Wednesday, April 20, 2005

# Posted 1:36 PM by Patrick Belton  

EASE ON DOWN THE ROAD: In the department of funny road trips, in summer of 2006 I’m planning to celebrate long-overdue completion of my D.Phil. and a numerologically significant birthday by driving the Silk Road together with a dear friend, and we’ll be writing a book together about the people (and changing polities) we meet along the way. Our good friend, Crescat’s Amanda Butler, heard about this and immediately sent me to Mongol Rally, one of the world's zanier road races which I think promptly needs to be shared with our readers:
The mother of all adventures, the Mongol Rally is an 8000 mile dash across 1/4 of the earth's surface in cars that most people consider underpowered for doing the shopping. We have no entourage of support vehicles, there is no carefully marked course, there are no professional drivers, fast cars, or even good cars. It's just you, your shite-mobile and thousands of miles of adventure. … The Mongol rally is a charity event that raises money for an awesome charity with a slightly ridiculous name 'Send a Cow'. (warning: page makes unexpected agricultural noises at you occasionally if you go to it)

Any car that has more than 1000cl of go is strictly forbidden as over-powered, and considered a risk to your ability to have fun. (See their Hall of Crapness for more on the 'Crap Car Rule')
And then from the FAQ section:
Is it safe?
No, not completely

What lovely tropical diseases can I collect?
This is NOT a comprehensive list so for real information contact your local travel clinic who can also tell what to do about minimising the risk, but here's a guide:

Meningacoccal meningitis
The plague

Do I need to be able to speak Russian?
What is very useful is if you have some idea of the Cyrillic alphabet. The road signs, if there are any, will not correspond very well with your maps if you don't.
There are also photographs and diaries of last year's Mongol Rally.
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