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The world has become too “gentle”. Satellite maps and GPS have “ruined” the magic of adventure and exploration. What if you do not want to go with the flow? If you want to do things the “wrong” way? Escape from the sealed world we live in? There is a solution. And a team from our country is ready for a challenge. 10,000 miles across deserts, mountains and steppes in a car that your grandma would use to go shopping.
In Mongol Rally one must travel one third of the Earth’s surface in very uncomfortable vehicles in order to see what might happen. Participants are totally lost in a huge desert, thousands of miles away from civilization in cars that laws of physics barely allow to move. It is supposed to be hard. Mongol Rally also has a humanitarian mission, so participants can even travel in ambulance cars and later donate them to the people of Mongolia. Our team wants to do this and they hope that they will be successful. B92 will give them media support.
Team member Srđan Dakić says that they pulled all possible strings and that they hope they will be successful.
The point of the rally is primarily to get to know yourself and the route and this is why it is never the same for everybody. Otherwise it would be a traffic jam all the way to Mongolia. Very boring. Whatever problem you face during the journey you have to fix it yourself. That is exactly the point of the rally, a risky, extreme adventure.
A young Serbo-Croatian team – Srđan Kovačević from Zagreb, Tamara Kovačević and Srđan Dakić from Belgrade and Ivan Bereš and Ivan Dervišević from Novi Sad will have an opportunity to experience it this year. They are leaving from Prague on July 25 and it is the first team from the Balkans that will take part in the adventure.
Our team is expected to return on September 3 by plane, bearing in mind that they are going donate their vehicle to the people of Mongolia. Three deserts, five mountain ranges, 10,000 miles and total lack of roads. The team made a unanimous decision to take the southern route through Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. Maybe they will add a few more countries in order to add to the number, for example Austria, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina or to “complicate” things a little bit (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan).
They say the most corrupt cops are in Azerbaijan, but Georgia is not far behind either. Our team should soon start planning a concrete route and count the mileage.
Srđan Dakić is a programmer and mobile application developer and likes to spend his free time on road trips and music gigs. Special achievements and skills: He passed Death Valley Titus Canyon Road several times, grazed a deer in Colorado and made it back alive from Sonisphere in Prague. He fixed a steel wheel with a hammer while he was snowed in in the middle of the night near the town of Ćićevac. He is convinced that high-quality scotch tape can fix any problem. He follows Bear Grylls Facebook page just in case.
Srđan Kovačević is an amateur adventurer with good genetic predisposition for improvisation. He has thousands of miles of Gran Turismo under his belt. He can ride a bike and a motorcycle, drive a car and steer a 15-ton vessel. He grew up in Osijek but he lives in Zagreb. Skills and talents: He is good behind the wheel and has a gift for languages. He has perfected avoiding responsibilities and has a gift for finding shade. He has good complaining skills and he is a constructive critic with good diplomatic skills. He has a natural gift for dancing and knows how to swim. He recently started eating fish and he is an amateur-photographer (he owns a camera).
Ivan Bereš graduated from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. He is a graduate student at the digital arts program. He deals with videos, sound and installation art.
Ivan Dervišević graduated computer science at the Faculty of Science in Novi Sad. After long time in computer business he returned to Novi Sad and devoted himself to photography and photojournalism. He was awarded 2010 Beta Photograph of the Year.
Tamara Kovačević got her bachelor and master’s degree in banking and finance at the University of Sheffield. She is an ACCA student and works at one of Big Four companies’ office in Belgrade. She likes to travel without specific plan and program.
“If we don’t get the ambulance car through sponsors then we will go to Bubanj Potok car mart and see what we can buy. Since there are four or five of us going we, fortunately or unfortunately, won’t be going in a Yugo… We’ll leave that to some adventurers next year. Right now we are very close to getting an ambulance, I hope that everything will be sorted out in the next week or two,” Dakić told B92.
“I practically finished Team Rockrs application for Android phones, for communication, since site and FB visitors wanted that. Passports are in the UK for visas, first visas have already been done through Visa Machine agency from London (http://visamachine.theadventurists.com) and I think that the experience of getting visas would be interesting enough to be put in a special text,” he added.
We expect details about the “trip” in the upcoming weeks and wish them luck with sponsors and preparations. For all information visit http://teamrockrs.com/ and follow B92 Travel.
The race has so far raised about GBP 1.5mn for charity. Each team makes a contribution and it is a big thing for Mongolia’s poorest people.
Where does 2011 Mongol Rally take place?
The rally starts in Goodwood, Great Britain or in Czech Republic and it ends in Mongolia.
When does it start?
On July 23 in Great Britain and on July 25 in Czech Republic.
How much does it cost?
GBP 714 per team (one car or two motorcycles and as many people as possible).
The first race was held in 2001.
The oldest participant so far was 74 years, one month and 20 days old and the youngest 18 years, one month and two days.
The most often used car is Nissan Micra.
The largest number of countries that a team has driven through is 20.
Two couples married and seven people lost their jobs.
The participants crossed 41,539 borders.
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