Mongol Rally: The Early Planning Stages And Our Route!

Desert Road

You would think that doing the Mongol Rally would be just as easy as hopping into a car and start driving endlessly until you hit Mongolia.  Well, that’s part of the general idea of what we’re doing, but it is a far cry from the reality of planning this adventure.

Our Early Planning Stages

During this past month, I’ve spent countless hours researching and planning this adventure.  I know me and my team, The Drama of Llama, are far from having a fully planned trip (and in a way that’s part of the fun of the Mongol Rally), but at least we are making sure that we can get from point A, London; to point B, Ulaanbaatar… even if it is with our car held up together with duck tape and pushed by Bactrian camels.

The Un-Route

Now that we are a full team, we had to sit down to discuss the preliminary route, or at least, the list of countries we plan to cross.  Why?  Visas!  Our team will be traveling with American, Brazilian, and British passports, so we have to make sure we are allowed to enter the countries we wish to cross and which ones require visas and how much.

After some debating, discussion, and your votes through facebook, we have chosen this route.

Mongol Rally route

We will expect to do:

  • England
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Turkey
  • Georgia
  • Russia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Russia
  • Mongolia

Quite a route, eh?  What you think of it?

For Stephen (A Backpacker’s Tale) and I, that means we need to get visas from Russia and Kazakhstan.  We will be using The Visa Machine that the Mongol Rally recommends since they know what they are doing and they’ll take care of the invitation letters and all the details.  For Turkey and Georgia, we will get a visa on arrival at the border.

Livia (Eusouatoa) will need a visa for Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan; and Vitalli will need visas for Russia and Mongolia.

My US Passport

My passport… it is barely recognizable as a US passport anymore.

For me, there’s a boo boo on getting these visas.  I’m currently traveling and in order to get these visas I need to send my passport to London for at least 4 weeks.  That means, I have to plan carefully and find a place to stay for a month (no travel) so I can let the Visa Machine do its magic.  For now, I’m thinking going back to Milan and stay there during the month of May.  I hope the Visa Machine can get my visas in time; otherwise I’ll be pretty screwed since I have to fly to Puerto Rico and Brazil the first week of June and will have no other window of travel-less time before the rally.

The Car 

Thanks to Vitalli, we have an awesome 2005 Hyundai Getz that we hope will live to the adventure.  At the moment the car is insured in the EU, so we need to get insurance for every country we cross outside of the EU.  As far as I know, we can get the insurance at the border.  Someone can confirm this?

On a side note, my driver’s license expires in September.  In theory, I should be good, as we should be done with the rally by then.  But, I’m considering renewing it.  This means, more document planning since I have to renew by mail, but can’t do it at the same time my passport is away because I can’t go around without any form of identification.   Ahhh, planning and timing!!!

Sponsorship

We are three bloggers doing the Mongol Rally and we are more than happy to bring exposure to any company that can help us in this endeavor.  We might have a good online presence, but this doesn’t mean sponsors will jump that easy to help us.  It is hard work to find sponsors and we are more than willing to work hard to deliver and bring results.

While we are on this subject, I want to give a huge thanks to Go With Oh, XCOM Global, and OneSimCard for extending their helping hand and sponsoring us with their products and services.   You will hear more about them as we do the rally.

Fundraising

One of the main goals of the Mongol Rally is to help our charities, Set Her Free and Cool Earth, in addition of donating the car we use once we reach Mongolia.  We have managed to raise a bit of money through fundraising activities (thanks, Vitalli!) and online, but we are faaaaar from our goal.  We would love your help in this!

Just $10 can help support a girl for a week.  (You can read more about our charity here)

If you’d like to help, you can donate through our PayPal fundraising account or by clicking the cute llama below.

Donation Llama

Can you help our little llama get full of orange drama?

Well, that’s as far as we’ve gone so far.  I have to say, that while planning the Mongol Rally takes a lot of energy, it has been super fun thanks to Vitalli, Livia, and Stephen.  We plan everything through facebook chat, but the reality is that our chats are 90% random, useless, and hilarious blabbing; and 10% serious planning.  These guys are the best!  This will be an awesome rally!

And last but not least, I want to thank Sherry Ott of Ottsworld for giving me a great helping hand with tips and rally info.

Anyone has any tips for us rally rookies?

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Comments

  1. says

    I ran into the same issue with traveling while I apply for visas. I’ve spent many, many hours in Colombia, obtaining a secondary visa to get all that done. So much work but it will be SO worth it! Looking forward to meeting you guys in London!

    • says

      Hey Britany! I was actually considering getting a second passport, but in the end, the time processing of the second passport will take almost the same time as the visas, so I’ll have to stay put for a while. Which team are you on? Looking forward to meet you in London too!

  2. says

    Geez, what an adventure! Hope to meet you in London then – that’s actually when I first met Sherry and Dave&Deb, just before they set off on their Mongol Rally adventure! Happy planning!

  3. says

    Is there a reason why you are stopping in Mongolia? why not make it to North Korea or China. It looks like a fantastic route. I would be too weary about waiting for my passport in Milan.

    • says

      Julio, we are stopping in Mongolia because that is how the rally is organized. Once we arrive in Mongolia, our car will be donated to charity. But, I have plans to possibly cross to China on my own after the rally. :D

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