Fundraising Results

The Yaks in the Box have raised over $6,000 for New Light and over $2,000 for Cool Earth. We couldn’t be happier.

Together, we have provided school uniforms, food, shelter and education for children in Calcutta, India. We have protected 22 acres of rainforest that was in imminent danger of being cut down.

Thanks so much to our friends, family, sponsors and even complete strangers for all of your support.

We have completed the 2013 Mongol Rally!

1146300_10151631406888697_1271447050_oMongol Rally Day 40 (8/22/13): After 10,205 miles, we have made it to our final destination – Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. We are safe and sound, if not a bit bruised and tired. Even bad ass Yolanda sputtered a sigh of relief when the Yaks handed over the keys at the finish line.

Six weeks have come and gone in a flash. It was six weeks well spent. It’s never what you expect. It was at times frustrating, boring, miserable and exhausting. It was at times humbling, joyous, incredible and inspiring. Being sick, starved and overheated on an Azeri cargo ship quickly makes you wish you were at home on the sofa. Waking up to see the sun rise over herds of wild Mongolian horses on endless rolling plains makes you wish you were never at home on the sofa.

Good or bad, we come out of these experiences with new found wisdom.
They open up our eyes.
They fuel our dreams.
They free our souls.

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Catching up on daily updates

Yaks US Support Staff here….the Yaks appear to have successfully crossed into Mongolia! While they may be radio silent until reaching UB, here is a catch up of daily updates to report:

Mongol Rally Day 27 (8/9/13): After 7 hours of administration, what seems to be typical now for border crossings, we have arrived in our 16th country, Kazakhstan. We are staying in the Shymkent. Tomorrow we visit the city of Turkistan in the south, then make our progress towards our 17th country, Kyrgystan.

Mongol Rally Day 28 (8/10/13): Today we saw the Yasaui Mausoleum in Turkistan, described as Kazakhstan’s most beautiful building. The only reason we made this detour was because it was Sara’s burning desire to see the stunning place featured on the cover of the Lonely Planet’s Central Asia book. Imagine the hilarity that ensued when we discovered the photo is not of the Yasaui Mausoleum, but the Shrine of Hazrat Ali… in Afghanistan.

guidebook
Afterwards we drove to Taraz, where we will spend the night. Tomorrow, we will cross into our 17th country, Kyrgystan.

Mongol Rally Day 31 (8/13/13): A couple days ago, we entered Kyrgyzstan with ease, prompting us to bypass our intended overnight stop at Bishkek, and continue to Cholpon-Ata, a resort town on the shores of Lake Issyk Kul. Cholpon-Ata is described as the Cancun of Central Asia, but we found this place to be an unworthy comparison. It was just a beach, and a poor one at that.

The following day, we went north to exit Kyrgyzstan. I noticed my passport was not stamped upon entry and that Sara’s was stamped twice. We knew this would cause some problems at the border and sure enough it did. After a 30 minute delay, they explained that a tourist with no incoming stamp is required to exit from the same point at which he entered – about 9 hours away! But since I was American (and probably because I was a Mongol Rallier), they would let me out of the country at this border. Crisis avoided.

Today we visited Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan, where lies the Sunken Forest. In 1911, an earthquake caused a landslide, flooding the area. The 100 year old spruce trees still stand today, rising out of the turquoise water, and given the cold/freezing water, the submerged branches still have their needles.

Mongol Rally Day 33 (8/15/13): On our way from Almaty to Semey yesterday evening, we stopped in the small town of Kabanbay to tighten our squeaky roofrack. A man and his son walking by saw Sara (and her pearly whites) and soon thereafter invited us to eat dinner and stay at his home overnight. There we met his wife, his two children, his sister, and his mother, all in a one bedroom house. It was a great experience and demonstrated the hospitality of the Kazaks.

Family

As a parting gift we left our Romanian red rubber donkey, Magarette, with his daughter.

Magar

Socko was pretty torn up about it.

Socko Sad
Today, we completed the drive to Semey, known best for being a Soviet nuclear testing site from 1949-1991. The region’s exposure to radiation still effects the health of people in the area today.

Mongol Rally Day 34 (8/16/13): We are in Barnaul, Russia – our 18th country. This is the home stretch. There are no more detours. No more day trips. No more sightseeing. All eyes are on the finish line.

