For all the people here that are signing up to the Mongol Rally 2019 - OH MY NAN! You are in for an actual adventure of a lifetime!! We have travelled a fair whack in our lifetimes but THIS is next level frikken wicked. We’re excited for you..
In a nutshell the rally is a MAD drive from where ever in the world you live (Wales for us) all the way to Russia. All of this has to be done in a 1.2 litre car (or less) and worth £500 (or under) so a shitbox really.
As an added bonus you get to raise £1000 for a charity of your choice (and £500 for cool earth - The Adventurists charity) so it’s not all canned beans for dinner and shitting in the street, some good does come of it!
Choosing your ride
One of the most important and make or break decisions you will make, is which car you’re going to attempt this insane race in. We stupidly went for a Fiat Panda.. Now she looked the part but she died before we got close to the finish line so make sure you choose wisely! One of the biggest problems we had with her was parts. Because it is an Italian car, when we broke down in places like Uzbekistan it was almost impossible to get parts. Choose something where parts are a bit more available, like a VW or a Nissan.
BEFORE - Fiat Panda 1.2 litre eleganza.
AFTER - ‘THE BEAST’, our camo stallion, ‘Fferanda Babes’ bought in weston super mare.
TEAM ‘KINGING-IT’ MONGOL RALLY 2018
Don’t even second guess it mate, get your £695 IN!
(or £325 if you’re taking a bike - best of luck to you)
What does this get you? - In the grand scheme of things, Jeff all mate. BUT listen to me now, you CANNOT do the Mongol Rally and not be apart of the Mongol Rally. People have done it and when they’ve broken down or asked for help - us TRUE Mongol Ralliers don’t like them. They’re outsiders. Don’t be smart and just ‘do it yourself’ it’s the community and team spirit that makes the Rally what it is.
PLUS if you don’t sign up with the MR - you don’t get the t-shirt. So there is no point in living. Sign ups are open right now, and if you’re on the fence reading this, we cannot stress enough how much of a brilliant, fantastic, messed up trip this is. Best time of our lives.
P.s pick a frikken bomb team, or shit WILL hit the fan.
Just to let you guys know - we’re all from the UK with British passports (this WILL effect your visas and guides in this write up if you hold a different passport)
ok let’s get down to business..
Where the holy mother do we start?
You’ll need to think of some awesome companies you’d like to sponsor you, obviously they will be car/camping/road trip type companies (according to Craig we didn’t need ‘Lucinda’s cupcakes’ on board, but we would have ACTUALLY eaten on the rally if she did sponsor us!)
What do you want to be sponsored for? Money? Supplies? - Ask for it all! We managed to get our car wrapped, the company logo stickers, our tyres and a full MOT from Specialist Cars UK (he’s our mate, I probably wouldn’t approach him for your MR trip) We also had a bunch of camping supplies (sporks, metal straws etc) from Whitby and Leatherman.
Selling spots on your car is a great way of pitching it to a company.
Making a template like this one helps companies visualise where their logo can go. Make sure to write in the prices!
We have a YouTube channel with a steady following, so in all honesty it was easier for us to get people on board because we could offer things such as:
Features/ mentions in our videos
Branded content (we discuss this with the company outside of MR)
A spot on the car which appears in pretty much all our MR video series.
But we feel like most of all, because it’s such a brilliant trip and experience, companies find themselves just wanting to be a part of it and that’s where a sensational sponsorship email comes in handy.
(I’ll email you ours for a tenner.)
Want to be real posh? Put together a press release. Work with your charity to figure out how to distribute it. (again, £10 and it’s yours) Just shout about it everywhere, contact your local newspaper and local news online. Just go mad and ring the BBC as well, some boys from our rally actually got on BBC News with it!
PLANNING A ROUTE
Screw your head on for this one - it will really test your brain power.
One of the most exciting parts of the rally is planning your route!
Do you want to go into Iran? Over the Caspian sea? Straight north to Russia? The options are endless. But remember, whichever way you chose will affect how much money you’ll need to spend.
This was our route and we used the Eurotunnel (fastest way, no boat sickness) to get across to France.
