OFFTRAX OVERLAND ODYSSEY

The Mongolia Charity Rally is an epic pan-continental road trip that provides a sharp contrast in the conditions between the north European countries with its start in London and the increasingly barren and inhospitable lands to the Mongolia finish line. The event supports Go Help and its flagship ambulance service in Mongolia – a service the teams hope that they will not have to call on. Robens is supporting Offtrax, an experienced close-knit family team of Canadian adventurers comprising Corinne Copreni and Elly Ruge. Their route measures around 26,000km and Jess takes up the intro to an exciting jaunt that we will cover over the next few months…

Team Offtrax comprises four crazy Canucks from either side of the country, bonded together by a mutual love for travel and the goal of experiencing every country in the world, oh, and family.

While travelling in Mongolia we stumbled across the finish line of the Mongol Rally; one of the world’s longest and toughest car rallies for charity. With the option to choose your own route the possibilities of getting to Mongolia range from 10,000km, taking the team through Europe, Central Asia, Russia… Intrigued, we learned that a UK-based group called ‘The Adventurists’ has been putting on the annual event since 2004. 

Since then, Corinne grew obsessed with participating in the Mongol Rally, seeing it as the perfect opportunity to experience the ‘Stan’ countries. After much discussion (and persuasion) from Corinne, the decision was made that if we were to ever attempt the rally we would first have to test ourselves on the open road. 

That test came by way of The Rickshaw Run, an unsupported charity race through India. In April 2013, I joined Elly and Corinne to navigate ourselves the 4,312km across India in a three-wheeled auto rickshaw. At the time family back home were very concerned for our safety and, in India, locals couldn’t believe a rickshaw could make it that far, let alone with a bunch of foreigners driving it. 

It was an exhilarating trip over 15 days, from learning how to operate it, to the traffic and the horns, from extreme heat in the South to cold temperatures in the far North, and what felt like monsoon rains at times. Not knowing where we were going to sleep each night or when we would break down was both terrifying, yet liberating. 

Spending 12 hours a day, from dawn till dusk, with a deadline looming is not your average tourist’s visit to India, nor was it supposed to be. 

Looking back on the trip, the one thing we would change would be to have more time to ‘sightsee’ and explore the country. And that brings us to the Rally to Mongolia in July 2014, where we have decided to take four months to drive to Mongolia and back, through 20-25 countries, ensuring many, many detours on the way. Because just flooring it through a country is not truly experiencing it or its people.


Jess and Corinne plan the next adventure 

Planning the adventure has turned out to be almost a full time job with the endless route possibilities, visa requirements, language interpretations, vehicle purchasing, fundraising, kit necessities and so on. Thanks to Robens we know we’ll keep warm and dry at night. Where exactly that will be, time will tell.

To follow Team Offtrax as they plan the ultimate road trip go to

http://www.facebook.com/OfftraxAdventures

http://twitter.com/offtrax 

http://mongolia.charityrallies.org/