The Mongol Rally
Travel is losing its adventure. We can fly cheaply and comfortably from London to Singapore without touching the lands and people in between. Even Bear Grylls travels with a posse of camera-holding-assistants loaded with survival gear.
In the last 50 years the world has developed into a large intertwined web of human connections, allowing everyday people to visits the most exotic and remote destinations. Yet one part of our map is widely untouched by the global tourism phenomenon:
Central Asia and Mongolia
Only a few are deciding to explore the ancient silk road by car and even less so when the drive a 1.2l car all the way to Ulanbataar! Behold the mighty Mongol Rally
“16,000 kilometers of adventuring bliss through deserts, mountains and steppes tackled in a car your Granny would use for shopping. The Mongol Rally is hurling yourself at one-third of the Earth’s surface in woefully unsuitable vehicles to see what happens…”
A 16,000 kilometre dash from Europe to Mongolia, across deserts and mountain ranges, through a landscape ranging from steppes to alpine valleys, and towering minarets. All this is done for charity, with no set route, guides, and no support crew.
The Mongol Rally origins“In 2001 Mr Tom and Mr Joolz found themselves staring in awe at their slightly dishevelled Fiat 126 wondering what to do with it. After not very long they came up with the only sensible plan – to drive to the most ridiculous place they could think of.Mongolia was chosen, being 10 000 miles away as the drunk crow flies and sporting a fine selection of the world’s worst roads it seemed perfect. So with 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 and try again. From this premise the great Mongol Rally was born.”
The Mongol Rally Rules
To keep up the very spirit of (mis)adventure and minimalist design the rules are:
- The car has to have an engine 1.2L or less
- The car has to be less than 10-year-old
- Teams drive from London (UK), stop in Prague (Czech Republic) for the Czech-out festival to Ulan-Bataar, the capital of Mongolia.
- Race route is D.Y.I
- A minimum of AUD1600 (£1,000) raised for charities
- Winner get’s an afternoon tea and that’s it! This is not dakar
- The more breakdowns, the more epic is the journey (optional)