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Rosa’s Mongol Rally – They Survived!


On the 18th of July I set off on a charity rally/adventure with one of my best mates Scott Masson, under the team name Kangaskhan. A journey so ridiculously conceived we already had second thoughts moments after we forked over £600 for the sign up fee. There are numerous reasons for the aforementioned anxiety, the main 2 being:

  • BOTH of us didn’t know how to drive, and when I mean we “didn’t know”, I mean we didn’t have driving licences…
  • We were quite inebriated the night we signed up, and when I mean “quite”, I mean we were totally hammered.

So lets side bar the fact we didn’t have driving licences for a second and talk about the main driving factors (pun intended) on why we chose to partake in the rally.

First, we did it for a great cause; Thai Children’s Trust, a charity very close to home and one that I have to praise greatly. Not only did they support us from the planning stages and whilst on the road, they also gave us a lot of help behind the scenes especially fundraising – something we are very thankful for. They also gave us a mascot!

Second, Scott hadn’t really had a “gap-yah” so he foolishly listened to me waxing lyrical about how fun and carefree this trip would be. You could say I entrapped him, because I lied… I lied hard. Seriously though, I couldn’t think of doing such a madcap adventure with anyone else other than Scott, it was him or nobody.

Planning the trip was quite a bore and probably the least fun thing of the whole adventure. The amount of stress involved made us lose quite a bit of sleep. Below is a short list of a few of the tasks we had to complete in less than 2 months!

  1. Driving lessons and test– I think Scott was one lesson away from a stroke.
  2. IDP– We sweat a whole transfusion of spinal fluid racing to get this sorted in time for our ferry. Of course, Murphy’s Law prevailed and all was lost.
  3. Car Purchase– We bought this car with an incredible hangover, the morning we signed the V5C was a drunken 8am blur. We could have signed over our first-born children for all we know.
  4. Equipment purchase – Bought far too much, just far too much.
  5. Russian Visa– The Visa Machine, an incredibly inept agency recommended to us by the Adventurists, took our passports for no reason at all, and then one week before we were to set off sent them back with no visas in them. We had to use a next day service, not cheap.

Onto the hardest task: The driving lessons. Scott managed to get intensive courses so he was having lessons everyday at 6am for a month straight then going to work, this was no less than a feat of superhuman strengthen. However I did my lessons over 2 months and managed to pass by the skin of my teeth on the day of the actual rally, another amazing feat if I may say so myself!

All while we were doing the above we had to lock down sponsors, so we approached the amazing people at Chang Beer, Rosa’s and a few others who didn’t pay enough to be mentioned in this post ;). In all fairness everyone who did sponsor contributed far more than expected, and for that we are so thankful – you can find the whole list at the end of the video above.

Our car was a £500 Nissan Micra 2002 who we named Geoff – Pronounced Gee-Off. He was pretty banged up and couldn’t hit more than 75mph but for all his faults he was ours and we’d come to love him, even with the thought that if any car were to hit us we’d be goners.

 

So just to conclude, we’d travelled over 17,000km in a 2002 Nissan Micra, crossed mountain ranges with no 4-wheel drive, deserts with no A/C, and countries with roads littered with massive potholes; all of this with just a total of 3 months driving experience under our belts.

Miraculously, we survived to tell you this!

Check out the rest of the story and more crazy photos on our fanpage, you won’t be disappointed!

Geoff missing wheel
Geoff the Car
Mama noodles

Richard Poole

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