Where are they now?

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Thanks and kudos to AQL for the SMS to email service that made this possible!

Here are the latest blogs from all the teams on the rally. Only teams that have included location data in their blogs appear on the map, and their location is the last one we know about; having said that, we do try to add their location if they mention where they are!

Friday 06 Sep 2013 06:23

We rushed towards the Sarakhs border from Mashad and after spending our last Rials on a tank of diesel and a melon we headed for the border gates. The border crossing took a long time and we made it across in just over three and a half hours, it was getting late and the roads were terrible so pulled over and found a place to stop for the night.  We had hoped to visit Merv before crossing the country but with only three days left on our visa, we had to shorten our route. The next day we drove to Ashgabat, a strange place with sparkling clean cars, huge marble buildings and manicured parks. There wasn't much to see so we stocked up on fuel, water and food ready to cross the Karakum desert over the next couple of days.  read more »

Tuesday 27 Aug 2013 05:59

The landscape changed as we drove east from Tehran towards the coast. As we crossed the mountains the barren terrain changed to thick forest with rows of orange groves on the lower slopes. The lowlands change from grazing scrub to green fields of beans and corn. The air is hot and humid and we felt the first drops of rain since we were in Greece nearly six weeks ago. It makes quite a contrast to the desert climate of the past few days.

The people are changing too with brighter clothes, more oriental features and noticeably less women wear chador. With a higher Turkmen population in this part of Iran, this may be a taste of what is to come.  read more »

Sunday 25 Aug 2013 06:00

The handfull of fellow travellers that we have met in Iran say the same thing about Tehran. That it is crowded, polluted and the traffic is insane! So to be honest, we weren't really looking forward to it. We had no choice, we had to get to the Turkmen embassy to place our transit visa application to then be collected in Mashad 7 days later.  read more »

Saturday 24 Aug 2013 10:06

As we travel east, the driving gets more and more crazy. Iran is definitely the craziest yet! Lanes are rarely marked on the road and when they are they do not seem to mean a thing. The traffic can go from two lanes to five in an instant depending on how many cars or trucks want to overtake at a time. Any space you leave infront or on either side is immediately filled by another vehice with a honk and a quick swerve. On top of this unmarked speedhumps, potholes and carefree pedestrians make driving totally exhausting.  read more »

Thursday 22 Aug 2013 10:01

From Tabriz we drove south towards Kermanshah, stopping at the beautiful Kurdish village of Palangan on the way.

The people we have met are kind and helpful, we've had countless offers of tea and lunch. We roamed the huge, elaborate Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Esfahan and the vast, domed Jameh Mosque. If only we had longer to relax and take in this extrordinary place. We are now in the ancient city of Shiraz and were treated to the Iranian fiddle playing of Ali last night, who spotted us camping and insisted we parked close to his home and make use of the gushing natural spring in his garden.

Sunday 18 Aug 2013 13:37

Mongolia Charity Rally.  All over. Mission accomplished.  Huge respect to all the amazing team members.

Mission AccomplishedMission Accomplished

Saturday 17 Aug 2013 18:59

Sorry for the delay in getting this online, but here we go with the last few days of blog from our Mongolian adventures...

After visiting the finish line the previous day we didn't actually officially hand Bertie over as we still had all our equipment and donatio  read more »

Saturday 17 Aug 2013 09:13

Done it!  We made it to Ulaan Baatar.  6 weeks and 7,000 miles.   Today was apparently Mongolia No Diesel Day, so we began to think it was all going to go bad on the very last few kilometres into UB.  We set off bright and early after breakfast, which was the biggest, heaviest pancake I've ever seen.  We were told it was tarmac all the way to UB apart from 20-30km of road works.  Wrong.  The first 100km were road works and very bad roads, after which things picked up.  We needed diesel before we got to UB so pulled up at every filling station to be met by the ubiquitous crossed arms on the chest, meaning no to our request for diesel.  We got to Lun, 130km from UB, before we found any diesel, by which time we were running on fumes.   read more »

Saturday 17 Aug 2013 09:05

Another wet day, just like an English summer!  We did the touristy thing of going to the temple and market in the morning, before refreshments for the road at the Fairfield Cafe.  After lunch we covered around 120km on lovely tarmac to Ghengis Khan's ancient capital city Kharkhorin.  Nothing left of the old city, but lots of temples on the site.  Then found ourselves a Ger Camp by the river.  All a bit tired so dinner and an early night.

Friday 16 Aug 2013 15:32

Kazakhstan is big! We left Almaty at 3am, and arrived in Astana at 11pm. I’m writing this from my hotel room, about to head to bed. I think I will come back and explore Almaty and Astana with the wifey at some future date. From the little I’ve seen, they seem like cool places.

 

Tomorrow we leave for Semey, and I suspect I will not be able to post a blog again until we reach Mongolia.

Friday 16 Aug 2013 15:30

The idea was to drive to Almaty, spend the night, drive to Astana, spend the night, then head to Semey to cross into Russia. Or Russian visas expire soon, hence the rush through Kazakhstan. We arrived in Almaty at 3am, too late to get a hotel, so we drove around a bit then headed for Astana

Friday 16 Aug 2013 15:30

They had us park outside in no man’s land for about an hour, in the heat. Eventually they called us in, and we started the paperwork. Process too an hour or so and we were in Kazakhstan!

Friday 16 Aug 2013 15:28

We woke up reasonably early, had breakfast and headed to the border. Ended up at the wrong one (a pedestrian one), drove to the right one, and started the border crossing process.

 

Getting out of Uzbekistan was very similar to leaving Turkmenistan. Some paperwork, and then a thorough search of the car and our luggage. Still not sure why it is necessary to check when leaving the country. After an hour and a half we were done, and headed to the Kazakhstan immigration point.

Friday 16 Aug 2013 15:28

Received a call from the mechanics. Car is fixed!

 

We picked it up – it is running beautifully. Tomorrow we are off to Kazakhstan to continue our journey!

Friday 16 Aug 2013 15:27

Part is in Tashkent, at customs. Should be with the Mechanics tomorrow morning

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