a brilliant example for teenagers.
“I've just had a text from them and they're near Interlaken in Switzerland. They don't call much as the credit has to last nine months.
Regardless of their meticulous planning and budgeting, Mrs Everett's biggest worry is that they will run out of money.
“They are running a blog to attract more sponsorship and keep in touch with family, friends and their supporters.”
You can follow their progress and contribute to their cause at www. cycle2australia.blogspot. com/