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Two British riders are to take a four-year journey along the ancient silk route to Japan in aid of charity.

London-based Becky Sampson, 24 and her friend Zena Fish, 29, will leave from Buckingham Palace on Tuesday August 5 on a route that travels through France, down to Turkey, possibly through Iran (ancient Persia) on to China and then Tokyo, Japan.

Becky’s long-time ambition to ride the route first established by the Han Dynasty in China in 114 BC to sell their much-treasured oriental fabric, sparked the idea for the trip.

All proceeds from the sponsored ride will go to the world’s largest orphan charity, SOS Children.

Schools they pass on route will be linked with schools back in the UK.

Primary school teacher, Zena, will do the first year of the journey to Turkey, returning to London to run the campaign.

Becky’s 15,000 km journey to Japan is expected to take four years.

She said: “I want to raise awareness for SOS Children, who alleviate the suffering of orphan children worldwide.”

The girls, who ride at London’s Dulwich Riding Stables, are seeking sponsors and welcome riders who might wish to do part of the journey.

Visit: www.soschildren.org