Edwina Sorkin and Kate Sleath are driving from Tebay to China, unaided and unsupported, to raise £150,000 for cancer charities.
The duo, who call themselves the Beijing biddies, aim to complete the challenge in thirty days.
Edwina and Kate say getting older should be no barrier to taking on big challenges.
They will travel through Holland, Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, right across Russia, and through Mongolia before reaching their destination.
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Pictures from the commemoration marking the centenary of the Quintinshill rail disaster, which killed more than 200 people, is underway.
The 100th anniversary of Britain's worst rail disaster will be commemorated at a special service today.