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And the countdown begins

And the countdown begins

Today my friends, it is only one month left. One month left until we set out on a journey of a life time. One month left until we get to show all you haters that THIS, is really happening. One month left until we get lost. Get lost in what is hopefully a world filled of new exciting challenges.

One month.

Dear soon to be Mongol Ralliers

My name is Naviguru Travis and I am a Mongol Rally veteran.

What you are about to embark on is an experience that will fill your life with wonder and happiness for the rest of your existence. The journey, the madness, the friends who will be in your life forever; the noise that never stops when you return.

What you imagine is only the beginning, and a beautiful place to start. What you will embrace is a world that belongs to each and every one of you in one form or another. You will find infinite happiness in the sunsets over barren plains, the energy and chaos of parties you will create. The roads and the lack of them. The miles before you will become the miles of your life. What you think is just a car will be your love. What you believe to be a city explored will become a constant craving. And the friends you will meet will fill you with completeness forever. Be ready to embrace.

The Mongol Rally never stops. Each and every day I have talked about, been reminded of, and connected with; the journey, the lifelong friends, and the pure love that will become your constant companion. It never stops. And for you, it is just about to begin.

So fill your minds and hearts with excitement. Allow the madness to take over. And become part of the world and the rally that is taking you there.

Happy days and eternal love, from a kindred spirit and one who can feel every bit of your upcoming journey. Have fun and live every moment. To my veterans, you all know how this feels.

He makes you want to go do this, right?

One month.

Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.

– Richard Branson –
We’re rolling with thunder, thanks to TIAB/4P!

We’re rolling with thunder, thanks to TIAB/4P!

Once again, it’s time to say hello to a couple of awesome people from an awesome company.

This time, it’s our long time friends over at TIAB/4P who agreed to help us out with a superwinch, and 12 (!!!) brand new wheels for the venture brothers (Uno & Uzl).

Not only this, but also the whole time we’ve been working on the cars, and not working on the cars, they’ve been parked at TIAB’s offices, in safety behind bars and security and wires and gates!

So, TIAB has given us so much more than just 12 (!!) wheels and a super winch, and for that, we’re forever grateful, and will make sure not to disappoint them.

THANKS!!! :D

In need of medical attention!? We’ve got that covered!

In need of medical attention!? We’ve got that covered!

It’s time to unveil our latest sponsor to join in on the fun and helping us reach our goals!

Say hello to the awesome people from medivet.se!

Medivet is in the business of animal X-ray, and they were the perfect partner for us when it came to find people who could help us with medical kits for the trip. They generously donated Complete field med-kit, syringes, scissors, Emergency burn wraps + and charity support.

So, thanks to Medivet, you’ll do wise to stay close to us during the rally, in case of an emergency!

We’re super thankful for the awesome support they’ve shown us, but to be honest, we all hope that we won’t be needing the med-kit, if you know what I mean.

There’s a word for men without beards.
Women.

– The internets –
Pssssht-water.

Pssssht-water.

It’s no secret that this trip we’re embarking on will be filled with challenges, and being the avid use of the internet as I am, I have read up on some of the larger hurdles we will face when attempting to steer our two trusty steeds from Sweden to Mongolia.

Here’s some things that I at least found challenging.

Water
Yes, we need to drink a lot during the rally, we’re talking 6-7 liters/day, if we don’t want to get dehydrated, since the heat in some of the countries we’re passing by will be insanely hot.

Tho, this is not the biggest water related issue.

AH! The bottled water! I hope you newbies don’t mind carbonated water, as unless you can read cyrillic, you’ll be drinking a shitload of the stuff once that latin alphabet runs out the further east you get. Oh and asking “Niet pssssht?” at the till when paying doesn’t help.

Trust me, you might think “Big deal you idiot!” now. But just wait until it’s 40c+ in somewhere like Kaz, you’ve just stocked up on a few new bottles and you crack that first one to take a swig of that lovely still, chilled h2o and it goes “Pssssht!” at you as you twist the cap. If you’re not into Perrier, it’s the most demoralising fucking sound in the world.

Yes, personally, I started drinking pssssht-water a couple of weeks back, only to get used to it (if DOES taste different). Now the next step is to tyr drinking it hot™.

Corruption
There’s no doubt that we will see our fair amount of the friendly police corruption that is going on in all the countries after we hit up Ukraine, where it’s supposedly the worst. We’re not talking US congress corruption, but full on frontal in the wrong locker room corruption (yup, that made no sense). There are however a few good tips from earlier ralliers to be had.

Play dumb. Like, dropped as a kid dumb. Then start the who-can-last-the-longest game, a game which might last 2-3 hours if you’re unlucky.

Another very good plan of action is to pull up the map as soon as the cops flag you down, and before they even have the chance to open their moths and violate the english language, you start pointing at the map and ask for directions, butchering their language, no doubt.

Bring a blond chick in the car. I heard that can be pretty good too.

There’s also the option of just ignoring them when they try and flag you down, and ignore their sirens/light behind you. This method might prove good, but I have not heard of that many doing it … wonder why? $10 to the team that does this, and documents it on film.

Heat/Cold
Not only will it get super hot. Like, super awesome amazeballs hot. It will also get super amazingly fucked up cold. Yes. We’re traveling so far that we’ll get all the vacation weather out there, be it summer vacation at the beach, or the winter vacation in the mountains snowboarding. We will see it all. How the hell do you pack for that diverse weather? You don’t.

As long as we don’t get the fucked up british weather, I’ll be a fully happy and content camper.

Yep. Be prepared for snow and ice as well as 52 degree heat. One day we were literally melting into the drivers seat (you get used to driving in a pool of your co-drivers sweat when it’s your turn behind the wheel) and the next you’re freezing your behind off in a snow covered Mongolian border compound. Aaaahh happy days!

There’s tons of more things that will be challenging of course. Not knowing the language, not knowing the directions to drive, forgotten the oven on at home, get your hands on cold beers … where to do Yoga? But we’ll cover that at a later date.

You might be wondering why I didn’t mention the fact that we might se 5-6 days without a shower … well, obviously you have never been to the Roskilde Festival. We WELCOME the fact that we don’t have to shower. It’ll be better that way. No one really knows who it is that’s giving out that alluring smell.

Smell you later. Yes, you will.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

– St. Augustine –
To Iran, or not Iran … obviously, this is not even a question anymore.

To Iran, or not Iran … obviously, this is not even a question anymore.

Hey there.

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! :)

xoxo

We’re now repping the Swedish colours HARD, curtesy of DipYourCar.se

We’re now repping the Swedish colours HARD, curtesy of DipYourCar.se

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!

So, when dropping them off, they looked like this:
before

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!

after

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!

AMAZING™!

Thanks to our sponsors DipYourCar.se for doing an awesome job, and being super cool. If you live in Sweden, check them out. Either their site or their Facebook.

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 :)

map.teamventure.se

map.teamventure.se

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 :)

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