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Adventure Steve

So you want to do a charity rally to Mongolia?

1 post in this topic

This write-up is not endorsed by Charity Rallies. :) Just a personal guide to help those wishing to participate in a Mongolia Charity Rally.

If you have never done a rally before then it may seem a little daunting to some. But it isn't as bad as you think. In fact it's relatively easy to organise as long as you don't leave everything to a week before.

Organising yourself in the rally is something you do after you have told yourself that I am doing this!

Back in 2007 I had this dream after watching the Long Way Round with Ewan & Charlie on their great bike adventure around the world. What interested me most was Mongolia and it's amazing baron lands. Mongolia only really opened it's gates to tourism in the early 2000's. The challenge Ewan & Charlie had was something I dreamt of.

As I was heading towards 40, I felt I needed to do something with my life and Mongolia tickled my fancy, I just had to do it.

Another thing that really did it for me was when i was scouring another car based forum and someone was asking about parts for their Ford Fiesta that they were taking to Mongolia. This planted a seed and soon as i saw this post I started doing a few searches on google and I came across Charity Rallies website. That was it, I was hooked in. After a bit of research I realised this is something I could do. 

So I did it, I booked myself in to the rally. That's it I thought, I am going to drive to Mongolia in 2009. It was the point of booking myself in to the rally and the rest followed after.

The hardest part of a rally is making the first step... and that first step is committing to yourself to doing the rally. it's relatively straight forward if one of you is good at organising.

The common things I hear about not doing a rally is;

  • Not for me, I like Malaga
  • Cannot find team mate, I cannot go
  • Not sure how to organise it, not sure i can do it.
  • Not sure how much it will cost, it might be too much
  • I am worried I will break down and I cannot fix cars
  • All these countries sound scary, people sound scary, get me outta here
  • Sounds like a lot of work, too much work.
  • Cannot get time off work

All over the above is something anyone can overcome. Costs are not a problem if you are happy to sleep in a less fancy hotel (the rally is not about 5 star all the way :) ) or even camp under the stars... this is more fun than a hotel. Costs are down to how much you spend on luxuries. It's more exiting to stay away from fancy accommodation. Also everything outside Europe is cheap, Fuel, Food, Lodgings (camping costs nothing) and thats all you need. The rest you take with you in your vehicle.

And bosses don't usually mind giving you that extra week for charity. 

The Pro's of doing a rally. (most cost nothing to see)  I am sure there is a lot more i could add to this list

  • See some of the most amazing sights in the world
  • Meet the most friendliest people ever, people who appreciate what they have and not want anything from you (apart from cheeky traffic cops :D )
  • You'll Find out what type of person you really are. Unless you are seasoned traveller, you really wont know until afterwards.
  • Own great stories for when you are at dinner parties or at the pub. Be known as the legend that drove a third of the way around the world :)
  • That warm fuzzy feeling you have once been an adventurer whilst your friends are at home watching TV or holidaying in boring Malaga.
  • Endure some of the hardest days ever on desert or pot-holed roads, but only to remember them fondly as you conquered them all like a boss.
  • Drive off-road over mountain ranges, riverbeds and baron deserts only to end up chasing your own shadow at the end of the day as you head further east...really not something you do every day in traffic jams here.
  • witness culture changes from your steering wheel... it really makes you wonder.
  • camp under the stars. And more stars than you would have seen in a whole lifetime. 
  • Sit round campfires with your mates and a few beers, having a right laugh at what went on that day.
  • see cool wildlife like Eagles, Gophers, Wolverines, Camels, Wolves, Wild Horses, goats and plenty more
  • Huge ranges of snow capped mountains that you have to drive through in your little vehicle with you and your belongings. These mountains with dominate you with awe.
  • Try and attempt river crossings, maybe fail, get wet and try again and laugh when you all have wet socks hanging out of the windows drying off.
  • Eating local delicacies
  • Getting stopped by the traffic police many times and you try and get a chance to wear their hat for that cheeky selfie for Facebook... What a Legend.
  • Sand storms to excite the days crossings and time to wash your matted hair.
  • Ferry trips across the Caspian sea meeting locals onboard.
  • Really weird border crossing and nosey guards snooping and being cheeky asking for gifts, and you pretend you cannot understand, when you really do.

This list goes on and on


Basic Steps to take when organising a rally, Some can be done in different order

  • Say to yourself "Yes, this is it" and stick with it, don't back out, because you'll have the time of your life!
  • find a team mate/s (make sure you push for commitment )
  • get a team name
  • Read rally guides, study them along with vehicle rules (pretty simple stuff but quite important.. don't skip this)
  • plan a route (go for it.. if you have the time then go to as many places as possible - Direct route can take 2 weeks, direct route through Kazakhstan via Almaty will take 3 weeks inc. 3 days off and Iran route is around 4 weeks. Each day you will drive approx 400-600 miles daily.)
  • Register yourself in to the rally with Charity Rallies... (this will drive you to push forward and gets exiting from this point) Don't worry if you don't have the vehicle yet, you can complete that later.
  • Plan your vehicle, start hunting. Make sure you keep to the vehicle rules. Keep it simple but be wise choosing something that is reliable.
  • Book Visas (even more exciting)
  • Start raising money for charity, tell your family, friends and work colleagues... email the local papers telling them what you are doing (i got a double page spread, so can you!)
  • Build an itemised list using Google Docs and share it with team mates, cross off your items until the rally start. Google Docs is really helpful across teams as it will be your master itinerary everyone edits just one sheet.
  • Make Sure you submit your vehicle and fully complete your registration in the Charity Rallies Team Manager. There is usually a closing date so make sure you're way ahead of the closing date.
  • Get your personal docs ready, Travel Insurances, European car Insurance etc. etc.
  • Once you have vehicle approval and paid your Vehicle Deposit then your set to go.
  • Hi-five the team

Many people do things a different way but these are the basics that can help you out. The rest you will have fun researching.

I have done another un-official guide that is basically helpful to make sure you have done your check list. Take a look at Steps to take on a Mongolia Charity Rally that i wrote last year.

If anyone has any questions then please just ask here... ;)

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