Wales - France - Germany -Czech Republic (Prague - The start line this year!) - Slovakia - Hungary - Serbia - Romania - Bulgaria - Turkey - Georgia - Armenia - Iran - Turkmenistan - Uzbekistan - Tajikistan - Kyrgyzstan - Kazakhstan - Russia - Mongolia - Russia (The finish line in Ulan Ude).
We did the Pamir highway LAST MINUTE after meeting up with our fabulous family (convoy) and they talked us into it! Luckily we only needed to add a visa for Kyrgyzstan which we could get online and we were good to go!
This mammouth of a drive took us 70 days (leaving on 16th July). We crossed the finish line, and were just in time for the big party on the 8th September.
IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT THE ROUTE -
If you are from the UK you WILL need a guide to take you through Iran - we used a very popular company called Overland2Iran. They hooked us right up. No problems (apart from sending money to iran and our banks throwing us out for ‘terrorist actions’. Legit.
Please contact your bank before you send monies to Iran.
It is also considerably more expensive to go through Iran, but we CANNOT recommend it highly enough. If we speak of the MR, it’s usually to do with our experience in Iran. We urge you not to miss it.
As you enter Tajikistan, this then takes you onto the Pamir highway - another unmissable part. (We barely felt the altitude sickness)
We needed a DOUBLE ENTRY visa for Russia as there is no border between Kazakhstan and Mongolia. (Please see our visa write up for the MR)
The easiest way to plan a route is using google maps.
Type in your destinations consecutively and figure out how long it will take you to drive from one country to another (then add at least 3 hours to every drive!!) we aimed to drive for 5 hours per day. This worked for us, however when we got on the rally it all ended up a shambles BUT we did manage to get our visa dates correct by doing it that way.
Sorting visas in a pain in the bum.
Once you’ve sorted your route (and I mean like, nailed it) you can start putting dates on when you will be hoping to arrive in certain countries.
Some visas you can get online, others you will need to head to your closest visa application centre (ours was London).
There are two options.
1. Pay ‘The Visa Machine’ (a company The Adventurists use for sorting visas) MORE money to take our passport and sort the majority of visas for you.
2. Do it yourself and save a packet but use more brain power.
We couldn’t justify using The Visa Machine when we looked at the visas ourselves and they were charging up to £100 or more just for them to do it. It was easy enough, so we did it ourselves.
The only shitter about visas is for some countries you will need an LOI (letter of invitation) and this was the only thing we needed to get off the visa machine, because we physically couldn’t get it ourselves - this was for Turkmenistan.
We needed visas for the following countries: (Again we all hold British passports. These may vary depending on which country you are from)
E-Visa for Turkey
E-Visa for Tajikistan (pamir highway)
We started to apply for our visas in Feb/March, which is quite late, but can be done.
Pretty sure William got his Uzbekistan visa a week before he flew to the start line and his passport came THE MORNING he was flying. If you have a problem with it you can alway just fly out to wherever your teammates will be. (but you will miss the fabulous start line party)
WHAT TO TAKE
The more you take, the slower your car will be!
P.s do not take a back box!! (Learnt that one the hard way)
Hopefully you’ve absolutely smashed your sponsorship email and have a good few companies on board who are willing to give you some stuff.
The main things we needed on the rally were:
1. A portable cooker and gas
2. Camping chairs for your team
3. Sleeping bags (winter ones!!)
4. Pop up tent < trust me, these are a MUST HAVE so you’re not spending 45 mins a night pitching a tent!
5. Noodles and Coffee (reusable coffee cup to go with that, either for noodles or coffee) We used Klean Kanteen coffee cups which kept our tea and coffee piping hot for about 6 hours - worth spending the money on the rally; you will drink a LOT of coffee.
You do not need to take 4 spare tyres with you, that’s madness AND weight. We took one. PLUS they’re cheaper on the road, maybe pick some up in Iran before the Pamirs. Yes yes, I know we took a 40 tonne mechanical dinosaur but we were slow AF, we barely finished mate and plus, we needed a mascot. Andrew 1000BC MADE our team!!
I hope this helps even a little smidgen! If you have anymore questions just give us an email - Kingingit100@gmail.com (but no, we’re not planning your route and we don’t know what visa you need if you ain’t British)
Thanks for tuning in… until next time, I’ll just leave our FULL mongol rally documentary here for you to get excited about your trip!
Peace and safe travels.
Aimee and Craig.
Get us on the gram!