Two East Hoathly men are taking on an adventure of a lifetime when they drive through 28 countries and more than 14,000 miles in the Mongol Rally 2017.
Their Sussex to Siberia journey includes crossing five mountain ranges and three deserts in a car they describe as “woefully inadequate for the task” – so complying with one of the rules of the challenge. The vehicle they have chosen is a 2005, three cylinder Daihatsu Charade.
The adventurers are carpenter Sam Reilly, 27, and mechanic Tom Warren, 24. They have done nothing like this before but enjoy visiting places off the beaten track. Last year, for example, they went to Chernobyl, Ukraine, a place largely abandoned following a disaster in 1986 at a nearby nuclear power plant.
Sam said they are trying to go into the rally as organised as possible. “The amount of things that can go wrong is endless. This is an extremely difficult thing to do and if we break down we are on our own. That is quite daunting.
“We are taking spare bits and pieces, as much as we can carry, but we have already added a lot of weight to the car itself, mainly things to strengthen and protect it while off-road – a lot of metal, box frames, guards, and roof box.”
They are told by the rally organisers: “We could tell you everything you need to know about all the countries, roads and borders between here and Mongolia to ensure you have a safe, uncomplicated journey. But if it’s not dangerous and you aren’t lost, you’re not on an adventure.
“That means no on-the-road backup or support. If you get stuck or in trouble, you need to solve the problem yourself. Any ‘Help! We’re broken down in Tajikistan,’ type phone calls to Rally HQ will be met with a snort of derision and a click of the receiver.”
Part of the challenge, which begins on July 16, is to raise funds for charity. Teams have to raise a minimum of £1,000 and Sam and Tom have set themselves a £3,000 target.
They want to help: St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Eastbourne; The Samaritans of Eastbourne and District, and Cool East, which works alongside indigenous villages and helping people with the resources they need to keep their rainforest intact.
If you would like to contribute to the fund-raising please visit the Team Sussex to Siberia JustGiving page.
If you would like to help fund the pair on their adventure please visit their GoFundMe page. Any money left over will go direct to the charities.
Challenge sponsors include Uckfield-based Superior Glass. Read more about the glass and window business in their premium listing in the Uckfield Directory on Uckfield News.com.