A team of intrepid Portadown adventurers taking part in the Mongol Rally have already travelled through 15 countries while clocking up 4,500 miles.
Alex Forbes, Michael Busby and Andrew Richardson, who are all aged 20 and part of the Not Fast or Furious team, contacted the Portadown Times at the weekend from Tbilisi in Georgia to update us on their progress over the course of 17 days.
The team left from the official launch in Battersea Park in London where they did a car parade round London finishing at Tower Bridge.
They then took the ferry from Dover to Calais where they experienced their first attempt of driving on the right hand side of the road.
Micheal Busby said, “Driving on the right was certainly a challenge at first but after over 4,000 miles it seems nothing but the norm and we have adapted well to it.”
The first major stop was in Belgium where they arrived in Brussels on National Day were they experienced some of the local festivities.
The next few days were spent driving across Germany, heading toward Klenova in the Czech Republic where all the teams meet for a party and official check out for the rally.
Andrew said, ”The next few days were spent city hopping from Prague and Budapest where we did some sight-seeing and experienced the local food and culture.
“We then travelled south to the beautiful winding coast line of Croatia where we relaxed before we headed east towards the black sea through Bosnia and Serbia. Crossing the border we were searched from top to bottom by an intimidating Bosnian police officer who was more concerned by the end with swapping his fake sunglasses for ours. We also had our first experience of off-road driving in Bosnia where we came across a large landslide and had no other option but to go over it.
“After getting covered from head to toe in mud the car eventually bedded itself, we hadn’t passed a car for about 50 miles and we had no option other than to start digging, thankfully after two hours of trying everything we could think of to no avail another car came along to save the day. A friendly Bosnian towed us free.”
The group covered over 1,000 miles before reaching the edge of Europe in Tbilisi, Alex added, “Today we travel to Azerbaijan to get the 72-hour ferry, leaving us Turkmenistan, Uzbeckistan, Kryagstan, Russia and Mongolia still to conquer to reach the finish line.
“Other than that our wee Clio is going strong and all is well. Over and Out - Team Not Fast or Furious.”