The Mongol Rally team doesn’t launch itself. The months leading up to the journey was an adventure.
The Mongol Rally started off rough. Stephen lost his backpack in Berlin. Judy waited 14 hours at Gatwick for the team. Tom booked the wrong flight and arrived a day late.
The rally truly begins at Czech Republic. Eastern Europe gave the team the first dose of unfamiliar language, and culture.
We encountered nothing but hospitality in Turkey. A random encounter one morning resulted in a invitation onto a boat trip to sea and a traditional home cooked meal.
The greatest challenge for the team was the ferry across the Caspian Sea from Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan. The team waited for the ferry at at the port for miserable 4 days.
Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world. Kazakh roads are worse than terrible. The combination of the two resulted in a very long and slow drive in the middle of nowhere to the middle of nowhere.
Siberian roads were in surprisingly good shape. We made our way from Omsk to Ulan-Ude without much trouble. Along we way we made new friends and was challenged to a could arm wrestling matches. USA 2 - RUS 0
The team crossed into Mongolia on September 1, 2010, after 10000 miles and 40 days on the road.
The team parted ways after the journey. Stephen boarded a train back through Russia, Judy flew to Barcelona, Tom to Paris, and Lillie returned to Berlin.
Within 6 month of returning from Mongolia, Team Last Responders was formed. The next destination? Timbuktu
England was a tough place to drive. We spent 80% of our time trying to find our way around the winding roads of London.
We never really considered how long it would take to drive to Tarifa, Spain. It’s a long way from London and we almost died on the way.
For the entire team, Morocco was out first encounter with Africa. Making our way from Tangiers, to Rabat, to Marrakech was quite an experience.
The team discovered that Western Sahara is a world away from Morocco. It was here that our car broke down for a month.
Everyone says Mauritania is dangerous and a terrible place. The heat and mosquitos, made the journey uncomfortable, but the people were nothing but nice.
Mali! We were hoping for a scenic drive across the finish line. Instead we got held up at the border for 9 days.
After 9 weeks on the road, the team finally returns home.
Preparing a 16,000 mile drive is hard work. The team had to draw up plans, acquire a vehicle, and form relationships with organizations before launching in New York.
The first leg of the journey crossed USA from New York to Mexico-Arizona border. The journey was estimated to be 4 smooth, uneventful days. The drive took us 17 days and needless to say, not so smooth.
Mexico is huge. This was our first step beyond the borders of ‘Murica. No longer were we protected with familiar culture, language, and smooth roads.
Guatemala marked the beginning of Central American topics. Within hours the scenery shifted from arid desert to roads lined with bountiful banana trees.
The first half of our journey ended at Colon, Panama. There, we loaded the ambulance onto a ship bound for Cartegena, Colombia.
Our journey through South America stared with us picking up our car from the port in Cartegena. From there we made our way across the country via Medeline.
Ecuador is not only located at the equator. It is home to some of the highest cities in the world. If you want a dose of altitude sickness, come on by.
Our charity partner Vive Peru operates in Trujillo. There our ambulance would be integrated into their hospital network to benefit everyone.
Our final charity destination was in Sucre, Bolivia. There, Esperanca has setup an office that focuses on improving housing conditions and health care for local people.
After 153 days on the road, the team returns from Sucre, back to Trujillo, and finally New York.