Car at home – Final thoughts

Having driven the Mongol Rally, we simply couldn’t stop there, so Simon & Oliver (his mate who didn’t get to go on the Rally, but fancied a bit of the return leg) picked up the car in Paldiski, Estonia and drove it in snow ice and God knows what else back to London…


Final Thoughts

We are very proud to have completed the Rally, when we started we knew it would be difficult, sometimes challenging and we stuck together through the thick and thin for something quite unique.

Now looking back some 3-4 months and having driven the car from Estonia again I really must say I totally enjoyed my time and must send my heart felt thanks to Shaun who as co-driver in this escapade made it all the more enjoyable. It truly was a pleasure being with him on the rally, and no doubt we might be doing something similar very soon…   As for Peter, sigh, the youngest official photographer on the Rally I’m sure, and being my nephew it was particularly special in being able to take him on such an adventure, and also see how much he grew into it, especially once we had left the European countries.

We all immersed ourselves into the challenge, and met some absolutely wonderful human beings along the way, and I mean truly wonderful people who would drop whatever they were doing and take you to the nearest mechanic, call up their friends to all chip in and help, it was a fantastic feeling to know that there were all these ‘Guardian Angels’ taking care of us along our route, in countries we knew little about and certainly have grown fonder of since.

We managed to achieve our main goal, that of delivering the kindly donated Arsenal shirts to Christina Noble’s Children’s Foundation Ger Village in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.   All 35 shirts were delivered and the kids seemed very happy and hardly believed they were official Arsenal shirts, for which we had to confirm they really are!

So overall it was a splendid 2017 for me at least, the Mongol Rally being the highlight and something I will remember for the rest of my days, as well as bringing home the little car that helped us achieve so much.   Thanks to everyone involved and it was a true pleasure to share it with so many people.


Mincing about in Switzerland… and oh no, don’t drink THAT water Peter!

Just a reminder, as some people seem to have got the impression this was some kind of ‘holiday’ or ‘jolly’, I advise you to read the below from the Adventurists, and remember during the rally there is NO SUPPORT from anyone officially involved in it’s organisation.


You may have guessed, but these are genuinely dangerous things to do.

The website is written in a light-hearted fashion but you cannot overestimate the risks involved in taking part in these adventures.

Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in the past have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled or lost their life.

These are not holidays. These are adventures and so by their very nature extremely risky.

You really are putting both your health and life at risk.

That’s the whole point.


We finished the Mongol Rally on 4th September 2017.   Peter had to return just a couple of days earlier to be in time for his University.

Here we are at the finish line….

Many thanks for all those who supported us – you can still Donate especially now as we have completed the Rally and delivered the Arsenal shirts to the children in Christina Noble’s wonderful Gers Village.


On the Road Again

After being stranded in Switzerland for a couple of days we’ve finally been able to get on our way. We’re very glad and thankful to the people of this country who have helped us get going again, from the free supply of Swiss cheese to the mechanics who repaired our car. We’ve had to move between two towns now while the car was being fixed – Meiringen and Sachseln. These two towns have proven to be the most welcoming of places, and we’re glad we could take the time to appreciate the surrounding landscapes. A thanks goes to the mechanic Sven Zurmühle, and to the staff at Hotel Kreuz Sachseln and Baer in Meiringen. Along a little excursion while waiting for news about the car, we also met a very nice couple from Florida called Wilson and Joyce, who offered their support and wished us luck on our journey, so a shout out goes to them. We’ve also found ourselves quite impressed with Swiss cuisine, and although cheese is everywhere, there is more to it than that. Peter has developed a cheese addiction while Simon seems to have developed a phobia of the stuff. Between the two places we’ve managed to keep the spirit of adventure going and have been determined to get going as fast as possible towards Mongolia again. Thanks Switzerland, for getting us going on our way. Now, onward to Italy and further adventure…who knows where the car might break down next.

New Tyres!

A big thank you to Simon from Kwik-fit for fixing us up with some lovely new Pirelli tyres (yes Pirelli!). We should be able to maintain a constant speed of 50mph now,  and maybe even 55!


Simon wished us all the best, and we thanked him for finishing just before it chucked it down with rain all over our lovely new Pirelli’s!   We’re now 4 days away from starting our epic adventure so please do not forget to donate now if you haven’t already…

Donate Now

Two weeks to go – eek!

With just two weeks to go we are so excited!

Shaun has re-done the map route about 100 times, hardly eaten anything and just wants to get going.

