A BASINGSTOKE man has reached the one third-point of his charitable cycling journey to the other side of the world.

Ed Hack set off with friends Ryan Edwards and Tomasz Szwarczewski at the end of March to cycle to Australia, some 10,000 miles from the start point of Basingstoke.

Now, the cycling trio have reached Uzbekistan, just over 3,000 miles into the journey, and are bound for Tajikistan to cycle the Pameer Highway.

After crossing the Caspian Sea from Kazakhstan, the cyclists have been going through desert for around 20 days.

Ed said: “There are camels roaming around everywhere, we constantly see them crossing the road and almost being hit by cars. Water is extremely minimal here with the only water being available from tiny markets in villages.

“The villages can be over 100km away from each other which has proven extremely difficult to carry food and supplies between on just the bikes.”

The road conditions have been challenging as some of the surfaces have been completely covered in holes as the desert has eroded the path.

The friends are supporting Trinity Homeless Projects, and as a result, decided not to book any accommodation in advance, relying on their tents or the kindness of locals, to emulate in some way the experiences of homeless people.

They have stayed with a family in Uzbekistan who gave them a private tour of the area, pointing out local landmarks, and then Ed and his friends bought the family and them dinner.

The weather while crossing the desert has also led to its own difficulties. Following some of the silk road routes took them near the Aral Sea, which has been drastically shrinking in size, meaning that dust storms become more common.

Ed added: “Dust storms aren’t completely prevented though which has made cycling in the heat even harder. The difficult cycling between attractions and towns gives us a vague idea of what it must have been like to be a silk road trader, it’s hard.”

To support the trio and Trinity Homeless Projects, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/englandtoaustraliabybike.