Welcome to the Mongol Rally: the greatest motoring adventure on the planet.

The Mongol Rally thunders 10,000 miles across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia each summer. There’s no backup, no support and no set route; just you, your fellow adventurists and a tiny car you bought from a scrapyard for £11.50.

If nothing goes wrong, everything has gone wrong.

Bollocks to tarmac, ABS and gadgets that help you find your navel. The Mongol Rally is about getting lost, using your long neglected wits, raising shedloads of cash for charity and scraping into the finish line with your vehicle in tatters and a wild grin smeared across your grubby face.

Neither your car, nor your life, will ever be the same again.

The rules of the Rally are gloriously simple…

  1. You can only take a farcically small vehicle
  2. You’re completely on your own
  3. You've got to raise a £1000 for charity

Day 0 Southend on Sea to Goodwood Circuit

It’s a funny thing having to set off from your home on a journey lasting over 2 months and in the case of Alpha Squad and “Mickey” the Micra, some 18’000 miles including the return trajectory through Russia. Even with the practice packing we did a couple of days before, setting up for the final pack was even more challenging. With hearts and minds set on Goodwood we set off – leaving key kit behind in classic team fashion. A quick stop off at Halfords later to buy Eurolites for the headlamps, and a charger port adapter then we were off.

Heading down to Goodwood quick saw the demise of our first piece of kit – the tarpaulin. Having found its way out of the ratchet straps, it then ballooned out down the motorway and once the first thread gave way, the whole thing ripped itself apart. We’ve kept it was sake of some (see- not very much) protective cover as the rally unfolds.

Arriving at Goodwood at ~7pm, we found ourselves a nice spot for the tent, and with a quick fix to one of the tent poles we set up for the night and had a walk round to meeting and greet with the other ralliers. Some key pointers included *not* purchasing the Carnet de Passage through the tour guide recommendations or 3rd parties, instead just purchasing at the Iranian border. Also the sheer amount of kit that people never used – the veteran teams there were quick to note what was and wasn’t essential.
Walking over to the main base of operations on the site, we quickly discovered that registration was long since passed (closing long before we even arrived). We had to instead get up for crack of dawn for morning registration and make sure we were cleared for the rally start. With that, we headed to bed, and did our best to find comfort in the humidity.

We got Huel

Well I got Huel cos I don’t fancy Camels arsehole stew thanks. I don’t really like Huel either, products fine but they wouldn’t sponsor us so this is the only shout out they’re getting… I suppose they still win but meh.

Here’s what £160 and 15KG of space food looks like:

Huel

We like big boots and we cannot lie

So after upgrading our tyres to gnarly van tyres, and despite our rims being reduced from 14 to 13 inches… Our wheels don’t fit in the boot wheel-well any more…
Call in a couple of geezers, a pencil, a tape measure, a jig saw, a bit of wood and some patience and you too can have yourself a decent use of boot space.
We anticipate using the wheel-well for storing parts we really don’t want to have to get to, like a spare alternator or the breathalysers that are a legal requirement through Europe.

Mid-way a crack enthusiast propped herself up against the side of the house and watched us take shelter under our boot from the torrential rain. The rain didn’t phase her one bit as sge staggered off down the road towards the park… 20 minutes later a helicopter which sounded like it’s engine was about to fail made a landing in the park… We are lead to believe the two are linked.

We also spent some time consolidating all our tools into a handy tool box!

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We got a light bar

How could there be light on the first day of Creation when the sun was not created until the fourth day? Either way we have a light bar. It’s bloody bright. It hurts my eyes. I think it will be sufficient for paving our way through the Gobi desert that is for sure.

For more information on the rally be sure to check out –
🌏 http://www.alphasquad.co.uk
💷 http://www.gofundme.com/AlphaSquad
🖥 http://www.facebook.com/alphasquadmr16
🐥 http://www.twitter.com/alphasquad2016
📺 https://goo.gl/3sRJWn (temporary URL for our YouTube channel until we get our subscribers up so pleased head over and give us a follow!)
📸 https://www.instagram.com/alphasquadmongolrally

We got a roof rack

A massive thank you to Wilco Roof Racks for doing us a deal on our lovely custom fabricated roof rack! This will be used as my throne to sit on for most of Mongolia I suspect…

There were some concerns my XXL sized Glamping chair would not fit but in fact it fits rather snug, and I feel rather smug! Plenty of space for some spare wheels and our waffle boards too (not pictured).

For more information on the rally be sure to check out –
🌏 http://www.alphasquad.co.uk
💷 http://www.gofundme.com/AlphaSquad
🖥 http://www.facebook.com/alphasquadmr16
🐥 http://www.twitter.com/alphasquad2016
📺 https://goo.gl/3sRJWn (temporary URL for our YouTube channel until we get our subscribers up so pleased head over and give us a follow!)
📸 https://www.instagram.com/alphasquadmongolrally

We ate curry

A HUGE thank you to everyone who turned up to the charity meal at Tandoori Parlour on Friday! 🍛
Alpha Squad are happy to announce we have hit our target of £500 for Cool Earth and are well on our way to reaching our target for Dreams Come True UK too! 💪
A massive thank you to everyone who got involved, especially to my mum and Emily’s mum for basically planning this for me! Without you it would never have been possible! 👏

Here’s a pic of the Micra with our “swag pack” stickers on!

