The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
So, up until last week, everything was running like a charm, a dream, a horse that just wanted to win.
That was last week.
This week, we got the news about the visa situation in Iran will mean we will not be going that way. Yup, sad but true.
What options does this leave us with? Well, a few.
No matter what route we take, we have to get “past” the Caspian sea.
One option is the boat from Azerbaijan, to Turkmenistan. Not happening,
Another is driving turkey > Georgia > Russia. That border … really? No.
The third is ditching the southern route for the start of our travels, so go “past” Caspian sea north, going by Moldovia > Ukraine > Russia, and then down to Uzbekistan, and pick up where we was supposed to be.
We went with option 3.
Mainly since 1 and 2 are too scetchy, and could set us back 1-2 weeks if we’re unlucky.
So, we’re playing it “safe”, and opted for the Ukraine :)
Sad to see Iran go, but it looks like Iran didn’t love us anyways. Damn Iran.
This means we’re in the middle of re-applying for visas and shit (due to some double entries, and some change of dates), but all will be good before we leave … we hope! :) If nothing else, we discovered that one team member (who shall remain nameless) had not even started the work on the visa process due to missing payment, so we got that sorted out (PHWEW!!).
Anyways, now you know what’s been going on over at Team Venture! :)
A couple of weeks ago, we drove up the two fabia’s (Uno & Two) to a little place in Småland called Sävsjö. One of our sponsors was to give them a spa treatment, and you never say no to that!
Last friday, we got them back. Our sponsors DipYourCar.se had given them a full on make over, and if you ask me, they look AMAZING!
What DipYourCar.se did was to plasti-dipp/plastidipp them, which means you plastic-spray-foliate them.
This means that when we got to Mongolia, and hand over the cars to charity, they can choose if they want it blue, or the original colour, since the dip is easy to peel and pull off, without harming the original paint job!
Dipping the cars is like, half price from doing the old foliate-thingie.
… I’m so doing my Honda civic in matt black when I get home from Mongolia!
Next week we will start with placing the logos from all our sponsors on the cars, and then it will start to look like proper race cars .. if race cars only had 1198cc motors :)
As a way to keep calm and not freak out too much about the fact that it’s now only two months left until the rally starts, team member Pontus (me), decided to keep himself busy by building a little UI thingie map for all the teams taking part of this years Mongol Rally 2013.
So, head over to map.teamventure.se and see who will be where at what time in time on time.
My bet is that the first stop (Klenova Castle in Czech republic) is the only one that we will be in time for :)
So, due to national security officials worries about his imminent personal safety, we’ve been forced to keep member #5’s identity (heh, tity) a secret this far.
But no more!
Say hello to Matt K Gelgota, the one, the only. The only one.
Matt is a globetrotter that would put marco polo to shame, and this will come in handy whilst traveling 1/3 around the globe in our two small and stupid cars.
He’s in charge of haggling/barter/shenanigans, and he’s good at it. He once made an Egyptian street vendor pay him money to accept a golden Scarab that could open the door at the secret 7th pyramid of Giza. He melted it down into 4 rings, and spread them in the four corners of the world, since he thought that the world was not ready.
.. or something like that.
He’s been imported straight from Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, via Ibaraki via Nottingham via Nishiogikubo via Nakamurabashi via Nerima-ku via Azabu Juban via Boston via Oxford via Wisconson via Michigan. And now he’s here!
WELCOME BROMEISTER!! :D
… I bet you’re regretting posting that image on the internets right about now ;)
During this amazing rally/adventure/growing of many parts, we’ll be doing, it hit us that most of the sleeping, correction, ALL of the sleeping, will be done below the sun and the moon. Thus, we needed some help with what and how to do this.
Luckily, friluftsvaror.se stepped in, and helped us out. Not only did they help us out with tents, backpacks, sleeping bags (you name it, they delivered it!), but they also taught me (Pontus) a whole lot about camping! I now know how to use a mirror compass!
We’re forever grateful to friluftsvaror.se, and we will do everything in our power to repay you for the kindness.
With this support from friluftsvaror.se, it means we’re somewhat almost ready to leave, and with a couple of days left (80 days, today), this means we can start focusing whole-heartedly on getting money and toys together for the SOS Children’s village. We have two events lined up, and will get back to you all with more info when it’s “official”.
Thanks again to friluftsvaror.se, and all our other sponsors, thanks for making this possible.
Our friends over at tretton37 came to us and offered us some of the much needed gear, in return, they just wanted us to get home safe. It will be hard, but a deal is a deal, so we will get home safe now!
The gear they hooked us up with was … well, a lot of things, take a peek over at the “wish list”-page, and you can see how generous they where.
Much love to you guys, we’re really happy for the support.
tretton37 is a knowledge-based company that helps their clients achieve their goals by delivering customized & well-crafted software solutions, utilizing primarily .NET platform with help of agile and lean development approaches.
… In other news, both cars will be getting a run-through next week, and the visas are dropping in one after the other. 2/5 done so far. Woho!!
Meeting number, hum, how many has it been now? 5? 65?
Meh, the number doesn’t matter that much. The important thing is what the meeting generated.
We’re on track, or it feels like it. And as they say, when you feel like it’s on track, you should probably check to see if you’re wearing pants, since the odds are against you.
We have now compiled a list over things that we MUST have with us when it comes to gears for the cars and camping. This list will be useful when we approach new sponsors, so that they have a clear and visual image on what we would like them to help us with. This, instead of them to give us money, since we’ve realised that that might not always be the thing sponsors want to do. And well, the money would be used for the gear anyways, so it’s a win win. Also, the money we’re putting up from our own pocket, and won’t have to use for gear, will go to the SOS Barnbyar, so win win!
The list also enabled us to put together a more accurate budget. Yay! As if this will hold up. Oh well, here’s for trying! :)
When the budget and all that was done, we got a curve ball. One team member had to pull out of the rally due to personal circumstances. We’re sad to see him leave, but are happy that he did it now, and not the day before the rally. We will commemorate a huge part of the car for him, and we’re discussing maybe making a shrine, where h’ll be with us via FaceTime™.
After a vote, and some debate, we decided on not taking on a new 6th member, but instead drive with just 5 people in the cars. More room, but more cost. We’ll just have to try harder.
Something else discussed during the meeting was the fact that we’ve been offered to co-sponsor an event at the end of May in Malmö, for some fundraising, something that will be legendary! We’re thinking maybe some free mongolian BBQ and beers in a park or something, maybe some live music. It will be a hit, no doubt. Now we just have to plan it out. :)
Next on the agenda, was to change the route a little bit.
We’re doing Iran. Yes. We’re doing Iran, even tho we all just saw ‘Argo’. The American, sorry, Canadian in our party (he’s still a secret member, not announced yet, due to security reasons), will fly from Turkey to Turkmenistan, and meet up with us there. Something we’re forever grateful for. Epic! EPIC! IRAN!
We’re doing Kyrgyzstan, if we’re not too far behind on schedule when we reach Tashkent. And to quote a team member, it’s like the old saying goes, “When you put it in a Stan, go balls deep.” Well, no one really says anything like that to be honest, but um… when else are we going to be on the cusp of Kyrgyzstan?
That pretty much sums up the meeting.
Next up is the Visa process that starts in 1-2 weeks from now. It will be exciting!
… 3’rd time’s the charm.
So, we finally found a new car, that we can bring. Best part is that it’s identical to Venture T.W.O. So we now have two identical cars, which will be pretty sweet when on the road if something breaks.
Venture U.N.O has roof thingie, extra lights thingie, and a speed-holder thingie. We are over he moon about the car, it feels like it was made for us!