Mongol Rally

“Motoring stupidity on a global scale” is how the Mongol Rally describes itself on their website.

So why will the Irish Skibob Champion 2019, Eugene, and Pete, the King of the Mountain of Zell am See 2018, join this rally?

Maybe because they agree that “this is the greatest motoring adventure on the planet. This is 10,000 miles of chaos across mountain, deserts and steppe on roads ranging from bad to not-a-road in a tiny 1000cc car you bought from a scrapyard for £4.60.”

The organisers make it crystal clear: “There’s no backup. There’s no set route. There’s no guarantee you’ll make it to the end. It’s just you, your rolling turd and planet earth sized bucket of adventure.”

Check out the short video “Guide to the Mongol Rally” to get a taste.

Whatever their real reason for this crazy adventure is: they are doing it to raise funds for “Caring for Pádraig”. You can help them by supporting them via their GoFundMe page.

Rally Details

20-22 July 2019 Send-off in Prague.
22 July 2019    Start (Prague)
Start line:     Junktown, CZ
16 Sept 2019    End
Finish Line:    ULAN UDE
Teams:          288
Participants:   757

27 July 2019 (day 7)  “We stayed in Vama Veche last night in Romania which is just south of the Bulgarian border and lies on the Black Sea. A very nice swim in the Black Sea this morning and then off to Istanbul and try to cross the Turkish border today.”

28 July 2019 (day 8)  When Julius Caesar was about to cross the tiny Rubicon River in 49 B.C.E., he quoted from a play by Menander to say “anerriphtho kybos!” or “let the die be cast” in Greek. There is no way back. This is what it must have felt for the lads when they crossed the Bosporus  driving into Asia. Neither wild beasts nor beautiful countryside are distracting them from their aim to go to Mongolia and Beyond!

On 12 August, our heroes Eugene and Pete, sent pictures from Almaty in Kazakhstan,

In “The World Is Not Enough” (1999) James Bond said famously: “… If you can’t trust a Swiss banker, … What are you doing here in Kazakhstan?”

They seem to be having a great time.

And they are not driving but running!

I’ve got this feeling, though, that they are just getting ready for what is going to come on the second half of their incredible journey to Mongolia.

13 August 2019 Half way mark for both our heroes’ goal and their destination!

Here is a tase of their first half: hot off the press (I’m giving away my age here…)

15 August 2019: “Heading towards Mongolia tomorrow morning so could be out of coverage for a few days : weeks…”

We wish Eugene and Pete good luck and safe driving on the second half of their journey.

24 August 2019 Eugene in Moscow (see the picture) and the Kremlin. Cars blowing up. Dangerous border crossings. Encounters on the Red Square. Beautiful backdrops and stunning architecture. Making the flight out of the city just ahead of the posse.

Sounds familiar?

All this came to mind when we received the following message last Sunday:

Hello and good evening from Aktobe (note, just in case, Aktobe is a city on the Ilek River in Kazakhstan with a population of about 370,000).
We have encountered many visa problems. First of all, trying to go through Russia to get to Mongolia. My visa for entry into Russia does not commence until 20th August, but we tried to go through the other day, without any luck. Then we decided that Pete would head directly to Moscow, a 5-day trip, and I would fly from Aktobe on 20th to meet him in Moscow.
However, just on the outskirts of Moscow the head gasket on the car blew and cannot be fixed.
Pete is now on his way to Poland. Will explain when I see you. I will be flying to Moscow from here on Tuesday and then to Dublin from Moscow on Wednesday.
The journey to date was incredible and one I will not forget. The journey for the car will not end until Pete arrives home with it in Newcastle. It was a pleasure to be able to help Pádraig’s cause and I will talk when I get home. 30 days of incredible traveling in a 30-year-old car. It served us well.
Regards, Eugene

These were not the news we expected to hear, and we could just imagine the disappointment of our two friends at this misadventure.

But, hey, Eugene and Pete, and their car, did incredibly well. What an adventure. What madness. What a journey.

A huge thank you for the support you offered to them embarking on this adventure of a lifetime.

Eugene and Pete managed to collect 5,349 euro (so far) from 69 donors. Dozens of you shared the story of this most amazing journey with your friends. This effort, led by our two MadMax-heroes, quickly became one of a whole community. The funds this community, the funds that you raised, will contribute to making Pádraig’s life-long neurorehabilitation possible, including badly needed therapy sessions and equipment.

It is Pádraig’s unwavering belief that life and living are never out of your reach, even with a severe Acquired Brain Injury, that inspire all of us.

Thank you for your support, for sharing Pádraig’s belief and for giving an enormous boost to the spirit of resilience, in the face of even the biggest challenges.