Canadian authors embark on 7,000-km human-powered journey to connect ancestral roots.

    JOHN O'GROATS, SCOTLAND, March 10 /CNW/ - Husband-and-wife team Julie
(33) and Colin (36) Angus, the 2006 National Geographic Adventure: Adventurers
of the Year, from Vancouver Island, British Columbia have departed today from
Britain's north easternmost point, John O'Groats and are travelling 7,000 km
to Syria.
    The duo is using amphibious rowboats for the journey and will follow an
interconnected route of canals, rivers, lakes and coastlines through Britain,
Continental Europe, and the Middle East. The two 18 foot vessels were designed
and constructed by the team, each able to carry a bicycle and boat trailer.
Although most of the journey will be on water, the team has the option of
travelling overland pulling the boats behind their bicycles.
    Colin Angus is an experienced and bestselling adventure author, and the
paperback edition of his national bestseller, BEYOND THE HORIZON: THE GREAT
recently released in Canada by Anchor Canada. Julie Angus' book Rowboat in a
Hurricane: A Woman's Journey Across a Changing Ocean - detailing her
five-month rowing voyage across the Atlantic Ocean - will be released in
October through Greystone Books. The couple will be co-writing their next
book, Rowed Trip (to be published by Doubleday Canada in February 2009),
chronicling their present adventure of rowing from Scotland to Syria.
    Over the next seven months the Angus's will pass through four seas, three
major rivers and sixteen countries while only travelling by human power. Colin
Angus' family is from the far north of Scotland and Julie's is from Germany
and Syria. The journey will link these three countries, and a key component of
the expedition is to explore their ancestral roots. The other focus is to
promote active living and environmental stewardship in schools and an
adventure learning program based on the expedition has been developed (details
    The title sponsor for this expedition is Commerce Resources, a Canadian
mining company with a mandate for ethical resource extraction. The two boats
are named Niobium and Tantalum, the minerals that Commerce Resources
specializes in.
    Julie and Colin departed from the coast near John O'Groats at 10:30 GMT
pulling the boats behind their bicycles. They will cycle until Inverness and
launch their boats in the Caledonian Canal.
    When asked of their decision to cycle instead of row for their first leg,
Julie replied: "There's a gale hitting the coast of Britain tomorrow. I think
we'll make better progress on land."
    A small crowd of well wishers, mostly extended family who still live in
the region, waved the duo goodbye as they pedalled into stiff west winds.
    If all goes according to plan Julie and Colin Angus will pedal and row
into Aleppo, Syria in mid-September. The journey will end at Julie's family's
olive farm on the outskirts of the city. The team will be posting weekly
updates, video logs, and pictures on the expedition website

For further information:

For further information: For more information about the books: CATHY
PAINE, Special Promotions Director, Deputy Director, Publicity & Promotions,
Random House of Canada,, (416) 957-1571; For more
information about the expedition: Web:, E-mail:; For press photos:

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