On Sunday Arthur headed off on the Mongol Rally, at the beginning of his 10,000 mile drive from London to Ulaanbaatur the capital of Mongolia. He is travelling with Will James, a friend from school and they are travelling in a Nissan Micra (a bit smaller than Mum and Dad's cars and it is packed to the roof with rations and spare parts). From the pictures of the launch on the Mongol Rally website it is evident that silly, crazy and very crazy cars are definitely the order of the day for this trip. Their route will take them through the landscapes of Europe to Istanbul and then through Turkey. From there to Georgia, Azerbaijan and across the Caspian Sea. Then they start their trek across the plains and mountains of Asia, through most of the 'stans including Kazakhstan where they hope to see Alice. I hope we will hear from them as they go, facebook, postcard or a message on The Blog please! All being well Siobhan and I expect Arthur back on 7th September, in time for university!
On Friday Edward will leave on his bike ride from London to Monaco. This will be a 1,000 mile ride with seven of his school friends, taking thirteen days. They will be zipping along in their lycra suits, sweating under the blazing french sun (hopefully). I think David Petri used to refer to a group of riders on racing bikes as an 'arse' of cyclists and certainly their position with heads down and bums up will still bear testament to this. I will be driving the support vehicle all the way and another dad will do the first six days with me. One of the dads has lent us a long wheel based landrover, so we will be chugging along at an agricultural speed, hoping for not too many emergency phone calls. We have booked into campsites for most of the nights and will arrive in Monaco on 6th August.
Many thanks to Rob for tips and advice and a mechanical guide to the Nissan Micra. I hope they will be able to use the maintenance manual as a comfort blanket and not need to make use of it too often. Also thanks to George providing a satellite phone for Arthur. In one of those quirks of life the phone did not work, so unfortunately it has stayed in England. Also I hear that Alice managed to meet Arthur in London (handy or what) before his departure and give him a few pieces of regional advice. Real thanks to all of you.