Mongol Rally

It all started in Atyrau, parked in front of Neil’s hotel there was a strange car with a UK licence plate and plenty of stickers, some of them stating “Travelling is for sissies” and “Mongol rally”. I thought it was just the one car but a couple of days later we started seeing them everywhere. In Khiva, there were 2 more cars parked in front of a hotel.

Mongol rally car
These guys were carrying a golden ram

Pretty soon the city was flooded with little groups of mostly British people (but there was many others too) where one member was always wearing a Mongol Rally t-shirt. Apparently it’s part of the deal, there always has to be one with the t-shirt. At dinner we met Team Booby and talked for some time with them but later they left us to join their brethren: other Mongol rally teams. Oh, and they were not British: one Dutch girl, one Belgian and one guy from the US.

Tapchan and Team Booby
Team Booby joined us for dessert

There’s other people in the picture, the leftmost guy in the light blue tee is Iain, another one of the China team, the guy in the black t-shirt is Neil and to his right, Askar, a Kazakh guy who had just started his own journey hitchhiking around the world (or maybe not around the world, he had no plan actually).

By the time we got to Bukhara we had camped with a Mongol rally biker team we had met on the road, Kevin and Nick (Idiots Abroad) who had plenty of problems with their small bikes (Yamaha XT125) and could use being escorted by other bikers just in case.

Morning at camp
Camp with Idiots Abroad

But what is this Mongol Rally thing?

Every year, hundreds of adventurers set off from London and Prague in a sort or rally to Mongolia, only that it’s not a race, you only have to get there. The objective is to bring a car to Mongolia in reasonable good shape to be sold and the money donated to charity. It all sounds very altruistic and it probably is but above all, they look like they are having loads of fun. They also experience lots of problems with their cars because they are usually very small cars, unprepared for the kind of roads they are taking. Click here to check out their website.




Bishkek, Alamudun District, Kyrgyzstan

8 Replies to “Mongol Rally”

  1. Hi , Nacho que buenas las fotos y las razones del rally bastante originales, pero la rutas… , son rutas???? o es a la buena de Dios?

  2. Love this Mongol Rally staff and actually i’d love to live in europe just to be part of it.

    The description on their website is priceless: “motoring stupidity on a global scale. ”

    And the name od that team “idiots abroad” is simply terrific!!!


    1. They are indeed pretty funny guys and I have to admit the Mongol Rally is a pretty tempting adventure. You don’t need to live in Europe to do it. What do you say you take a 3 months (maybe 2 but we’d have to be fast) holiday next year and we go to Mongolia in a 206? I bet we can convince Santi H to come along too…

  3. I checked Mongol Rally site the other night, they are just plain crazy… so this an awesome (and tenting) adventure. I guess the 206 is too much confort and power. Why not a Fiat Panda? 😉

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