For more information on the rally be sure to check out –
🌏 http://www.alphasquad.co.uk
💷 http://www.gofundme.com/AlphaSquad
🖥 http://www.facebook.com/alphasquadmr16
🐥 http://www.twitter.com/alphasquad2016
📺 https://goo.gl/3sRJWn (temporary URL for our YouTube channel until we get our subscribers up so pleased head over and give us a follow!)
📸 https://www.instagram.com/alphasquadmongolrally

Micra Curry

We got wheels

A massive thank you to Shirley’s Tyres for supplying us a cushty deal on 6 gnarly van tyres that will hopefully take us over road, rock, sand and rivers! Word Press won’t rotate the image…

For more information on the rally be sure to check out –
🌏 http://www.alphasquad.co.uk
💷 http://www.gofundme.com/AlphaSquad
🖥 http://www.facebook.com/alphasquadmr16
🐥 http://www.twitter.com/alphasquad2016
📺 https://goo.gl/3sRJWn (temporary URL for our YouTube channel until we get our subscribers up so pleased head over and give us a follow!)
📸 https://www.instagram.com/alphasquadmongolrally

Van Tyres

Cigars Champagne and Cheering

We finished uni!

So leaving off from our last post with the CentriPhone… and ignoring the SoftCat May ball… Oli and I have finished uni!
4 years of blood sweat and tears over. We get our results the day before we leave for the rally. I still can’t decide whether to open mine before I leave or wait until I return!

Not a lot to report on unfortunately as dissertation has swallowed up too much rally prep time. But; work hard, play harder. Here’s a photo of us chinning rum and smoking cigars on campus in celebration!

We got vaccines

So going through 19 countries we’re bound to come across some kind of disease or virus that wants to eat us alive. We don’t really fancy that so we went and got jabbed up.

From Future Rhys:
We understand this blog will likely be viewed by a future rally goer if they search hard enough, so we’re going to make it easier for you.
Check out our route, and cross compare with yours.

The vaccines we are going for are:
Booster for Polio, Diphtheria and Tetanus (if needed)
Hepatitis A and B (ASK YOUR GP TO GIVE YOU THE HEP A AND B TOGETHER! Mine didn’t and so I had to pay an extra £120 from Boots. I was told this was possible as she plunged the needle into my arm. Cheers.)
Typhoid (Free from GP)
Cholera (Oral medicine, £8 subscription from GP)
Rabies (3 jabs at £55 each at Boots)
Tick-borne Encephalitis (3 jabs at £65 each at Boots) [Their website says 2 jabs and when I went for my 3rd and final jab at Boots it turns out they had a shortage and to I went to a MASTA approved clinic. Still £65 but I was told that I shouldn’t be having my final jab until 6 months after my 2nd… But the lovely French lady smiled, muttered in French, jabbed me in my arm and took my cash anyway.)

Vaccines you will probably come across but will not know whether to get or not:
Dengue Fever, My African housemate had this when he was out in Africa said it’s horrible but we have done our research and it’s ultra rare to get it along our route.
Japanese Encephalitis, this one here is a tough one as it is present in East Russia. However we are told it is commonly spread through pigs and we do not plan on sleeping next to any pig farms whilst we are briefly in Russia we have skipped this as it’s rather pricey.

To finish up, when going to these vaccine places it is worth taking a spreadsheet of the places you’re visiting and a rough time when. Then hand it over and let them fill out all the boxes for their paper work. It is a laborious task but if you have an IT brain about you, who ever designed Boots’ trip planning system definitely had their head screwed on. You can enter the trip details in once and have it pulled up by a team mate for theirs too at ease. Go Boots Web Dev.

As a side note about vaccines:
Oli’s arm ached a lot but that’s about it.
Ucci has not commented at all on his, so we can only assume 10/10 okay for him.
I however, was clearly run down or had a shit batch of vaccines, because the 3rd and final Hep B and Rabies jab that I had hit me like a train. 1/150 chance of a high fever from Hep B. Combined with the 5% chance of stomach cramps, cold seats, high temp, nausea, diarrhoea and general ill health from the Rabies. I wanted to die. But it passed in about 24 hours so not too bad.

For more information on the rally be sure to check out –
🌏 http://www.alphasquad.co.uk
💷 http://www.gofundme.com/AlphaSquad
🖥 http://www.facebook.com/alphasquadmr16
🐥 http://www.twitter.com/alphasquad2016
📺 https://goo.gl/3sRJWn (temporary URL for our YouTube channel until we get our subscribers up so pleased head over and give us a follow!)
📸 https://www.instagram.com/alphasquadmongolrally

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