Mongol Rally Odds

June 7, 2011 4 Comments »

Travel Gambling

The odds are stacked against us.

I asked one of the founders a series of questions about our odds of making it to Ulanbatar and Rob, one of the Mongol Rally Founders, provided the following historical information:

“We’re expecting about 350 teams will start the Mongol Rally this year, and, if the last two years are anything to go on, about three quarters will make it to Mongolia (about two thirds of those will make it to Ulaanbaatar). All the vehicles which are left in Mongolia will be collected and assessed by our team and have necessary repairs before going to auction. “

Let’s do the math:
350 cars begin.
¾ of 350 make it to Mongolia = 263 make it to Mongolia
2/3 of 263 make it to Ulaanbaatar = 175 vehciles/teams actually make it to the finish.
175/350 = .5
So 50% of the teams who start make it to the end.
Damn…that’s sobering.

You may be shocked by this data; however I wasn’t. Having been to Mongolia before, I fully understand the challenge ahead of us. Only 980 miles of tarmac in Mongolia. This country is large…very large – and only 980 miles of pavement – brutal. This is generally what the ‘roads’ look like:

Video – Gobi Driving By Camels:

In this video I was riding in a 4×4 Jeep.

However our team will be driving this:

Mongol Rally Car

Our little blue bomber...

I like a challenge.

Teams do make it though…like this one – India Jones Team
It’s good to know there is hope!

However it was this quote from one of the Adventurists founders that made me smile. This is the reason why I’m doing this crazy trip with the odds stacked against us.

“There is plenty of challenge and sack-loads of unknowns that will force you to alight your air-conditioned cocoon to interact with the environment and the locals in places where tourists would not normally tread.”

If you’ve been reading my blog at all for the last 5 years – then you know that I love interacting with locals; I like to dig into the culture of a country and meet people rather than see sites. I’m hoping our interaction isn’t primarily in the form of arguing with border crossing officials and having to pay bribes. Instead I hope the interactions are with people we meet along the way just going about their normal life, and allowing us to peek into a it a bit.

Even though the odds are 50/50 – I’m 100% positive it will be a trip my teammates and I will never forget!

Did you enter to win an Intrepid Tour yet?  Why the hell not?  Go register now and help us make it to Mongolia!


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