So what's all of this nonsense about? It involves driving a clapped out old granny car around the world from Belgium to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia during the month of July / August. It is being 'organised' by the Adventurists and has been running for a number of years. As always it has a bit of a loose plot but we will be heading east from Belgium through Eastern Europe, past Chernobyl (Ukraine), Russia twice (a double entry), Kazakhstan and finally Mongolia. The route, plan, and our general safety and wellbeing are in our own hands as the Adventurists basically just see us off at the start line and hope to see us again at the finish line, where we will be rewarded with cakes.
The roads are likely to vary somewhat along the way from holding up traffic at 100 km/u on the autobahnens in Germany to being stuck behind a mule caravan in the Gobi desert.
We are team 'The Inglorious Drivers' - one of nearly 200 teams taking on the challenge and consist of Olivier and Jean-Loup.
We are likely to experience pot holes the size of mine shafts, the extreme heat of the desert, people who have no comprehension of English but do their talking by carrying AK47's with them, dysentery, breakdowns, Mongolian death worms! and policemen who like to be bribed. We are likely to stay in 'hotels' with bathrooms that you wouldn't consider washing your dog in, camping in the middle of nowhere hoping we aren't killed by bears or robbed in the middle of the night and may even spend the odd night in a cave.
So why are we doing this? Well basically life is too boring without adventure and there’s a lot of world out there to see, and there’s no better way of seeing it then being down on the ground driving through it.
If we are going to do something this stupid then let's do it with a good and clear conscience. For this year 'Mongol Rally 2012' we decided to help the charity: 'The Lotus Children's Centre'. It’s the charity picked by the event organisers.
The Lotus Children’s Centre is a Mongolian non-profit, non-government organisation working with vulnerable children and families to provide the basic human rights of shelter, food and education. We care for up to 150 abused, orphaned and abandoned children at any one time. Initially set up to provide basic needs for survival for just a handful of children in one apartment, Lotus has developed a kindergarten and a primary school to provide educational foundation, and is developing vocational pathways for employment opportunities.
You can read more about the charity here:
To learn more about how to make donations please click on 'Charity' in the left pane menu.