Connect with us


Swedish cyclists bound for Phuket push through Turkey on epic journey to help island orphans

Legacy Phuket Gazette




PHUKET: The four intrepid men biking their way from Sweden to Phuket to raise funds for the Barnhem Muang Mai orphanage in Phuket found themselves in a small Turkish village called Kandira yesterday.

With about 3,600 kilometers under their belts, and thousands more to tackle before crossing Sarasin Bridge, morale is still high for Calle Wollgard, Fredrik Jessen, Tomi Blumen and Christofer Johansson (story here).

“We still like each other, and I can’t see that will change for the next couple of weeks at least!” Mr Wollgard told the Phuket Gazette.

Prior to Kandira, the team had spent more than a week resting in Istanbul, Turkey. However, time came when the team was ready to get back in the saddle, still aiming to arrive in Phuket in time to enjoy Christmas with the orphans.

Mr Blumen was reported to have been suffering stomach issues during their rest, but pushed on with the team when it was time to move out – keeping up as they covered about 110km their first day back on the road.

Another mounting concern is Mr Johansson’s bike. Though its wheels are still spinning, it’s in “far from perfect shape”, explained Mr Wollgard.

“The temperature is now getting higher and higher. That, coupled with a lot of hills in Northern Turkey, is our biggest challenge right now,” Mr Wollgard confided.

The team is shooting to beat the heat as they travel through picturesque Northern Turkey by getting early starts to allow them to seek shade in the middle of the day.

“There is not much we can do about the hills, except conquer them,” Mr Wollgard said.

The next big challenge will be staying safe in the traffic throughout Teheran, Iran.

“That’s going to be crazy,” Mr Wollgard said.

Those wishing to donate just need to send Mr Wollgard their name and how much they want to donate for each Swedish mile (10km) covered. All proceeds will go to Barnhem Muang Mai, which was founded in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami disaster by a Thai-Swedish couple.

Though Barnhem means “home for children” in Swedish, it is a home to many in need, often accepting single mothers with children and grandmothers with grandchildren who are unable to provide for themselves.

Mr Wollgard and his team can be contacted at

— Isaac Stone Simonelli


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Media4 hours ago

No sex please, we’re Thai

Events5 hours ago

An aquatic meal with Olga Belka – taking art to new depths

Transport9 hours ago

Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Train Station) – History and future | VIDEO

Sponsored3 days ago

CBRE recommends top 5 luxury condominiums in Phuket with fantastic locations

Thailand9 hours ago

Bug-eating challenge with Natty, feat. Mark Abbott | VIDEO

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

UPDATE: Israel bans ALL foreign entry over Omicron

Thailand13 hours ago

New variant could dampen Thailand’s reopening enthusiasm

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

UPDATE: Latest news on Omicron – what we know

Tourism1 day ago

Songkhla prepares for tourism across the Southern land border

Thailand1 day ago

French expat being denied re-entry to Thailand over repeated criticism of the Thai monarchy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

COVID-19 SATURDAY: 6,073 infections, 32 deaths, provincial data

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Omicron causing concern, Thai authorities ban travellers from 8 countries

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Thailand’s nightlife venues and bars told to keep closed until January 16

Protests1 day ago

Amnesty International under investigation for defending activists

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

New Covid-19 strain named “Omicron” and a variant of concern

Thailand2 days ago

Entertainment venues will not open before January 16

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11