Mongol Rally: Let the Extreme Adventure Begin - Leon Logothetis

July 24, 2011

Mongol Rally: Let the Extreme Adventure Begin

“10,000 miles of adventuring bliss through deserts, mountains and steppe tackled in a car your Granny would use for shopping. The Mongol Rally is hurling yourself at one-third of the Earth’s surface in woefully unsuitable vehicles to see what happens.” –Mongol Rally HQ

I remember the precise moment I decided how I was going to spend the summer. It was 9:24 p.m., and I was lounging at home, feeling sorry for myself. Boredom had set in. Boredom and I are not friends. We do battle from time to time–epic battle. So when boredom comes knocking, I fight back.
I peeled myself off the couch and embarked on a mission: code named “Seek Out Extreme Adventure.” It didn’t take long to find. I soon stumbled across what is, for me, the holy grail: the Mongol Rally, a 10,000-mile road trip from London to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. It begins Sunday. I was hooked and cured of my boredom. I electronically signed my life away to the chaps at Mongol Rally HQ. I was elated. Boredom had vanished.

The next morning, I realized what I had done.

Why would anyone choose to navigate through the treacherous landscapes of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Mongolia, hobnob with the Revolutionary Guard in Iran, swap stories with Kalashnikov-wielding Russian border soldiers? These are all good questions–questions I should probably have asked myself the night before.

But when an adventure of such epicness (I think I just made up that word) presents itself, something in my blood won’t let me pass up the opportunity. To further confuse my rational self, which was screaming for me to back out, I called my trusted friend and cameraman Steven Priovolos to join me on this trek. His quick acceptance heartened me while also making me question his state of mind.

“Hopefully this adventure won’t be the end of us,” I told him. I was greeted with silence

I understand why. This little jaunt does seem like a fool’s folly, but every so often when you are faced with such daunting odds and the prospect of great exploits, you must throw caution to the wind and go for it. More than 400 teams–including one with Steve and me–will meander our way down to launch day in Goodward, Britain, and begin our journey into the unknown.

Leon Logothetis

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