Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Van Halens "Ice Cream Man" in Mongolia Rally

To drive from London to Mongolia takes some doing. To try it in this ice cream van, stopping to serve cones to passers-by and border guards along the way, is one step beyond.
Here Ryan Walker explains why he is leading a team of three intrepid travellers across Europe and Central Asia on a gruelling and bizarre race.
Backpacking just isn't for me. Everyone goes backpacking, or so it seems, I want a proper old-fashioned adventure and to do something nobody has ever done before. And so we are pushing back the boundaries of ice cream vending.
After a pub conversation where we wondered if people ate ice cream in Mongolia, we thought we might find out.
Teams have a month to get from London to Ulaanbaartar
Vehicles have one-litre engine
Started in 2001 as two friends tried and failed to get to Mongolia
Second in 2004 when six teams attempted journey - four made it
IN 2005 43 teams took part - 18 made it
In 2006 167 cars took part - 118 made it
This year there are 200 teams, all in vehicles with one litre engines
The Mongol Rally is a charity event limited to 200 teams and this year all the places were snapped up in under one minute. Participants travel a third of the way around the world from London to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, in about four weeks, in a vehicle with a one-litre engine or less (more from BBC)

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