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DAY 17+18+19

Moving through Kyrgyzstan, entering the ever so boring and fubar’ed Kazakstan heading towards the glorious Семей in the north east of Kazakhstan.

Speeding tickets, repairing cars and wheels .. awesome fun! :)

Enjoy.

Music: Etienne De Crecy – Welcome (The Bloody Beetroots Remix)
The music in this one might be a little weird, but hey, I’m trying things out, bare with me :)

Day flies when you’re looking for petrol in Uzbekistan

Day flies when you’re looking for petrol in Uzbekistan

Oh boy, these last two weeks has been so intense.

So many new things, experiences & people. It’s hard to believe that we’re actually doing this, and that we’re only half way through.

Uzbekistan, Samaraqand & Bukhara has been amazing, despite the total lack of good petrol & internet.

We set out to do this and make one movie update/week, and blog posts every other, and boy was that wishful thinking.

With all things happening, you’re totally flabbergasted/exhausted when you finally get camp up, so updating or editing movies is the last thing on your mind.

But, soon, you will be seeing things popping up.

We’ve been teamed up and caravaning with two other teams these last few days, and today one team left us for Tajikistan, but the rest of us will try and reach the Kyrgyzstan border from Samaraqand tomorrow. It’ll be a hell drive (roads here, suck), but if we make it, we’re looking forward to some camping in super amazing environments.

If you ever get the chance to do the Mongol rally, do it. This shit is ballz.

Much love to all our sponsors for helping us make this adventure happen. Your gear has helped us out in so many tight spots, and you’ve given us memories that will last 3 life times … and we’re only half way though.

T minus 18 days

T minus 18 days

Holy crap!

It seems like yesterday it was 100 days left, and the rally seemed so far away.

Well, it’s now 18 days left and it is feeling more and more real.

GETTING EXCITED? YES!

One member of the team has gotten his passport, filled with nice and awesome visas, and the rest of the team is only missing 1 or 2 visas, then we’re all set to leave (if it was only visas missing).

The cars has been pimped out (thanks to dipyourcar.se), and all kinds of extra stuff to make the travel a little bit more comfortable has been purchased, along with medical equipment (thanks to medivet.se) and camping gear (thanks to friluftsvaror.se).

All that is left now, is the sump guards, and getting an extra key to one of the cars (since Ted lost one >_<). Well, I’m sure there’s a couple of more things, but right now, those are the two “big” things left.

… is it too soon to start packing yet?

Ready for the rally?!
95%
First try funding party.

First try funding party.

Thanks to everyone who showed up last night for our Reklamöl/fundraiser/Chillax. It was a great success (Mintuu Chili?!), and together we managed to raise 1413.50 SEK! Awesome!

No one brought any pens or drawing paper, which I found a bit odd, since that’s the industry we’re in.

Oh well, it was still awesome!
We had both cars parked outside, fully pimped out with logos and stickers and roof racks. Looked pretty pimp.

Damn, less than a month left now, and all of a sudden it feels like there’s SO MUCH LEFT TO DO!! … which there isn’t.

A little gallery-thingie with pictures will be up later.

Peace!

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.

Kyrgyzstan and the infinite sadness

Kyrgyzstan and the infinite sadness

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.

First.
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!

Second.
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!

Venture O.N.E, sorry, U.N.O! acquired

IMG_4268

… 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!

Soft start.

Disk3018Even tho the sponsor proposals are not entirely done yet, and same goes for the press kit we’re working on, we have started emailing possible sponsors on the list, asking them for help, and shortly telling our story. Hopefully these sponsors might be able to help us out, and it gives us the necessary education on how to talk to people about what we’re doing (none of us are salesmen, so we can use some trail and error education here dude).

Remember to be honest, transparent and sincere, this is very important (not only here, but also in all aspects of your life).

I picked up some Russian language teaching books, and some russian hiphop, so soon I’ll be fluent in this language of yours Boris!

It has started.

So.. how does this work?

Do we write this in english or swedish?
I guess we’ll start with english, so most of you can understand what’s going on and not to alienate anyone (anyone that can read my crappy english that is).

The entrance fee has been payed, the team has been set and there was much joy.

Now the real work begins.

We need to figure out a plan on how to raise money for charities, we need to pick one charity of our own, we need to get some sponsors (this rally won’t be cheap) and most of all, we need to decide on a car to use.

Why are we doing this? And what is this?

Glad you asked.

The Mongol Rally is a car rally that begins in Europe and ends in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. The principal launch is from Goodwood Circuit, United Kingdom, with subsidiary starting points in other European countries, we’re starting from the Czech Republic.

It is described as the “greatest adventure in the world”. Whilst originally the rally required competing vehicles to have an engine displacement of less than 1,000cc, this has been increased to 1,200 cc to reflect the increasing difficulty of obtaining a car since the Mongolian government stipulated that all competing vehicles must be less than 10 years old.

The rally is designed to be an adventure for the participants, and not a traditional rally/race. The organisers (“The Adventurists“) are careful to point out that racing on highways is illegal, and that no recognition is given to the first finisher.

There are other differences from mainstream rallies, particularly the fact that no support team is provided and no other arrangements are made such as for accommodation. Indeed, the diminutive vehicles are deliberately inappropriate for the task, in the adventurous spirit of the rally.

When you arrive in Ulan Bator, your car is auctioned off, with all the raised money going to charity. So you’ll have to walk home (or take a flight, or something like that).

The The organisers warns against the risks of this kind of adventure. An undisclosed number of racers have been injured since 2004. In 2010 an adventurer was killed and two injured in an accident while crossing Iran.

So why are we doing this? Isn’t it obvious?!
We love charity, and we love adventure, so this rally is to good to pass up on.