Monkstown to Mongolia

by Emma Nolan

Three local friends are embarking on the adventure of a life time, driving from Monkstown to Mongolia in a 26-year-old car.
The DDR Devils, Kevin, Finn and John all aged 26 from Bray, Dun Laoghaire and Sandycove are a self-confessed “foolhardy troupe” of Irish school friends about to take on a journey of epic proportions by driving 10,000 miles from London to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar for the 2017 Mongol Rally.
The only catch is, the car used must be “small and needlessly inadequate”.
“We’re taking Uwe, our 600cc Trabant 601,” Kevin tells The Gazette.
“It has no modern technology in it whatsoever.”
A doctor, an engineer and a quantity surveying student, they each bring their own set of skills to the trip which will see them drive the insane six-week route all the name of “adventure and charity”.
“All of this is in aid of some very worthy charities,” Kevin says. “We’re raising money for Mind UK, Epilepsy Ireland and Cool Earth.”

600cc Trabant 601

Starting in London, the lads will then drive to the Nurburgring in Germany, visiting the factory where their car was made, down to Croatia, before heading through Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and into Turkmenistan to see the Darvaza gas crater.
They will then travel to Uzbekistan and along part of the old Silk Road before heading on to the Pamir Highway, taking in Kazakhstan and a small part of Russia before finally entering Mongolia where they will encounter some of the worst ‘roads’ they’ll face on the journey.
They are aiming for it to take them six weeks to reach the Mongolian capital.
“We’re very excited, I think” Kevin said.
“I wouldn’t say I’m nervous at all. We’re going to have to roll with the punches. It’s not going to go smoothly so there’s no point in expecting it to. Our car is going to break down at some point, or several points and we’re prepared for that.
“I hope it will be a fantastic adventure and great experience.”

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