The next time you hear from me, in about 8 days, I, along with my amazing teammates, Sara Narezo, Kara Kahler and Socko, and our durable steed Yolanda, will be in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, having successfully completed the 2013 Mongol Rally. Hopefully. Mongolian roads have a way of beating cars into submission.

Finish

Daily updates and more photos

Updates from the past week:

Mongol Rally Day 21 (8/1/13): This morning, we drove around Ashgabat, known as the White Marble City, to view the pristine, white marble, gold accented buildings. The city, which is nearly deserted, has the feeling of a fictional city from the future.

Then we made our way north to Darvaza to view a strange, but spectacular attraction. The Gates of Hell were created by accident when a natural gas mine collapsed. The crater was lit to burn off the gas which expected to last a few days. But 40 years later, it is still going strong.

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Mongol Rally Day 23 (8/5/13): The roads in Turkmenistan have been the worse we have seen thus far. Despite being paved, the roads look like they’ve been carpet bombed. We damaged two rims on our journey, which we had banged back into a circle at the border town of Koneurgench, and spent yesterday night there.

Today, we crossed into our 15th country, Uzbekistan, and drove to the former fishing town of Moynaq. Moynaq was formerly a bustling port for the Aral Sea, but in the 1940’s, water was diverted to irrigate the desert. In an epic f*ck up, the Aral Sea shrunk to 10% of its original size. The shore is now 200 kilometers away. An armada of rusted ships lay in beds of sand, as a sad reminder of Moynaq’s past glory.Aral Sea Collage copy

Mongol Rally Day 25 (8/7/13): Yesterday, we departed Nukus only to realize that we were short one yak. We rushed back fearing Socko was going apeshit. We found him face down on the hotel floor. So sad.

Relieved at his recovery, we drove to Khiva, an ancient city of Uzbekistan that dates back to the 6th century. The structures of the old city, Ichan Kala, which is housed inside a fortress gate, are still intact.

Today, we continued east and will overnight in Bukhara. We have travelled 6,000 miles thus far.

The Gates of Hell

They Came. They Saw. They Conquered.  Wearing yak hats.

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And a kick-ass red dress.

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This is the Darvaza gas crater in the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, affectionately known as The Gates of Hell. The Soviets drilled for natural gas here but the ground collapsed. To prevent gas from leaking into the environment, they lit the gas to burn it off, expecting it to stay ignited for a few days. This was in 1971.

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If you squint it looks like Boss Floss is standing in front of a stuffed deep dish Chicago style pizza.

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Ralliers from Lumberyaks and Machiniacs look into the Gate.

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Socko hopes not to be tossed in and promises to be a good little monkey from now on.

Royal Caspian Cruiselines aka The Caspian Sea Prison Boat aka Slave Ship to Turkmenistan

Below are reports compiled by Team Yaks in the Box US Support Staff from various of their Facebook posts and other sources summarizing their harrowing journey across the Caspian sea…

Mongol Rally Day 16 (7/29/13): We obtained our Turkmenistan visas and went to the dock to board the cargo ship to Turkmenbashi. There we were met by a dozen Rally teams. Unfortunately, Baku lived up to its word origin, meaning “pounded by wind.” We were unable to sail due to bad weather. Better luck tomorrow.

From Blond Ignition (7/29/13): The boat across the Caspian is on a wind hold, but spirits are high here at the Baku, Azerbaijan customs and immigration holding area. We had to sneak out for hot food and acceptable toilets (and wifi). Yes, somebody brought bagpipes.Waiting for Ferry Collage copy

Mongol Rally Day 20 (8/2/13): After waiting many hours and shuffling between two ports, with false starts and stops, misinformation and no information, we finally boarded the Academik Topcubasov, an Azerbaijan cargo ship, four days ago. We set sail for our scheduled 14 hour ferry across the Caspian Sea. But with a couple of extended delays, due to weather and port traffic, we docked in Turkmenbashi 36 hours later.

 

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Boarding the ship, and poor Yolanda in the cargo hold.  We did get a nice sunset leaving Baku.

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5Socko

7Baku sunset

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We were grateful for having a room to sleep in. Most of the other teams did not and slept on the floor in a common room or on deck. With no food except the potato chips and cookies we brought on, I unintentionally celebrated Ramadan by fasting for the journey. It took 7 more hours, waiting in a dozen lines, to clear customs. I’m never taking another cruise again.

