The first time i heard about the Mongol Rally was from my Italian travel buddy Marco in Australia two years ago . Since then the rally has taken a top spot on my bucket list.
Finding a team for such a crazy rally was in the end more difficult than expected. I know a lot of people who wanted to come… but getting commitment for a team proved extremely difficult.
At the end of December I came into contact with a guy from Philadelphia via a Facebook group – He had registered already officially for the rally and was looking for more team members. At the end of December we met at the 1st Meet & Route beers in London. Had fun and it looked like a perfect fit, so I joined his team.
I spent the following weeks looking for a car, I wanted a Suzuki Wagon R, a well tested Mongol Rally car. At the beginning of March I found a suitable car and immediately contacted my team mate who I hadn’t heard from in a long time. Well short answer was: Sorry Markus, there have been a few things, and I can not do the rally this year and have moved my registration to next year. Great, thank you, I wanted to buy the car tomorrow.
Well, I bought the car anyway, thought I’ll find another team that is looking for someone and doesn’t have a car yet. Yes, there were teams looking for this, but then the idea of time limit, budget and car didn’t fit…
Mid of March I gave up and registered myself. I definitely wanted to do the rally this year, whether I find someone or not. Through a ad in the relevant Facebook groups for the Mongol Rally I got some inquiries. But mostly the people had no realistic idea such as a budget of 1500€ or less, time frame of 3 weeks. (Finish line opens after 4 weeks, closes after 8 weeks. It’s 15,000km….not a short distance to travel especially through around 18 countries.
In the end I got some nice applications with realistic ideas. After several chats and video calls we managed to set up the following team:
Seth – professional diver from Canada – currently lives in Jamaica.
Grayson – mate of Seth – also a professional diver from Canada – lives near Vancouver.
Oliver – studies automotive business in Canada – lives in Ontario.
Time was running out, we had to apply for the first visa by april 1st!: Turkmenistan.
Two weeks ago I went with the car I bought to two garages for an inspection. Looks like I got ripped off. The condition of the car was awful with rust going through the frame. The car got the TÜV (roadworthy certificate) 3 months ago, but should not have passed with the actual condition. Something can’t be right… Currently the seller has a letter from my lawyer, the contract of sale is contested. Let’s see what comes around.
The car search goes on, we are now 4 people and need a little bit more space.
Blog is online but still working on the contents. Business cards and stickers are already designed. Finding sponsors and collecting donations can start soon.
WE CANT WAIT!