A BUSINESSWOMAN was confronted by a snake as she tackled a charity cycle challenge.

Katie Skingle revealed she even ate two deep fried tarantulas as well as allowing herself to be covered in the deadly spiders during her adventure.

Katie, 38, owner of KAT Marketing in Langham, completed an epic 550km cycle ride from Vietnam to Cambodia.

The challenge proved so tough seven of the 27 people who started it had to drop out due to the hot conditions.

Temperatures topped 40 degrees centigrade a day while the terrain included sliding sand and unstable roads.

Katie, who is mum to Jasmine, 14, undertook the ride to raise cash for the Ark Centre in Chelmsford.


The team’s efforts helped to raise more than £100,000 for the centre, including main sponsorship and organisation from Mitsubishi Electric.

The challenge of cycling from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Angkor Wat in Cambodia took the intrepid explorers seven days. Katie, from Copford, said: “I had some amazing experiences with some fantastic people, with being attacked by a snake definitely one of the most unpleasant things I’ve had to deal with on a bike.”


The terrifying encounter happened on a dirt track in Vietnam.

She said: “I don’t know what kind of snake it was, it was big, lime green and poisonous according to the guys.

“It came at me from the right hand side. I saw it start to bounce up and it did a wriggly dance and I saw these massive teeth.

“I veered my back wheel to the right and one of the other riders hadn’t seen it so he kept going and sliced it in half.”

The team also visited “Tarantula Town” in Cambodia, a tourist spot where the spiders’ teeth have been cut out so they are not poisonous.


Katie said: “I had about 12 on me, on my head and all over my body. I am not particularly fazed by that but in terms of Bush Tucker Trials, afterwards you can walk around various markets and deep fried tarantula is quite a delicacy.

“Our tour guide did say he had never seen someone consume a whole one.

“I put the whole thing in my mouth and ate it whole and the other’s faces were a picture. Because no-one had filmed it, they said would I do it again.”

Katie said the spiders tasted spicy but dry.

All funds raised by the team will be used to help the Ark Centre expand its operations to support a larger number of autistic children across Essex.

You can still donate at mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/katieskingle2.

An Eighties themed fundraiser for the centre takes places on Saturday, April 27 at Five Lakes in Tolleshunt Knights.

Tickets are £40 and available by emailing contactus@katmarketing.co.uk.