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There was one toilet for everyone to use on the Slave ship to Turkmenistan. If you’re confused, let me explain: Yes, it’s a western toilet. Oddly, they have used cement to encase the whole thing and put foot holds so that you can squat there. This was quite an act for the girls because the foot spots were too far apart. Brings an air of seriousness to “Did ya fall in?”

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The bar on the Caspian Sea prison boat and some of the prisoners. You can’t buy water. You can buy beer, Coke, vodka, chips, nuts, or–this is odd–an entire bottle of Russian ketchup. No matter what you order, it’s five dollars. Bastards.

We are now in true foreign lands where the familiar luxuries of practicality and reason are unexpected. After a long shower, hot meal and warm bed, our batteries were charged and our spirits were up. Today, we drove to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. The scenery was of desert and power lines, reminiscent of Mad Max’s Road Warrior, with the bonus of roadside camel herds. Although the highways were paved, they were heavily dented; we lost our third hubcap. A nice local drove up alongside us 15 minutes later, with hubcap in hand, trying to give it back. We politely declined.

PS.  The Gypsy celebrated her birthday while on the ship….Happy Birthday Gypsy!

 

 

 

Georgia and Azerbaijan

The Yaks in the Box spent days 12-15 traveling from the eastern shore of the Black Sea to the western shore of the Caspian sea, traversing the width of Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Mongol Rally Day 12 (7/25/13): Leaving Batumi, we stopped at Gori, the birthplace of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. After hearing the gals gush over how hot a young activist bad boy Stalin was, we stopped in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Tomorrow, we reach Baku, Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea.  Day 12 Update:  Change of plans… again. We need to get our Turkmenistan visas at the consulate in Baku, but it is only open on Mondays and Fridays. Since we can’t make it there before it closes tomorrow, we are going to stay in Tbilisi another night, then drive part way into Azerbaijan (considering Sheki) and stay there on Saturday night, then get to Baku on Sunday.

Mongol Rally Day 13 (7/26/13): Today, we drove Yolanda 30 feet… to a different parking spot. We took a leisure day in Tbilisi, visiting Narikala, an old fortress overlooking the city, and Old Town. Tbilisi has been destroyed and rebuilt 29 times, but Old Town remains mostly intact. Tomorrow, we cross over to our ‪#‎13th‬ country, Azerbaijan.

Tbilisi

Looking out over Tbilisi

Church

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Church of the Red Gospel is an Armenian Church in Tbilisi, Georgia, buiilt in 1735 and blown up in 1989.

Mongol Rally Day 14 (7/27/13): “English, motherf*#%er. Do you speak it?” As expected, as we travel east, the language barrier gets higher, the roads get rougher and the cops get more dirty. On the flipside, Azerbaijan is the first country where the locals seem thrilled to see Yolanda and the Yaks roll through, saying hello, waving and showing the peace sign. We have settled in a cozy cabin in the town of Sheki for the night. Tomorrow, we make our last stop on this side of the Caspian Sea.

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Our cabin in Sheki, Azerbaijan

Mongol Rally Day 15 (7/28/13): We have made our first major milestone of the rally, arriving in one piece at Baku, Azerbaijan. Despite passing 30 or so police cars on our cross country drive, the cops were totally uninterested in us, leaving me to believe that either we are surrounded by guardian angels or that red rubber donkeys command respect in these parts. Tomorrow, we will visit the Turkmenistan consulate to obtain our visas.

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Baku, Azerbaijan

 

Goodbye Turkey, Hello Georgia

Mongol Rally Day 10 (7/23/13): At dawn, we rode a hot air balloon over beautiful Cappadocia. Afterwards, we explored the ancient underground city of Derinyuku – a multistory complex large enough to shelter 20,000 people. We will overnight in the town of Erzincan, Turkey and tomorrow we’ll make our way into country #12, Georgia.

Turgüt took us on a nice ride. I don’t get out of bed for much before it’s light, but I can make exceptions.

Kara and Turgut

balloon ride

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We spent three days in Turkey and never figured out what this means. We stopped when we should have Durred. We probably Durred when we should have stopped. Either way, we left unscathed.

