George "I would love to do something like that, Andy"
Andy "I'll go halves on a car with you if you fancy it?"
Andy Thomson and George Powell are going to attempt the 2009 Mongolia Charity Rally. We are two guys who do the same job and have worked together occasionally over the past 8 years. We both have enjoyed a bit of travelling and thought what better way could you spend the summer than driving across 20 or so countries on a big road trip raising some money for charity on the way. In the past we've had 10 days on the road together going to Spain for a job and got on good so we will put that to the test over 30 odd days. The idea to do this came about after watching Long Way Round and Mondo Enduro one too many times. Long Way Round fired up the idea of travelling through Mongolia and Mondo Enduro put it within the reach of normal unsupported people on a budget. The final push was meeting Seb who did it last year in a Fiat Uno with his mate Jim. Not needing any more encouragement he then sealed it by showing his photos of the trip. Within an hour we had the above conversation and the Gobi Gatecrashers were born.
The vehicle has yet to be bought but are looking at possibly a small diesel van mainly because we need something small and light if we need a tow and also very simple to repair. STOP PRESS We have bought a 1998 Subaru Forester with LPG conversion......
Our route will be close to Seb and Jims except on taking their advice we will be going via Iran at the cost a having to get a carnet instead of the way they went via Georgia, Azerbaijan and the dodgy ferry accross the Caspian. So the route planned so far as England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia staying with friends near Bovec, then hugging the Adriatic coast through, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania then cutting across Macedonia and into Greece stopping in Thessaloniki. Then on into Turkey crossing into Asia and along the Black Sea coast to mountainous north of Iran through Tabriz, Tehran then up past the 18,000ft Mount Damavand to the Caspian Sea coast and on to Turkmenistan through Ashgabat, Mary then Turkmenebat via the old silk routes, Uzbekistan seeing Bukhara and Samarqand to Osh in Kyrgyzstan then on up through the mountains to Bishkek, into Kazakhstan from Almaty up the east side going via Charyn Canyon and into Siberian Russia via the Altay region, on Sebs advice finding a nice camping spot by the river sometime after Barnaul and then last 1200 miles through Mongolia via the western border and the southern route skirting the Gobi Desert to our final destination Ulaan Baatar. If our sums are right we will have traveled almost 9,000 miles.
Once there we are donating our trusty Subaru to be auctioned and the money from the sale be donated to charity. We hope to visit one of the schemes that your sponsorship will go to help.
To return we plan to get the plane to Moscow and possibly a bit of sightseeing before the connecting flight home to London tired and ready for bed :~)
“If we’d known then what we know now we might never have set off......” Austin Vince, Mondo Enduro
After driving an epic 10,000 miles to Mongolia, Andy and George of Gobi Gatecrashers raised a tubthumping £2,200 for Save the Children and SOS Children's Villages while on the Mongolia Charity Rally 2009, organized by UK registered charity Go Help. Their Subaru Forester, worth approximately £825, was donated to Go Help, which transferred this great donation to the Education Department of Bayanzurkh district in Ulaanbaatar. Andy, George, and all the supporters of the Gobi Gatecrashers - thanks for supporting Charity Rallies! We really appreciate all your hard work.
The Charity Rallies Team