Nina’s Mongol Rally Rule #1: Always Remember Your Prudence

Prudence le Citroen
Prudence le Citroen
Ok people, big news!  As some of my faithful followers may have heard, next year’s gonna up the Disaster Quotient on this page like, exponentially.  We’re talking a 12,000+ mile road trip, in a ridonculous fuckin’ Citroën, with ridonculously little pre-prep, and literally zero knowledge of the inner workings of an engine.  Oh, we’re talking Mongolia.  Six (six!) ‘stans in one go (fun game, guess which one we’re skipping…).  Buzkashi (yeah, that’s right, polo played with a headless goat!).  The Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan, where I’ve been promised some psychotic Brits are planning a sausage sizzle…

That’s right, I’m officially signed up to the 2016 Mongol Rally!!!!

So, some of y’all who aren’t as disastrous as me may not have yet heard of the Mongol Rally.  You really really should.  ‘Cause it’s balls-ridic AWESOME.  Basically it’s a road(race) from London to Mongolia, with no rules whatsoever.  Yeah, that’s right, no backup, no route, no help, no visa service, no ambulances, no dude following along with extra parts / food / water / booze / sanity.  The Mongol Rally makes Burning Man’s “radical self-sufficiency” look like a 10-yr old girl scout sleepover.  Man, they don’t even care how you get there!  Apparently they do throw you a party at the Starting Line and a party at the Finish Line, and I hear tell they may also throw in a beer, but that’s all she wrote.

In fact, there are only 2 rules of Mongol Rally:

  • You must take a “farcically small vehicle”, i.e. < a 1L engine and >10 years old;
  • You must raise £1000 for charity.

Insert Super Awkward Request for Your Hard-earned Dough: we’re raising money for Cool Earth and the UN High Commission on Refugees and our fundraising page is here, so enjoy 🙂

Awesomest logo ever. Thanks Paulie!!
Awesomest logo ever. Thanks Paulie!!
And yeah, that’s right again, our team is Team Yak? Yak? Goose!!!  ‘Cause like, puns.  Cheers Paulie for designing our amazeballs logo!

So, enough of money, let’s talk DISASTER.  Interesting stats from the 2015 Rally:

  • 3 cars caught on fire (one was a Porsche?  Who the fuck let a Porsche in??);
  • 4 cars flipped;
  • Biggest fine paid: $5000;
  • Longest tow: 1500km;
  • 8 hospitalizations; and
  • 5 tattoos.


And now let’s talk Prudence.  Nah, not that quality my mother perpetually and mainly hopelessly wishes I had, I mean Prudence le Citroën, who we recently purchased from some farmer in the UK and who is currently being stored in some town in the middle of bum-fuck England (thanks Stewie! We love you and owe you beer!) until we arrive to destroy the shit out of her.  She’s a valiant steed, empowered with four whole gears (plus reverse!  woo!) and such high-tech amenities as:

  • An oddments compartment (your guess is as good as mine);
  • A crankshaft (which I hereby decree to be a plus, as now we can start Prudence even if her battery dies…);
  • A manual choke (I don’t actually know what that is.  Something to do with the “engine”, I am informed);
  • Windows that don’t roll down, but instead swing out and latch in place (???????);
  • Two air vents (by which they mean two holes that you can open to let wind in under your windscreen.  Like, seriously); and, finally, this:

A Guide to Prudence's Gear Shift. Damn.
A Guide to Prudence’s Gear Shift. Damn.
Having not yet met our trusty steed, what with her living in England and us inhabiting the Land Down Under (and really, really don’t ask how easy purchasing a car from halfway around the world is, let’s just say God bless the Adorable Husband for sorting all that ridonculous shit out), we of course Googled her stats.  Now, I’ve driven stick my entire life and tend to think I can pretty much shift any car existing, but seriously what in the bleeping fuck is this??  I’m reasonably sure “PM” is neutral and “AR” is reverse, but still.  Push in and turn 90° left???  God I heart the French.

Although really, I’m not that concerned with Prudence.  She’ll be fine ’cause she’s totally adorable, and The Nina has always firmly believed that form trumps function.  Nope, I’m more concerned with our route and its highlights:

The proposal. Fuck me.
The proposal. Fuck me.
Which highlights include:

  • The Gates to Hell, a random fiery death-gas pit some oil company lit on fire in Turkmenistan like, 50 years ago, that hasn’t burnt out yet and you can camp by??
  • 8 days in Iran.  It’s cool, I’m Australian??
  • Driving the Pamir Highway, Tajikistan.  Totally awesome, I just reaaaaaally ain’t feelin’ pushin’ Prudence le Citroën over the 4,655 m (Jesus fuck me, that’s 15,270 ft) Ak-Baital Pass when she takes one look and suicides…
  • Abandoned Ghost Ships of the Aral Sea.  Yay!  But again, Ninas reallllly don’t wanna push Prudence le Citroën out of the largest dry salt lake in the fuckin’ world…
  • A hypothetical border-crossing into a hypothetical ‘stan that I’m just really not hypothetically ready to tell my mother about… Yes, it starts with “A”.  But the market sounds awesome!
  • And goddam it, Prudence le Citroën had better pony up, ’cause I WILL be attending the At Chabysh Horse Festival in Kyrgyzstan.  Yes, partly ’cause, thanks to the Mongol Rally, I can now competently name all seven ‘stans AND spell Kyrgyzstan, but mainly ’cause I will probably die if I don’t get to watch the utterly amazing-sounding Polo Played With A Head-less Goat that is Buzkashi and like, when am I ever gonna be back in the ‘stans??  Also I clearly really like saying ‘the ‘stans’…
  • and blah blah blah that’s just the start?

So anywho, that’s my announcement du jour, I’ll be sure to update y’all when anything else disastrous gets added to the plan!


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