One Friday night many moons ago, after several pints of the finest ale, a mad plan was hatched. It involved jumping into a tin bucket of a car and driving to the other side of the planet. That’s right, we decided to take part in … The Mongol Rally!
We set off on the ultimate road trip back in July 2006 from Dunfermline in Scotland and planned to arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, a month or so later – did we make it? Read on to find out and see what all the fuss was about.
In 2001 two gentlemen, Mr Tom and Mr Joolz, found themselves staring in awe at their Fiat 126 that they’d recently purchased in a rather confusing transaction in north Prague.
Wondering what they should do with it they came up with the only sensible plan, to drive to the most ridiculous place they could think of. “After all,” they said, “if you stand far enough away and ignore things like perspective, it looks just like a four wheel drive”.
Mongolia seemed fit for the job, and so on a mild April evening with minimal preparations, no changes of clothes, a packet of cheap cigars and a hunting knife, they set forth. Although they didn’t quite reach Mongolia because of visa and border trouble they enjoyed themselves so much that they swore to return to try again.
And so 3 years later 6 intrepid teams set forth on the very first Mongol Rally.
(extract from the original Mongol Rally website)
… that’s how the organisers describe it. Along with “The mother of all adventures”, “The world’s most extreme car challenge” and “The ultimate driving experience”.
And not without good reason, this is the Mongol Rally after all, a ten thousand mile dash across ¼ of the earths surface, and in a tin can of a car that overheats in rush hour traffic.
And with the only rule being to do with the size of the cars engine (it must be under 1 litre), we were free to sneak, bribe, cheat, connive and generally out-wit our way across Europe and Asia.
The Mongol Rally was destined for Mongolia of course, more specifically Ulaanbaatar, via some of the remotest and most untravelled parts of the world. Our 4 week journey set off at the end of July 2006 and here we chart our progress.
This wasn’t a competition or a race, merely a journey … albeit a long one, and all in the aid of charity. All money raised went towards some fantastic causes.
So with no set route and no support team it was just us, our car and the seat of our pants.
19 countries, 2 deserts, 5 mountain ranges
|1) Scotland,||2) England,||3) France,|
|4) Belgium,||5) Luxembourg,||6) Germany,|
|7) Czech Republic,||8) Slovakia,||9) Hungary,|
|10) Romania,||11) Bulgaria,||12) Turkey,|
|13) Iran,||14) Turkmenistan,||15) Uzbekistan,|
|16) Kyrgyzstan,||17) Kazakhstan,||18) Russia,|
We raised over £3000 for two great charities; Send a Cow and the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation.
The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation help provide medical treatment, advice and education for Mongolian street children and children from families living in extreme poverty. The Foundation aim to protect those children at risk of economic and sexual exploitation.
Reg. Charity Number 1007484
Visit the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation website
Send a Cow is a Christian charity that enables poor farmers in Africa to become self-reliant by providing them with livestock, training and advice. This awesome, if amusingly named, charity works with some of the most vulnerable groups in Africa, including children orphaned by war, families affected by AIDS, and the disabled.
Every last penny we raised for charity went to charity. We paid all of our own expenses … which was a small fortune, what with the entry fee, visas, petrol, food, return flight, etc. but that was our problem. And at the end of the journey our car and most of the equipment in it was also donated.