Dur sign

Mongol Rally Day 11 (7/24/13): We drove north into the mountainous region of Turkey until we hit the Black Sea, then east, crossing the border, finally resting at Batumi, the second largest city in Georgia. It’s quite a hip place, with sky scrapers, neon lights, and lively people.

Georgia

A final note…Socko has turned out to be a bad influence on the trip.  Partying late into the night, he refuses to get up in time to hit the road.

072413 Socko hungover

 

 

Turkey, a wonder of the senses

Blond Ignition reports: Turkey is a wonder of the senses. In one block, you’ll smell lavender from the baths, curries from the restaurants, lilac wafting from a nearby garden, the earthy heat of the stones in the road, the BO from the douchebag trying to sell you another goddam carpet, and yep, that’s definitely sewage. Keep walking.

turkish textilesturkish sweets

Mongol Rally Day 7 (7/20/13): We completed our first week of the rally and entered our 11th country. (Today we departed #9 Romania, drove through #10 Bulgaria, and arrived in #11 Turkey.) After our 14 hour day, we are resting on the outskirts of Istanbul. Tomorrow, we either head west to the coastal towns on the Aegean Sea or to Cappadocia, in central Turkey.

Mongol Rally Day 8 (7/21/13): Like the DJs say, we are gonna slow it down just a little bit. We spent some time touring Sultanahmet – the historic district of Istanbul, visiting the Blue Mosque and getting the rough treatment at a 400 year old bath house. Then we crossed over to Asia, settling near Ankara for the night. Tomorrow, we see Cappadocia.

The Blue Mosque:

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Blue Mosque

They were passing out reading material…

reading material

At the bath house it was $40 to be scrubbed like an elephant by a fat, hairy Turkish guy with a loofah mitt. And worth every penny.  Socko joined too.

turkish bath 072113 Turkish bath house Istanbul

Mongol Rally Day 9 (7/22/13): Cappadocia is a historic region of Turkey where for thousands of years, inhabitants hand carved living quarters, churches and an underground complex into the rock. Equally amazing are the natural “fairy chimney” mountain tops. At sunrise, we will view the area from the sky via hot air balloon, then continue our rally eastward.

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Week 1 Update

Most of the updates are happening on Facebook, but here is a recap for those who may be looking for info on the blog, along with a few photos culled from the larger set on the Yaks in the Box album on Facebook.

Mongol Rally Day 1 (7/14/13): We were in five countries today (England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany). Need to shower and get some rest.

Mongol Rally Day 5 (7/18/13): We are in our 9th country (since leaving #5 Germany, we have passed through #6 Czech Republic, #7 Austria, #8 Hungary and are currently in #9 Romania). Driving in Europe has been smooth sailing, maintaining mostly a 70 mph maximum speed limit. The only automobile issue was a broken headlamp. Border crossings have been uneventful. Our only run-ins with the police were when we were stopped by the Germany police for a roadside alcohol test (Kara passed) and when we were lost at midnight in Romania. Today, we took a rest day and visited a few castles in Transylvania. Tomorrow, we take “the most beautiful highway in the world” – the Transfagarasan, and then head east to the coast for a beach party on the Black Sea. Rally on!

Mongol Rally Day 6 (7/19/13): After a big breakfast of fried turkey testicles, we drove the beautiful, winding mountain road of the Transfagarasan Highway, then east past Romania’s capital city, Bucharest. Due to a slight error, we ran out of gas but filled up with our 6 gallon jerry can and continued onward. Around midnight, we reached Mamaia, a lively city on the eastern coastline, where I dipped my feet into the Black Sea. Tomorrow, we drive through Bulgaria and will overnight in Istanbul.

Week 1 blog collage

 

Photos from Rally Launch

Day 1 is in the books, and The Yaks are blazing a trail through Germany headed for the Czech Republic.  Here are a few photos from the launch at Bodiam Castle.

