The When, Where, and How
The two of us -- collectively know as "Team Donundestan" -- embarked on the 2016 Mongol Rally on Sunday, July, 17th from the official launch site at the Goodwood Motor Circuit, a couple of hours south of London. While it's theoretically possible to drive all the way to the finish line in Ulan Ude, Russia (just across the border from Mongolia) in as little as 3 weeks by taking a direct northern route on highways through the forests of Siberia, most participants opt to travel a more interesting, challenging, and windy path through Europe and Central Asia. Remember, there's a start and a finish line, but it's up to each of our groups to decide how exactly to navigate from one to the other (see rule #2 above), and there are an endless variety of possibilities! In previous years, some teams have driven up through Scandinavia -- north of the Arctic Circle -- before heading east, and one group even took a detour to Africa! We drove along with our friends Rosi and Jane of Team Sugar + Spice on a route that took us through parts of the U.K., France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, then across Turkey and Iran, and up through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia. It's a distance of nearly 11,000 miles, and it took us about 7 weeks to complete.
After arriving at the finish line in early September, Drew flew home, but Scott got the bright idea to drive all the way back to the UK across Siberia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, and The Netherlands (with a side trip to Italy and the Vatican), traveling a total of 18,000 miles (29k km) round trip through 23 countries, over the course of nearly four months. If you're interested, you can listen to his podcast to hear more about his adventures.