Other 2006 Mongol Rally Teams
We are joined by a plethora of other teams, namely:
Skoda Power Turbo Racing Team, Team Wreck Racing (TWR), GB Yak Polo, Operation Panda, the scallywags, Team Oswestry, Bonkers Bovine, Lucky Force 10, The Desert Dashers,YAKATAK Blue, MongolRallyMadness, Daf Get Dead, Squires on Safari, Flappo Brothers, The Mongol Frauds, Hillbilly Hotrod, TBC, Team Marco Polo, Team Pink Panda, The Adventure Capitalists, Team Twister, marialloyd, LS6 Mongols, The Monkeytank, Goldy Looking Micra, THE SPECIALS, Team Zitroen, Team MongoBongo, The Adventures of Dog and Goose, Mongolian Taxi Service, clwb mongol, Mongol Mystery Machine, Dave and Marc-O-Polo, Team Honey Trumpet, team smokey bear, Team Hongolia, DR Gonzo’s Dirt Chamber, Mini Adventure (The B Team), Lost in the Steppes Six, Shotgun, Round the World in 80 Parts, Slikroute, Team RadaR, Tenby Mongols, MarcosPolo, Pedal Faster, Grinchmobile, YAKATAK Green, ccc, SCENIC PANDAS, Mongol Dragons, Team MongoloPolo, Team Snailracer, Team Hairy Frog, Team Mongol Shoebox, GenghisJones, Team Blue-tac and super-glue, dead by dover, Send A Rhino, The Sardinian Team, Team Pathfinder, Boulder Mobile, Self Preservation Society – Red, The Mongol Minis – White, Team Newyorkistan, The Sandeaters, Mrs Tigglywinks, The Cannonball Hun, Drivers of Rohan, Self preservation society – White, Team Desert Penguins, Genghis Carnage, cunningham, Chris and Beth, Dick and Snake, The Mongol Minis – Blue, MongolMary, Fuel?, Brokeback Mongolia, Ash_Morph, team monkey, Roadrunners, qww, Team Jager, GOING GOING GONGOLIA, ROGUE SQUADRON, Team Gooby, Black and Blue, Team Never Get There, The Beast, Steyr Push It, Lil’ Larry, Directionless, Rob+Imogen, Nomad 1, The Fellowship of the Mongolian Ring, Team Beadles Claw, a couple of two toed sloths, The Self Preservation Society – Blue, Pandarama, Team Mongolian Falcon, Rogue Squadron 2, Penguin Power, Mini Adventure (The A Team), Ramrod, Team Honky, Team F1 NSPCC, Aces Over Mongolia, Badgers On Crack, Dunno yet, Brothers in Arms, Syrena Squad, Lost And Hungry, Mission Mongolia, Couple-Of-Wrinklies, Alan Packer, Alan Paca, Team Optimus Prime, RustBox.360, Stray Dogs, ROGUE TELEPATH, Next stop mongolia, The Team With No Name, The Mongol Minis – Red, umbongolia, MONGOLIAN MICRA MASSIVE, Smithers and The Goon, biftech corp racing, QuidGrid, General Zod, Mongol Mocha, Rogue Squadron 3, Adventures of Harold and Moush, Dr Wankenstein, The TechNomads, Tech Bedouin, The Winchester, Microlia, The Nefarious Nomads, The Gobi Brothers, Mongol Madness, The Rad Pack, Lucas Speed Limit, Norris, He Who Dares, The Last and The Ludicrous, The Empire Strikes Back, Mcginn Trotter, im with stupid, Team Cunning Plan, Zhopa, ianwhit/stevetheo, The Smith Monkey Madness, Mongol Blues, The Flying Irishmen, happiness is a warm hun, team hog, JC & Lateral Dave go East, French Touch, Go Mongol, Mark & Rob, impsagogo, LeAlabardeMongole, Blow Horn deeply at night please, Totally out of our depth, Le Scimitarre Mongole, Holmes Hunters, DR K & the Magic Machine Car Team, Num Num Parteners, Mongolian Barbecue, PugnaciousF, THE JAMON IBERICOS, Bravo5, Cobra 11, Smokin Dragon, spanish bullfighters, Bongorocks, Cannon Balls, Turbo Terrific, mongolost, IT-738920, Dude Wheres My Camel, We dont know the Mighty Emporer or his fearsome general, Team sellars, Gededin Cider, TullGos, CANTAB CHINA RACING, See you in a bar in Ulaan Baatar, Celtic Chancers, Crazy Twin, Bugger Bognor, The Mongolian Mini Malarkey, Mongolian Barbeque, Fiesta Mongolia, Island Monkeys, Chris and Dave, Up The Proverbial Creek
Our journey was carbon neutral