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Boss Floss: Ready to Roll

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Camping Gear

  1. Tents (2)
  2. Sleeping bags (2)
  3. Sleeping pad
  4. Sleeping bag liner
  5. Jetboil
  6. Bowl & spork
  7. Toiletries
  8. Camp towel
  9. Headlamp
  10. Compass
  11. Emergency blanket
  12. Pocket knife
  13. Lighter
  14. Emergency water filter
  15. Daypack

Clothing

  1. Windbreaker
  2. Hardshell Jacket
  3. Puffy coat
  4. Fleece
  5. Shorts
  6. Tank tops (2)
  7. Tee shirts (5)
  8. Jeans (1)
  9. Trekking pants (1)
  10. Underwear (5)
  11. Socks (2)
  12. Belt
  13. Hat
  14. Gloves
  15. Bandana
  16. Head scarf
  17. Boots

Electronics

  1. DSLR Camera
  2. Gorilla tripod
  3. Go Pro
  4. iPhone
  5. Laptop
  6. Car charger adapter

Other

  1. Sock monkey

Blond Ignition is packed and ready.

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No, those aren’t giant feet.

In these two bags are all the requirements for this Yak’s successful vie at the Mongol Rally.

  1. Sleeping bag
  2. Two-man tent
  3. Sleeping mat
  4. Eight-or-so packs of backcountry Louisiana red beans and rice camping meals
  5. Backcountry cooking pot, fork and spoon
  6. First aid kit
  7. Four T-shirts
  8. Two pairs of pants
  9. Undies and socks
  10. Sole flip-flops
  11. Squishable puffy jacket
  12. Collapsible camp chair
  13. Carton of Marlboro cigarettes for bribing purposes
  14. Hat and gloves
  15. Road maps
  16. Towel and toiletries
  17. A dozen Yaks in the Box rally team shirts for distribution to unsuspecting locals

Now to enjoy one more day in the sun…

Socko’s First Days

Over the weekend, I received Socko in a bakery in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. He was a thin, lanky fellow, but a bit taller than I had believed from his photos. Nevertheless, he appeared to be in good health, despite some deformity in the facial region.

The hand off was smooth and without incident. Shy and timid, Socko sat quietly in my car. He did not make any eye contact. He did not care to indulge in small talk. Despite my best efforts, he lay motionless and expressionless. I wondered how Socko could possibly make it through the rally’s unfamiliar, chaotic, unrelenting atmosphere.

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But as the hours passed, he perked up little by little. I involved him in my daily activities, and with compassion and patience, I finally was able to break through. Believe it or not, he even cracked a smile just an hour ago.

Things are going to be just fine.

Our Box Modifications

Our car modifications are done.

We have new tires, a spare tire, a new exhaust, a skid plate and roof bars.

Now all we need are our rally stickers to make it rally ready.

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How Many Would You Get?

Here’s the map we presented to our trivia teams in addition to 45 brain-flexing questions. Best score from twenty-some-odd teams is 17.

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Introducing Socko – Our Fourth Yak

socko

One of my past coworkers contacted me to sponsor a fourth member of the Yaks in the Box. This sock monkey, named Socko, belongs to her son. She asked if I would be willing to take Socko with us on our rally and take pictures of him along the way, with the hope that she could “pass along both the sense of adventure the rally embodies and some of the joy, awe, and mystery the world inspires when we explore beyond our comfort zone.”

Of course! I will take Socko along and treat him as if he were my own son. I hope he is durable, because I need to return him to Chicago in one piece. On cold nights, we will snuggle. On hot days, I will hope he is flame retardant. On long days, I will be happy he doesn’t talk much.

Pleased with this news, the Gypsy said, “We gotta have at least one responsible yak on board.”

“Now we have someone to take the wheel after the vodka starts flowing,” said Blond Ignition.

He may very well be my favorite companion.

I bet Socko won’t complain about the lack of a/c.

So Who All is Going on the 2013 Mongol Rally?

Team Skhandinavia put together a comprehensive list of the 2013 Mongol Rally teams, including the team names, number of people on the team, nationality, website and facebook pages.

Here are the some fun stats:

280 teams total

30 countries are represented

35 teams completely or partially comprised of Americans

43 people are riding solo (much respect- that is tough!)

107 teams with two teammates

89 teams with three teammates

36 teams with four teammates

4 teams with five teammates

1 team with 15 teammates (driving a bus)

Click here to see the data:

http://teamskhandinavia.com/the-rally/participants_mongol_rally_2013

Cards for Charity

Thanks to everyone who came out to play Cards Against Humanity at the Brewery last night. With the help of Ron, Jackie, and everyone at Skookum, we raised $391 for our charities!

