I’ve been posting a lot on the adventure aspects of the rally of late. I must admit that that is one of the big draws for me—the chance to travel to foreign lands and interact with different people and cultures. But that’s not the main goal of this trip.
As most of you probably know by now, we are in this to raise money for our main charity, Mercy Corps. Since its inception in 1979, Mercy Corps has donated over $1.5 billion in assistance to people in 106 nations across the globe. They take a “teach a man how to fish” philosophy to philanthropy—aiming at the root of the problem instead of just providing temporary assistance. Their main goals over the past thirty years have been education, medical care, training, and clean water and sanitation.
These interesting tidbits are from the first (proper) year of the Mongol Rally, 2005. Yes, they are all true.
- • 43 cars left London.
- • 27 cars reached Mongolia.
- • 14 cars reached the finish in Ulan Bator.
- • 2 teams were robbed at knife point.
- • 1 car snapped in half.
- • 3 engines fell completely out of the cars.
- • 1 team was held for five days in no-mans land.
- • 1 team cycled almost 100 miles to get to the finish when their car gave in.
- • 100’s of tires were blown.
- • 1 team got engaged.
- • 1 team found a 10 foot deep pot hole.
- • 1 team found a 25 ton crane rolled by a pot hole.
- • 3 teams attended weddings.
- • 1 team had to reverse up a mountain after losing all but one forward gear.
- • 1 person spent 24 hours in a Kazakh jail charged with five crimes against the state.
- • 1 person was stoned by a Mongolian nomad, who then shot at him with a gun (and missed).
- • 1 team was rammed off the road after an argument over water melons.
- • 1 person spent a day in a Turkish hospital.
- • 3 people were banned from Turkmenistan for a year.
- • As a result of an incident with a cow one person was detained by police in Azerbaijan and threatened with a beating from a dwarf.
- • 2 cars flipped over in Mongolia.
- • 3 teams were chased by armed bandits.
- • 0 team members died.