Saturday, July 23, 2011

Road rally - Mongolian style

If your idea of adventure is flying first class, followed by five nights in a spa resort, you’re in the wrong story – move on. However, if driving 10,000 miles, through the toughest terrains, with no support team and no sag wagon sounds like fun…read on.

Each year, The Adventurists put on an automobile rally that’s truly pushing the limits for reasonableness.  The course is any route you want to take that gets you from London to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia . Each team’s vehicle is limited to a 1.2 liter maximum engine size. (Think Honda Jazz, Hyundai i10, Volkswagen Polo or something equally inept at climbing mountains and crossing deserts.)

There are no routes suggested. Just get there however you can. There are no prearranged border crossings, visa applications or interpreters provided. Just deal with it when you get there. There are no prescribed pit stops for maintenance or parts. Who knows, your car could be towed across the finish line by a yak.

But it’s all for a good cause. In order to compete, each team agrees to raise at least £1,000 for charity, and some are doing much better than that. Half of the money can go to whatever charity the individual team wishes to support, but the other half of all the entrants’ monies goes to Christina Noble Children’s Foundation in Mongolia. The foundation supports Blue Skies Ger Village, a home for Mongolia’s orphaned or abandoned children.

Stay tune for updates as the 300+ cars push off from England on their 10,000 mile trek around 1/3 of the world. Some won’t last the first week, but hopefully a good number will cross the finish line  in Mongolia sometime in August.  The first finish line party is scheduled for August 20th.

For more information about the rally and its contestants:

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