A New Zealand team destined for the Mongol Rally are about to leave for the UK to begin the event
The last few weeks have been hectic for Dane Foster and Aimee Whitcroft - aka Lemur Attack Force - with last minute organising and packing, fundraising and finally obtaining Russian and Mongolian visas. The Russian visa was, as expected, the most complicated and stressful; the Mongolian paperwork suprisingly easy.
Lemur Attack Force had a successful fundraising/launch party at the Hop Garden in Wellington, where they raised around $500 through donations and auctions. They also managed to secure two sponsors: Face Ltd & Viva Mexico, whose logos will be proudly displayed on the team's Suzuki Jimny.
All that remains is to get on to the plane, passports clutched closely to their chests and huge grins on their faces. Once in the UK, it's out to Gloucestershire to meet the car, get over the jetlag, and then to the Goodwood circuit for the official launch of the Mongol Rally - The Festival of Slow - on July 14th.
From there, they'll hoof it across Europe and gather 36 hours later in a castle in the Czech Republic for the 'Czechout' - a gigantic party held each year for the Ralliers.
Then the adventure truly begins. Nearly 300 teams scatter into as many different routes as they try to get to Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, some 16,000km away.
Their route sees them drive across nearly one third of the planet, through Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, and then on through Russia, before they enter Mongolia. As well as experiencing the red tape of Russia they'll get to drive the Mongolian steppes, experience the incredible hospitality of the nomadic tribespeople and see the Gobi desert.
Finally, they'll hand the car over to be auctioned for charity, before flying back to New Zealand.
As it says on theadventurist.com website: "Warning - this is not safe. You may have guessed, but this is a genuinely dangerous thing to do. This is not a glorified holiday. It's an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky. You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk."
With that in mind, Autotrader would like to wish the team good luck and safe travels!
We'll be keeping a close eye on their progress and bring you updates. You can follow the rally showing live updates from all of the teams by visiting www.theadventurist.com or by reading the Lemur Attack Force blog at http://lemurattackforce.co.nz