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My holiday on the Mongol Rally

A quick note:

Tom Henry left the world of professional services behind for a few weeks during the summer to take part in this year’s Mongol Rally.

‘A third of the way around the earth, from Europe to Mongolia via a plethora of countries most people haven’t heard of in a car that has an engine with no bigger than 1 litre. Starting from England, Spain and Italy, the rally finishes in the Mongolian capital Ulaan Baatar around four weeks and a whole heap of adventure later. It’s between about 8 and 10,000 miles depending on the route you choose to throw your trusty steed at.’

Below is an account of his trip:

Mongol 1

“As far as highlights and low lights go…

“Highs have to be the people we met along the way, and the warm welcome received in every country we visited. People were extremely curious of what we were doing, I think being in a car with stickers all over it and with a UK number plate drew attention! I think a lot thought we were insane! But everybody was so friendly, whether it was driving out of their way to show us the right direction, or pointing us in the direction of a hotel. Other highlights were the changing scenery and the diversity of landscapes we drove through – from the desert of Turkmenistan, to the lakes and mountains of Krygyzstan and across the rolling hills of Serbia, to the lunar landscapes of the arid Mongolia… the opportunity to drive across this and see how it changed across Central Asia was amazing.

“Low lights – border controls have to be up there. Think the record was about 13 hours, through the night, at the Turkmenistan border (so no sleep that night!). On average it took about 3-4 hours to get through each border and I don’t want to see another customs/departure form in my life! Others – we got pretty tired of changing tyres by the end but we can’t really complain as this was the main car problem we had on the whole trip – the Micra held up remarkably well and there were no major problems.

“Funny story – quite a few! Tricking some of the guys we were travelling with into eating bull penis in Turkmenistan and their faces when they realised (we also had some – wouldn’t recommend it!) is up there as the funniest moment. Definitely the scariest was getting stuck in a river in Georgia. Basically got stuck and had to be pulled out. Car survived though, although was flooded! The smell of river water wasn’t particularly pleasant afterwards though!

“Being back at work is definitely weird – the trip was so long in the planning that it is odd not to have that in the background. We are already thinking of the next adventure! The heat of the tube is definitely more bearable after going through the mid 40 centigrade heat of the Turkmenistan desert with no air conditioning!”

Mongol 2

To peruse the blog they updated while they were out there, click here.