We ended up with 21 players vying for the ultimate prize, the Sponsor Sticker on the rally car. That honor was eventually bestowed upon Denae Davis, who is also one of our generous donors, an RN from Seattle. She elected to take the sticker home and return it before the Yaks embark. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

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Get a shirt!

Show your support with this sweet tee! If you make (or have already made) a donation to one of our fine charities, send an email to karathemongol@gmail.com with your name, address, color (white or heather) and size (men’s L and XL, women’s L and XL) and we will send you one. While supplies last!

 

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If you’re in the great Pacific Northwest next Thursday, June 13th, get yourself to Skookum Brewery.

Our friends at Skookum in Arlington, Washington have opened up the brewery to us next Thursday, June 13th, for a night out you cannot pass up. Play Cards Against Humanity with a bunch of friends and strangers alike for a chance at some great prizes. If you’ve never played, no worry. The game is simple and loads of fun. All the proceeds will go directly to the Yaks in the Box and our charities!

 Skookumadweb

Tire Upgrades

Most veteran ralliers recommend getting better tires for the journey. So we are replacing our original tires with these tires.

The marketing pitch:

“Designed for small and compact cars, the Continental Eco Contact 3 Tyre has low rolling resistance giving reduced fuel consumption and has excellent wear properties to ensure high mileage. In addition, its asymmetrical tread design provides excellent traction on wet and dry roads and shorter braking distances.”

They are about $100 a tire, fitted. We are getting four plus a spare.

 

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One Sweet Ride

We are happy to announce that we are the proud owners of a 2006 Vauxhall Agila.

A what? I don’t know either.

When we began searching for the 1 liter engine vehicles that qualified for the rally, we came across a whole bunch of cars we’ve never heard of: Nissan Micra, Suzuki Alto, Fiat Panda, Daihatsu Terios, Reliant Robin. That made it hard to select a car having little to no perception of the make or model.

We wanted something that did not have too many miles. I liked the Agila because it seemed roomy and comfortable. With the help of a mechanic company (DK Servicing) in London, we purchased an Agila we found on autotrader.co.uk.

For vehicle details, see here.

agila 1

We have a Full Box.

All it took was one phone call to find our third yak. Sara called Kara (seriously, rhyming names for six weeks?) and explained what we were doing. Kara went straight to her employer and got her leave of absence approved.  And as easily as that, we have our Yaks in the Box in full force.

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So what do we all do career wise that allow us to take that kind of time off?

I own a couple internet-based businesses, and with the help of a couple wonderful employees, I am allowed to roam geographically. Sara and Kara are private airline pilots that are apparently very generous with vacation. Sara and Kara work for the same company and met during training.

I think three is the perfect number. Pilot, co-pilot, and sleeping passenger.

Search for the Third Yak

Sara and I were discussing the Mongol Rally. My concern was the ridiculous amount of driving we would have to do per day to keep this adventure to six weeks. 6-8 hours a day, everyday, is pretty tough split between the two of us. We decided it would be best to add another teammate.

I shared this on my facebook:

Mongol Rally anyone?
10,000 miles.
19 countries.
6 weeks.
1 space.
You know you want it.

I had three people show some interest.

We shall see…

An Idea is Born

“How the hell did you find out about the Mongol Rally?”

That’s what people usually ask me when I mention that I’m doing the Mongol Rally this year. But honestly, I don’t remember how it got into my mind stream. It was not recent. I probably saw it while looking at travel sites online years ago. While most people read about sports, world events, and local restaurant openings, I look for beautiful destinations and wonder how to get there. So when I came across this adventure that would span over a dozen countries by car, I was intrigued to say the least. I put the Mongol Rally on my list of things to do before I die.

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It just so happened that the Mongol Rally was independently on my friend’s radar as well. Sara, my good friend and traveler extraordinaire, had been bugging me in the last few years to put my rally boots on. When I saw that this year’s Mongol Rally began on my 40th birthday, I determined that this year was THE year.

I posted this on my facebook on January 1st, 2013.

Did anyone resolve to travel more in 2013? To do something wild? Charitable? Maybe even life-changing?

I’m looking for teammates for the Mongol Rally. Begins July 13, 2013.

Yes, I’m serious.