Lozériens Clément Prat and Baptiste Trauchessec, and their friend Jérémy Thibault are participating in Europ’raid.
About 10,000 kilometers to travel in 22 days, through 20 countries. All in a 1995 Peugeot 205 to transport 85 kg of materials to poor schools in Eastern Europe. This, in short, is the challenge that, since Saturday 30 July, 286 crews have taken up that position on the occasion of the seventh Europ’raid. And, among them, number 85 called “2 francs 5 sous”, including two Lozériens, Baptiste Trauchessec and Clément Prat, both 23 years old, accompanied by their friend from Clermont, Jérémy Thibault, 30 years old.
Partnership with Sacred Heart High School
“We were supposed to participate in 2021, believes Baptiste Trauchsec. But the raid was canceled due to Covid-19. With Jérémy and Clément, we met at the physiotherapy school in Vichy (Allier). We graduated in June. We just got to work. There, I, for example, change Fournels. But we thought it would be a shame not to. It’s the kind of adventure that only comes once.”
For the past two years, the three friends have had time to prepare and build a solid network of partners. “We have about twenty of them, private and public, continues the one raised in Rouveyret, in the town of Blavignac. Without relying on relatives, friends and family, who helped us, especially my father Alain, who is a mechanic. In total, we saved 205 four to make just one. There was a lot of work, and a whole list of replacement parts put in place by the organizers.” A collaboration was also born with the high school of Sacré-Coeur in Saint-Chély-d’Apcher for the selection and production of paintings.
“Free for a fork”
During their trip, which will take them to Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland and Belgium, 22 bivouacs are on the program.
“Of course, helping our neighbor was at the heart of our motivations, shows Baptiste Trauchsec. But there are also all the meetings we will have : other workers, children, natives of all these countries. Every day we will have a road book, along with a suggested route and meeting point for the evening. But we will be free to move if we want to discover somewhere.“
If travel teaches youth, this comes at the right time for the three friends. The latter will take a long course of physical therapy, after their trip, for a career that they hope will be as long and rich as this Europ’raid of 2022.
Special support for Ukraine
For this seventh Europ’raid, the organizers are planning special support for war refugees in Ukraine, in collaboration with the Red Cross. Thus, 286 workers are invited to bring non-perishable food and camping equipment to the starting line.
“We expected there would be action for Ukraine, believes Baptiste Trauchsec. For us, these last weeks of preparation have been a bit sporty. So we have decided to buy these donations on Friday when we meet again to go to Belfort (Belfort district).”
If the route does not include any route through Ukraine, it crosses many border countries: Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.