In mid 2017 we decided to do something out of the ordinary and some say, completely ridiculous.
We signed up for the Mongol Rally 2018.
All four of us went to the same university, Politehnica University Bucharest; that’s where we met and that’s where we all graduated from, in the same year.
George got the idea of the Mongol Rally during the summer of 2013, during an internship. He did not know the when, the how or with who, but after four years of thinking, he managed to take care of all these things. One day during the summer of 2017, at a beer gathering the team was assembled and team Mosquito Stallion was born.
Our friendship is long, but will it last the burden of being in the same tiny space for a few months? We shall see..
As the title implies, the Mongol Rally is a run towards Mongolia. However, it is not a race per se, the main purpose being raising money for charity. Also, a few things have changed since the first Mongol Rally. An engine size limit (1200 cubic centimeters) was put in place, the start has been moved from London to Prague and the finish has been moved from Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) to Ulan-Ude (Russia). The minimum amount of money to be raised is 1000 GBP, which is also our aim.
The participating teams have the liberty of choosing any route towards Ulan-Ude. The start is on July 16, from the Democratic People’s Glorious Republic of Adventuristan established near Prague. The finish will be open between August 9 and September 10.
The name of our team comes from a Romanian expression, „a face din țânțar, armăsar”, which can be loosely translated to „make a stallion out of a mosquito”, with the meaning of exaggerating something. In our case, the exaggeration is our tiny car, which will have to deal with the heights and roughness of the Asian back-country: unpaved roads, potholes and dirt, some of these at 4000+ meters altitude along the Pamir highway.
16 countries. 15000 kilometers
Even though it would’ve been more of an adventure to just go with the flow, most countries in Asia require visas for passage. The plan after leaving the EU (Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria) is to go through Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia and then back to Russia to finish in Ulan-Ude.
All in all, we will be driving around 15000 kilometers from the start to the finish, through 16 countries.
What happens after the finish, you might wonder. Some of us will be flying home, while others will be driving the car back to Romania, through Russia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Romania. If we add the countries and mileage we will do before and after the actual trip, the count goes up to 25000 kilometers and 28 countries. You can access the exact route here.
As stated above, the goal of the Mongol Rally is to raise money for charity. Our aim is 1000 GBP, split equally between the two charities we support, Cool Earth and Asociația Micul Luptător. All donations go to charity; we cover the costs of the trip ourselves.
We have a GoGetFunding fund raising page, where you get some interesting rewards if you decide to donate. Check it out here!
Cool Earth fights deforestation by working directly with the communities, instead of focusing on the trees. Whether it’s clean water or a new classroom, funds are given directly to the community, which in turn makes the decisions. For example, mud stoves have been funded for the community in Lubutu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mud stoves allow wood to burn slower and at a better efficiency, thus reducing the number of trees that are cut down. You can read more about it here .
Asociația Micul Luptător is a charity in Romania that contributes to the treatment and therapy of children that suffer from severe neurological disorders (cerebral palsy, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, paralysis, epilepsy etc.). The charity was created by Adina and George, after their son Alexandru suffered an accident when he was 11 months old. All their projects can be found here.
To donate directly to the charities, you can follow the instructions here ( Cool Earth and Asociația Micul Luptător). For the latter, we will need some sort of proof.
The event has plenty of media coverage, due to the fact that it has been organized ever since 2004. Nowadays, around 400 teams try to make it to the finish line. We will cover the whole event with professional gear (DSLR, drone and action camera) and we will be posting regular updates on social media.
We are actively looking for sponsors that are willing to contribute to our fund raising efforts. In exchange, we can offer stickers on the car, mentions on social media posts, product placement or anything else you can think about.
We also want to thank all our current sponsors, which made life easier for us!