Reflecting on the Mongol Rally

Team Khanada
Oct 30, 2015 · 3 min read
Our route in Red!
Team Khanada, The Castle Of Assassins, Iran

This trip was absolutely incredible, we met so many nice people, saw incredible landscapes, villages and cities, tasted so many new flavours and inhaled so many new smells (good and bad).

A few things that we will take away from this trip.

  1. People generally want to help and communicate.
Kyrgyzstan, we were given directions and a history of the USSR, I think?
Milad, our Iran guide, with our group in Esfahan. A man of knowledge, he fielded about 100 questions a day from us
Uzbekistan, these guys invited us for a glass of mulberry juice and pointed us towards the interesting parts of town
Uzbekistan, these guys told us all about daily life there and were very curious about life in Canada
Uzbekistan, these boys followed us around on bikes. We gave them hats, stickers and pens.
Mongolia, which way to the North route? Follow me!
Mongolia, the yurt positioning system. Are we on the “highway”?
Mongolia, Snacks?
Uzbekistan, the boxer warned us about the drinking water.
Iran, Welcome to Iran
Iran, call me if you get lost or need a translator

2. Idiocracy is ubiquitous (this is mainly a reference to driving) Obviously driving is a big part of the Mongol Rally. Covering such a huge distance across so many countries we got to see some pretty wild maneuvers and strategies on the road. A few of our favourites are:

  • The highway shoulder pass (Turkey and Iran)
  • The multiple car pass around a blind uphill corner. (Iran and Central Asia)
  • The no look, no stop 4 way intersection (Romania)-Basically a high stakes game of chicken.
  • The extreme tailgate (Turkey)- We’re talking inches
  • The central Asian pass: anything that involves turning a two lane freeway into a three (Or four)lane freeway.
  • Full speed ahead into a roundabout (England and Eastern Europe, Hungary comes to mind)
  • The free frall parking job. (Turkey and Iran)- If it fits why not?

The further east we travelled the more the rules of the road became loose suggestions.

The main challenge for the most part is realizing how far we actually were driving and that pacing yourselves, so you don’t burn out, is critical to being successful in completing the Mongol Rally. It is very important to remind yourself that it’s not a race, it’s a marathon.

The Tehrani road ways. 3 lanes becomes 5!

3. There is a ton of garbage all over the place. Even in the most remote regions of the least populated country on earth, Mongolia, there is plastic garbage in the middle of nowhere.

Plastic in central Turkey
Plastic in the Desert in Iran
A Tehran street at the end of the night
Garbage fires in the gutters in Mashad Iran
Unesco world heritage site in Turkmenistan
Burnt out cars and garbage in Turkmenistan
Team Khanada

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This is Matt & Derreck’s Adventure of a lifetime The Mongol Rally 2015 — a quest for culture, cuisine and connection.

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