Tuesday, March 5, 2024

La Cucaracha made a killing!

The winners of the Bangers to Bluff challenge were The Senoritas. A proud Rotarian and a former Howick resident Sue Eyes writes about the eventful win by team that walked away with a trophy, a bottle of wine and chocolates!

The challenge was issued by the Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay – Buy a ‘Banger’ car for under $2000 and drive it 3,000 kms from Half Moon Bay to Bluff over 12 days to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis, Hope Works, and other Rotary projects.

The 2023 challenge was accepted by 17 groups in total, one of which was The Three Senoritas. Their trusty 1997 Toyota, complete with air horn, was named La Cucaracha – aka The Cockroach – as it is difficult to kill a cockroach!

The team comprised of ex-Howick resident Sue Eyes a retired nurse, Claire Eyes a retired midwife and Sharon Graham a retired teacher.

Sharon Graham, Claire Eyes and Sue Eyes with La Cucaracha.

The journey involved the Raglan to Kawhia Road in the rain, down to and around Mt Taranaki and across to Martinborough, where of course some wineries were involved.

Onto Wellington and across New Zealand’s largest pot-hole – Cook Strait. From Blenheim down to Hamner via Molesworth Station – 207 kms of gravel and major potholes.

The weather turned at this point and heavy snow was the driving challenge to Mount Cook – the beauty of New Zealand is breath-taking.

Mt Cook to Geraldine and then onto Balclutha before heading to Invercargill and Bluff.
On arrival in Invercargill the cars were auctioned, and all proceeds went into the fund-raising pot – close to $70,000 was raised.

What an awesome way to see New Zealand.

Fortunately, La Cucuracha didn’t let the team down. With only one bald tyre following the Molesworth Station Rd, most of her eyelashes remained with pink tips!

The Senoritas were declared the winners based on the daily challenges; the friendly team with flowers in their hair also tied first for the People’s Choice Award; and were the overall winners for the fundraising effort! They raised $8500.

The Bangers to Bluff rally is an annual event that was started by the Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay in 2017. Each year there is a different route to Bluff. The idea behind it is to drive on roads less travelled, complete daily challenges and have fun while doing good in the world through Rotary.

If you are interested in participating in the 2024 event check out the website: www.bangerstobluff.co.nz

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