The original website, from The Adventurists.
As you might have read here….
(or was it here?
–Strokes beard thoughtfully–)
the Mongol Rally is a totally fabulous ride across Eurasia in a barely-there jalopy.
From the original site (guess which one):
According to the Adventurists, the group that organizes the rally, there are only three basic rules:
First, only small vehicles with engines of less than 1,200 cubic centimeters are allowed. “The worse the car the greater the adventure,” the organizers write.
Second, participants are on their own, so there’s no support team to help if a car breaks down.
And third, teams must raise at least about $690 for charity.
Although it’s called a rally, the Mongol Rally is not really a race, and there’s no prize. This year’s participants just have to arrive at the finish line sometime between August 12 and September 12.
There is also no official route, so teams can go anywhere they want so long as they get to Ulan-Ude in time.
Sounds like the kind of happy nonsense only a true Traveller would go for.
The Mongol Rally is an intercontinental car rally that begins in Europe and ends in Ulan Ude, Russia. The rally originally ended in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. However, to avoid punitive costs and taxes associated with vehicle imports and disposal, the rally now passes through Mongolia and ends in Ulan Ude.Wikipedia, Mongol Rally
There’s always a State Security guy, looking for a new tax stream.
(Also, according to Wikipedia, the charity donation has been bumped up to £1000… but that’s a financial price I don’t mind paying.)
The Mongol Rally was a great challenge entering countries like Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. The border crossings were quite the adventure unto themselves. But it was the landscape and people we met that will make the Mongol Rally one of our greatest adventures.The Planet D, Essential Tips for Driving The Mongol Rally
Not many Traveller groups want to make just leaving the Imperial Starport such a hassle. But if it is a hassle, and the PCs have ways and means that the tourists don’t know about or have access to, a good living can be had as an Accelerated Border Crossing Guide.
Be prepared to be asked for bribes. We faced a lot of situations, but only ended up paying a total of €50.
Have your paperwork in order, follow the speed limit and be nice. We found that playing dumb was the best thing. When someone asked for a bribe, we simply said “why” with a smile.
Once your paperwork is all in order you can easily talk your way out of bribes.
If you haven’t done anything wrong, police really don’t have a leg to stand on to make you pay them.The Planet D, Essential Tips for Driving The Mongol Rally
Ah yes, our friends from State Security.1
We were stopped on a two-lane road, crowded by cornfields on either side; beyond the cone of our headlamps there was only the deepest blue of a night barely speckled by stars. I’d just awoken from a nap, not long after crossing the border into Ukraine.
‘Why are we stopped?’ I asked Hilton. He and Brent were sitting up front, both of them leaning forward, squinting at the dark.
‘The guy was waving at us. There was a guy. I don’t know where he went.’
This sounded familiar. Someone had told us to never pull over for anyone trying to wave us down around here.
‘We should go!’ Before I’d finished that sentence, I glanced behind our car and caught the shape of someone running towards us—his hand reaching for the handle of my door. ‘Go go GO!’
Hilton hit the gas and we sped off with a lurch. The car buzzed with the whining of an engine that would rather not accelerate and the collective racing of our hearts. Expletives filled the air.
That was one of many times over 31 days when I had no idea what we were doing or why, or what someone was trying to tell us or do to us, or where we were, or why—or why in the hell we were trying to drive 10,000 miles over complicated terrain in a car meant for, at best, puttering around the suburbs. The only answer to any of it? The Mongol Rally and all of its delightful, occasionally dangerous, absurdity.Lonely Planet, Drive a jalopy to Mongolia and help save the world
There are Travellers out on a mission.
There are Travellers out to make a buck.
And then, there are these loons.
But then again, sanity has always been seen as somewhat overrated within the Traveller community.
“If we wanted to be safe and secure, we would have never left the homeworld.”
Bad roads and a taxing climate makes car rental in Mongolia quite expensive to global standards. Funnily enough, the cost for a car with a driver can turn out cheaper than the cost for a self-drive car. Estimate a budget between 60$ and 140$ per day.Caravanistan, Driving in Mongolia
Knowing where you are, what to say, who to speak to, and the real price of things makes all the difference. As any experienced trader could tell a wet-behind-the-ears newbie, fresh from the Corporate Colleges from the Imperial Core.
To buttress the local car market against an excessive load of junkers from the Mongol Rally, Mongolian customs at one point introduced a deposit fee for cars older than 10 years entering Mongolia. Since 2017, the deposit system has been cancelled. Caravanistan, Driving in Mongolia
An excessive load of junkers, dumped on some impoverished backwater… and swamping the starship industry the local planetary government (and Ruling Houses!) is trying to nurture.
It might be a good time to make an offer to take that pile of rusting headaches in the back-lots of the Class E starports off their hands. For a reasonable fee, as always.
Now, if the PCs can just figure a way to cheaply make a buck from all that rotting technology. Surely that has to be some way to strip some value from those hulks!
1And if you really think that the guys back in the USA are all that different… well…
Let’s just say that Submit and Comply is no guarantee of survival in the USA, while Having Your Papers in Order really does help in the Wild, Wild East.
Believe it or not, there was a time when nobody cared about your Papers, back before the Great Disaster of 1914. We’ll see those days again, but only after a few decades of ever-accelerating depopulation and the resulting economic smash-ups.
“No State Revenue? No State Security.”