For many people a long car journey with their mum is as close to hell you can get without sticking a pitchfork up your bum. Not so for Annabelle who did the 2014 Rally with her mum and a 17 year old Suzuki Wagon called Wanda. Here's how it went.
We didn't know what we were letting ourselves in for beforehand but the rally was totally incredible.
Forget any form of creature comfort, leave behind the solar shower and the tent and be prepared to go without washing and actual meals for several days; the car is your home.
Your car suspension will go, tyres will burst and parts will fall off your car but there is absolutely nothing a Mongolian cannot fix! Once you reach Mongolia, there are no signposts so just head East and you will eventually find Ulaanbaatar. You will always be pointed to a track by the nearest local which may split into 5 different tracks - you just have to hope they all come together again!
We would say to our previous selves to just get on and do it as we didn't realise how bad the roads would be and driving in the dark in Mongolia leads to driving in circles and getting lost for 12 hours, when fuel stations are few and far between!
Ladies need to get involved in the Mongol Rally because:
* You'll be amazed at just how generous people are when you tell them what you're about to take on so it's a fantastic way to raise money for charity
* You'll never believe how incredibly lovely Mongolians are until you meet them for yourself - we would never stop a car at 1 a.m to ask for help or directions in the UK but did so perfectly happily in Mongolia
* It puts your life in perspective
The only time we were a little bit frightened was when we were turned back by a flood and suddenly noticed a motorcycle behind us with a pillion passenger waving a scythe at us, but it turned out to be a local trying to show us an alternative road!