The Mongol Rally Veteran's Club
For a great many, the Mongol Rally sates adventurous appetites; or indeed for some, exceeds necessity as patiences and tempers are battered and frayed by the umpteenth breakdown in the middle of a gravelly desert and once iron gullets are turned to Playdough by mystery meats and exotic libations.
For others it is the stimuli to an incurable addiction. A possible remedy? Pop over to the new Mongol Rally Veteran's Club Facebook group where rumours abound of a veteran's road trip from the CzechOut Party this year.
The last few years have witnessed dozens of Rally veterans driving alongside Rally virgins for the first section from Goodwood, West Sussex to the CzechOut Party to once more get a taste of the absurd as fresh Rally faces ponder what flavour of peril and disaster the coming weeks will offer them. Absinthe fuelled frivolity duly ensues and tales of deliberate misadventure later reported as road weary Rally vets, keen to relive some of the drama of the Rally, 'get lost' en-route back to their respective homes in places like Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam and Bruges.
The Finish Line, but not quite finished...
More serious cases of adventure addiction seem more difficult to satisfy. The adventurous Scott Brills (‘Hardly Working/ Mongol Rally Guys’) went on to complete the Gobi Marathon straight after the Mongol Rally 2009, and veteran of the same year Gareth Miller (‘This Khan Only End Badly’) forgot to finish entirely, carried through South East Asia and Africa before eventually crossing paths with the following year’s Mongol Rally cohort at CzechOut whilst on his way home.
Mr Thomas Donhou ('Team Radio Silence') took a peddle bike in his car on the Mongol Rally, assembled it at the finish line and decided to go for a little ride. Five months later having reached Singapore (via China, the Himalayas, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia) he decided to come home having made the decision he wanted to launch his own bike brand - Donhou Bicycles - which is now winning awards left right and center. Hows' that for a life changing experience?
Do it all over again...
Some have sort to recreate the thrill and excitement (and suffering) of the Mongol Rally by simply doing it again. Mr Graham Burkhadt has done it three times in a row and Team Est signed up to the next available adventure, the Africa Rally - in the exact same car (shipped back after the Mongol Rally), which they then went on to take to the Panamerican Highway (see their online mini-series ‘The Y-10 Diaries’).
'The Y-10 Diaries: Trailer' from Igor D'India on Vimeo.
Sadly the Africa Rally has now been resigned to a dark corner of Adventurists HQ, but undeterred by this Mongol Rally veteran Joe Pyrek (‘The Rolling Cones’) decided he’d go anyway.
“It’s a real shame the Africa Rally is no longer on,” Joe told The Adventurists “but being a veteran of the Mongol Rally has given us the confidence to pull this off ourselves. If we hadn’t done the Mongol Rally we’d be completely lost.”
By ‘we’ he means himself and team-mates Scott Brills (previously mentioned), Scott Campbell (who Scott Brills met on the Rickshaw Run Autumn 2011), Mallory Brown, and one other who we agreed not to name to protect him/her from the wrath of his/her boss!
The team are taking two Subaru Foresters, dressed to look like a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors, from the Festival of Slow at Goodwood, UK to Goodhope, South Africa. They are raising money for Awassa Children's Project, a small charity which runs an orphanage in Ethiopia primarily for children whose parents have aids. They'll be visiting Awassa and the orphanage and spending a few days there en-route.
Joe Pyrek took an old American postal van made to look like a pink ice-cream truck on the Mongol Rally 2009.
“It’s about getting out there and being noticed. Doing something in a ridiculous way, having fun and making a huge difference - like on the Mongol Rally. We could have gone in a Landrover or a Landcruiser, but who would care? This approach means we’ll meet more people and have a completely different, more enriching experience. We have about 15,000 miles between the start and the finish line and a lot could happen. A lot will happen.”
To find out more about the adventure check out the team’s website: http://shoebaru.com/
Doing something completely different...
Other notable Mongol Rally veteran achievements are those of Mike Hall (Mongol Rally 2008) - who started up and is currently participating in the world’s first round the world bike race - and Kit Monsen ('The Modern Nomad', Mongol Rally 2011) who, at the time of writing, is half way up Cheekha Dar, the tallest mountain in Iraq.
Kit’s never done a serious climb before, but blagged his way onto this expedition with a few mistruths (or perhaps they were stretched truths).
“I’ve been training by running up and down stairs of the ski-jump near my place in Oslo with a backpack on. It’s been tough going and I've found muscles in my butt I never knew I had. Oh, and watching climbing videos on YouTube” Kit told The Adventurists before he set off to Iraq. “I intend to be the first person to ski down it. But first we need to meet with the Kurdish army who’ll help us negotiate the minefields near base camp.” That seems like a jolly good idea to us Kit, go ahead.
Kit's encounter with land mines on the Mongol Rally.
If Kit comes back in one piece he is offering an open invitation to all Mongol Rally veterans to join him on a road trip from CzechOut 2012 on July 16 to Nordkapp at the very top of Norway.
“The trip will take about 2 weeks, but you don’t have to go the whole way if you don’t have the time. We’re having a large party just north of Lillehammer where there will be camping, music and a mystery animal spit-roast. So if you can’t make it all the way to the top just stop there.”
Got some more adventure planned? Looking for a new team to take on the Mototaxi Junket, Rickshaw Run or Ice Run perhaps? Or maybe a reunion road trip with your Rally mates is to your liking? Get on the new Mongol Rally Veterans Club Facebook group.
If you’re a Mongol Rally Veteran and you want to tell us about your adventure addiction tell us in the comments below or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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