planing

Day 30+31+32+33+34+35+36

Still in Mongolia, still struggling to get to Ulanbataar.

One car breaks down, we fix it, second car breaks down, we tow it … for 350km. Good times!
Cars keeps getting stuck, breaking down, loosing parts, making noise. But we will not give up!
We reach the finish line. We did it. We’re fucking awesome.

BOOM!

This was the most epic adventure I have ever done, and probably ever will do, something I’ll remember for the rest of my life … not a day goes by without me thinking about it.

Let me know if you have any questions about the rally if you’re planing to do it. I’m here to help!

PEACE! :D

Music:
Skip & Die – Anti-Capitalista
Mr. Bill, ill-esha – Quixotically Speaking

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.

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.

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

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 :)

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!

Preliminary dates and days abroad.

692calendar
Well, we have started to try and figure out how the heck we’re gonna drive to get to our final destination. And for you who might be interested in how the planing is coming along, well, here’s the preliminary dates and times spent in each country.. with some errors here and there.