Day -50: The Route
The Mongol Rally is about the unexpected. The Adventurists talk about the un-route and forcing teams to get lost and to embrace the unknown. This kind of talk is perfect for us because we’ve hardly done any planning at all. We’ve got a rough idea of the countries and dates, but really it’s a bare minimum just so we can get the paperwork out the way.
Even though The Adventurists decide the start and finish points and let the teams choose their own course, traditionally, the rally has three different routes: the northern route, the central route and the southern route and the other southern route. Oh wait, that’s actually four routes.
We’ve chosen the central route which will take us through Europe to Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. We’ll then probably be waiting around at Baku for up to a week for a decommissioned military landing craft to take us across the Caspian sea. We should arrive at Aktau, Kazakhstan 3 days later. Whilst trying not to run out of fuel, food and most importantly beer, we’ll drive the length of Borat’s glorious nation, Kazakhstan, a country longer than Europe!
At the border with Russia, we’ll head up into Siberia for a bit and then back down into Mongolia. In Mongolaistan we’ll be driving through the Gobi desert, one of the hottest and driest places on Earth where temperatures can reach over 50°C. We’re just hoping that the plastic body on the Ligier doesn’t start melting. Finally after we’ve applied our aftersun, we’ll head back up to Siberia and end in Ulan-Ude, Russia where the finish line for this year’s Mongol Rally is. There’ll probably be some kind of celebration at this point.
In total, we’ll be travelling a third of the Earth’s circumference, traversing 17 countries over Europe and Asia. It should be…interesting. It’ll probably be dangerous and perilous at times. It might even be an adventure.