Peter enjoyed his visit to the Russian Visa Centre and admired the way they promoted the culture even in such an unusual setting.

Simon has been desperately trying to get the car finished before we head off, Air con remaining the one biggie!

We haven’t done too bad on the fund raising, but as it’s now upon us we’d like to extend an extra arm out to anyone who wishes to donate to our worthy cause and help us reach our total and the £1000 split between our 3 charities:

We are also excited about the prospect of reaching Mongolia and giving the Children in the CNCF Orphanage our kindly donated by The Arsenal Foundation , Arsenal shirts.

Donate Now


Slight issue yesterday (Sunday), Driving along the North Circular near to Enfield, pull over into the slip road to exit onto the A10 and come to a stop at the lights, clutch down change gear, handbrake.   All as per usual.

An ok day, bit cloudy, not too much traffic and not one instance of being cut up – as per usual driving in London!

Then… as I tried to lift off as the lights changed it lets me select gear, but there is no power going to the wheels – as if in Neutral. Bugger, keep trying, turn off engine give it a few minutes, try again, nothing. Hazards blazing and fortunately was on the left of 3 exit lanes so although I was blocking it wasn’t too bad. Quick call to the RAC and they arrived in about 45 minutes. He knew immediately it was the clutch causing the problem, rolled the car back into a nearby bus stop so he could hook it up to the tow system. Collecting the car tomorrow (Tuesday) so fingers crossed we will be back in business!

Thanks to the RAC for the tow on a Sunday to a nearby Garage for repair!

Don’t forget to DONATE – Now the car keeps breaking, We need the money more than ever!

It’s a Troll’s World

One thing we’d noticed, they do love their Trolls in Norway and we were about to venture into areas named heavily after them. Trollkirkedalen and Trollstigen were our next stops.

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Up we climbed, a fantastic view point from up here, and some lovely caves at the end which we’ll let you discover for yourselves!   Onwards to Trollstigen, a famous mountain road!

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Shaun gets to relax after managing to drive our tiny, but heavy, VW Polo 1.2 up this road. One of the most demanding mountain roads which as you can see has not been built with our car in mind!

Still our ‘little baby’ as Shaun calls it, managed to get us to the top for some absolutely stunning views. Norway have outdone themselves here, and the visitor centre at the top is a fantastic (with ice winds) place to get any vantage point of the Trollstigen highway.

A while later, non-alcoholic beer, pizza, and off to our beds in the toy-like hotel we picked.

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Night at the Zoo

After a couple of days rest, we realised the tents were too thing and were not keeping out the cold at all well and in any case camping season officially ended on 25 Sep, so we wouldn’t be able to use the camp sites anyway.

So on we went heading north – but then we got an amber flashing light on the dash about the Coolant. As it wasn’t red yet the RAC directed us to a local VW dealer and they gave it the once over and told us lots of the electrics are a bit ‘crap’. So that’s good news!

Anyway, after using up a few hours on that we headed towards the relatively nearby Nordens Ark, a famous zoo in Sweden, which has some wonderful countryside surrounding it.

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That evening we were feeling like we deserved something a bit special after the car issues, so we headed to the only restaurant the hotel recommended us.   I decided to try some Deer and Shaun – well I’m not sure what he had as I was so busy chewing, but I do know he tucked into a Creme Brulee for dessert!

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This man was running a Quiz in the restaurant…. but only in Swedish – boo!

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Ribe Viking Center

Here is our first taste of something really Viking, with some extra special features such as people working in the Ribe Viking Center, dressed up as Vikings and actually having the original skillset of the person they are portraying!

Whats more – They can speak to you about it in English, explaining the processes they go through just as a Viking would have.

Anyway I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

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Farm workers, the first two keep chickens, the others have cows and a bull

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Food is prepared in this house, the actors eat the food the prepare.

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A weaver shows off his colour making skills, and another house is being constructed!

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The dock area around the boat is all done using original tools, Shaun’s favourite Shaman!



After we left Hannover behind…


We headed north towards Ribe, Denmark. But not before we stopped off at this little known Viking historic site, Viking Museum Haithabu, which now sits within Germany but would have been part of Denmark originally.

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A very good re-construction of and we were happy to make it our first visit on our trip.

Onwards to Ribe and Denmark….


As we got there we needed some water in the coolant again!

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Lovely night time photos of a truly gorgeous city.. expect more in our Gallery section once we return home.


Oh… and there was a Ghost Walk, needless to say ‘brave’ Shaun and I quickly got back to the hotel 🙂