So we’ve had our first update from our colleagues doing the Mongol Rally Race! Good to hear they’re all safe and sound and making good progress.
So check out their blog and some FANTASTIC pictures…jealous much?!
24-07-2010 to 26-07-2010- England to Czech Repubic
“After months of preparation team Mongol Madness sets off from London on the 2010 Mongol Rally! Getting an early start we leave London at 7am headed for Goodwood Circuit and the first thing we notice is that the ‘Check Engine’ has just turned on.
Our ambitious early morning departure pays off and we’re the first team to arrive at the Mongol Rally Launch Party! In fact we beat the marshalls there. Once the other rallyers finally arrived we had a chance to check out the ‘competition’.
What impressed were the 50 fire engines and ambulances planning to make the journey too providing rescue services to the citizens of Mongolia. What didn’t impress us were the number of people not adhering to the ‘spirit of the rally’ rule and showing up in cars with 2.4L turbo diesels and 4×4′s.
Following our kick-off lap we depart Goodwood, in our fresh Suzuki Alto 1061 cc’s of raw power and fully decked out in all in the colours and sporting the logo of our sponsor Triviala. The next stop is up on the deck of the ferry leaving Dover. We snap some pics of the white cliffs and say goodbye to Great Britain, country number one sorted with many, many more to go.
We arrive at Dunkirk and head out through France into Belgium and due to some poor navigation work do a full extra lap of Brussels before finding our way out to Liege (which is spelled Luik on the local Flemish signs) and onwards towards Germany.
Pushing 2am we hit Cologne with the navigation team passed out in the passenger seats; a fitting end to Day 1.
After a long day of driving on Day 1 we allowed ourselves a leisurely drive over the Rhine, past Frankfurt and down into Bavaria, with Nurenberg being today’s destination.
Looking forward to pork knuckles and Paulaner we set out only to find everything in Germany is closed on Sundays. Breakfast for the second day in a row is eaten at the roadside. As we close in on Bavaria we discuss the famous Nurenberg Ring racetrack and decide that we should check out the Porsches and Ferraris hitting the circuit. So, before we hit the streets of the old town we decide to head out to the Nurenberg Ring. We receive some advice about it’s whereabouts and venture out to the approximate location, but something seems off. We are now at the steps of Hitler’s massive old parade grounds. The steps and buildings remain in place, unpreserved from their former condition . Grass and weeds grow over the steps as kids skateboard along the paths leading up to and in front of the old parade grounds.
Still in search of the racetrack we ask some locals if we’re in the right place… apparently we are but this still doesn’t look right. A campy German on roller blades comes up and after a short discussion we learn that the Nurenberg Ring we’re looking for isn’t actually in Nurenberg but about 300km away and more accurately it’s not even called the Nurenberg Ring, it’s the Nurberg Ring. Typical!
When asked what we’re doing in this little car with stickers all over it we explain to him the rally, the charity, the route… to this he responds “I’m zo proud of you. Zo proud. But you are crazy. But I’m proud of you. But you guys are crazy”.
On the way back we detour through Jacobsplatz and snap some pictures with the car and find a nice place to have our first meal of the trip not purchased from a petrol station.
Thanks to a relatively short drive today to the Czech Republic we finally we have some time to sort out some pressing issues. Our car stereo has been broken since day one and so we head off to sort out a replacement. A hundred euros and a massive treasure hunt later we once again have tunes delivered from a professionally installed stereo and we’re on the road. Breakfast consists of some much needed fresh fruit but once again is eaten on the road as we’re already a bit behind schedule.
The sky unleashes a torrent of rain down upon us as we say ‘chapeau’ to Nurenberg. We hit the Autobahn to find that not only is it raining outside but also INSIDE the car! Indeed our ‘custom’ roofrack which thus far has served us well has now turned on us and is providing the rain with enough of a gap to allow the weather to rain down us. We are getting soaked but cleverly devise a contraption to divert the water away from our heads and harmlessly to the floor.
Approaching Pilzen in the Czech Republic we get off the motorway and take the back roads in the direction of Klenova Castle and the Czech-Out rally meet-up.
Amongst the splendour of Klenova Castle we enjoy the complementary food and entertainment. The Czechs know how to throw a party and the festivities included fire spinners, live bands and a massive DJ tent.
The next few days will include some of our longest driving trips of the journey as we intend to reach the eastern border of Turkey by day number 8.
So watch this space for the next installment!