LONG HAUL The route that four travellers will take in The Mongol Rally.
Three Westport men and a Wicklow man are planning to drive over 17,000 kilometres from Mayo to Mongolia next summer in aid of Dublin Simon Community, which works to prevent and address homelessness.
The Mongol Rally is an annual event that starts in London, but the four lads will go that extra step further by starting in Westport.
“We’ve a minimum bar of €1,500 set to raise, but we’ve already raised €400 in the last week. I reckon in all likelihood, we’ll probably raise several thousand,” said Westport man Ben Ruddy, one of the adventurous four.
The other two Westport men David Kelly and Joe McGing, while their Wicklow buddy is Luke Cafferky.
The journey will take around seven weeks, and the four will pass through 23 countries en route to Mongolia.
Currently, they have no car – but they do have a plan.
“We have yet to get a car. There is a limit on the engine size of a 1.2 litres from the rally organisers so we are looking at an old-style Nissan Micra or a Toyota Yaris. We’re going old school, something simple, so if we break down, it’s easy to fix,” Ben explained.
Driving duties will be shared between the four throughout the trip. “It’ll be a case of whenever you feel tired, pull in and let the next man take over. All the lads are good drivers, and we’re all very passionate about travelling.
“It’s more about the journey for us. We’ll try our very best to get there, and even if we don’t we’ll have raised a load of money for charity, so it all works out in the end – even if we break down in the middle of Kazakhstan or somewhere,” he said, laughing.
No start date has been confirmed for the event, but it is expected to be held sometime around mid July.
“It’s been something that has been on the back burner for me for a few years,” Ben reveals. “One of my friends did it back in 2009, and I’ve always been into travel, so I thought it’d be a a great way to travel and raise money for charity at the same time.”
A fundraising street collection will take place in Westport this coming weekend, on Saturday, December 23.