Taking the scenic route?

Three friends have completed an epic journey to reach the Arctic Circle, more than 50 years after they first set off.

Better late than never…

Mike Andrews, 76, Martin Hugh-Jones, 79, and Ben Mackworth-Praed, 79, took off on a road trip across the Americas in 1960 – but their expedition was thwarted by the 1961 Alaskan winter. They were forced to abandon the final leg of the journey and sell the vehicle they were travelling in to pay for the air fare home to the UK.

How far did they get in their first attempt?

The trio – who were all Cambridge graduates – covered 40,000 miles and 17 countries over 15 months as they headed north on the Pan-American Highway in a 1960 Series 2 Land Rover. In 2010, the vehicle resurfaced in Alaska, when its owner read an article about the original trip and recognised the expedition logo on the side.

So they decided to give it another whirl?

Picture: Mike Andrews

The friends reunited in Alaska this week to complete the final 500 miles of the trip – dubbed the “Cambridge TransAmerican Expedition” – from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic coast, accompanied by a convoy of vintage cars driven by local enthusiasts.

Did the trip go OK?

Prior to the trip, Mr Andrews, from Bristol, admitted he was anxious he might arrive in Alaska to find the 4x4 “won’t move”. But the 55-year-old Land Rover had been fully restored and the team were assured they were in “good hands”, the Bristol Post reported.

Did it all go without a hitch?

Yes – Mr Andrews told the BBC the group had “arrived at the shore of the Beaufort Sea in freezing temperatures and steady rain at Endicott Island, Prudhoe Bay” after driving for two days. “It was amazing, not just to be at the wheel of our old vehicle again, but with my original companions to complete the final leg of our voyage from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina,” he added.

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