There are an array of suggested routes that participating teams may take. After setting off from Goodwood near London, participants proceed to a launch party in Prague. After that, typical routes then head for Moscow, Kiev or Istanbul, though teams have travelled as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as Iran, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Teams taking the Ukraine/Russia route or the more southerly Turkey and Iran route often converge at Samarkand, Uzbekistan before proceeding north-east for Mongolia.
The final leg of the rally takes surviving vehicles into Mongolia and on to finish in the capital, Ulan Bator. None of the available routes are comfortable or safe: damage to cars, robberies and minor injuries are common. Depending on the route taken, the total distance driven is around 8,000 to 10,000 miles and most teams complete the rally within three to four weeks.
We chose to tackle the challenge of the most demanding southern route. After crossing Turkey, we will drive through Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In Tajikistan we are planning on crossing multiple mountain ranges on the Pamir Highway before crossing Kazakstan and Russia on our way to Mongolia. On our way we will cross 24 countries, 5 mountain ranges, 3 deserts and 2 continents.