What is this madness?
Entry is now open for teams for the Summer edition of 2013 Roof of the World Rally, which will be the fifth year teams hit the road on a mission to take tea to the world! We aim to deliver possibly the greatest of beverages to the people of the world, with the aim of meeting just a few of them. Over the years the Rally has been finessing the tea strategy and finding out what works best on the road and with the locals - we've found out that tea bags (too strong) are not ideal but loose tea hits the spot. Therefore we send teams off with plenty of loose tea and tea strainers. You'll be surprised at just how popular tea can make you.
When does it take place?
The launch is going to be 6th July 2013 but teams are welcome to leave at any time that suits them if they can't make the official launch date. The Rally takes approximately three weeks to complete, but depending on your route and adventures it could well be longer. We recommend teams aim to reach Tajikistan around summer time to avoid the worst weather conditions in the mountains.
How much will it cost?
It is difficult to give even a vague figure for total costs, as so many factors are involved. The cost of joining the rally is £300 unless you manage to grab a special opening deal. You will also need to build into your budget the deposit and import tax. To see a very rough breakdown of costs click the 'costs' page.
More Tea Vicar?
So what’s all this about tea then? Well we read somewhere in the depths of the internet that the tea bush originated from the Pamirs in Tajikistan. If this is true we have no idea, but it is a fact that the Pamiris love their tea. And that got us thinking, everyone loves a good cup of tea. Tea drinking is a great custom the world over, from English afternoon tea to the Tajik tea house and everything in between. The idea then is to sit down and have a cup of tea with the people you meet on your travels. What better introduction to a Kyrgyz nomad, a Turkish barber, an English diplomat, a Kazakh orphan… the possibilities are endless. The interactions you have with the people you meet on an adventure such as this are what will make your trip most rewarding. So go forth and deliver tea to the world!
What vehicle can you take on the Roof of the World Rally? Anything! Your adventure will be determined by the vehicle you decide to take, but you are allowed to take anything from a small 1litre hatchback to a fully pimped Land Rover and everything inbetween.
The ONLY vehicle rules we do have are as follows:
* Your vehicle MUST be Left Hand Drive (if you plan to leave it in Tajikistan)
* All vehicles must be 20 years old or less.
* All entrants are required to pay $400 in import tax (after any currency conversion fees).
* All entrants must pay a £500 vehicle deposit before departure (this is for repairs or if your vehicle has to be scrapped - which is not an easy process).
* Ambulances - NEW! For 2013 ambulances can be right hand drive or left hand drive. We have a definite preferance for LHD but RHD (for the first time) is now allowed. All ambulances must be of a high standard and MUST be approved by us before purchase. Teams will be involved in handovers at the end to local hospitals. If you are interested in this option then please contact us.
All the information you need is here. So with the red tape out of the way, what sort of tea-dispensing vehicles do we want? Well, some suggestions for picking a good vehicle are as follows:
* Big engined vehicles are usually too expensive to run for Tajiks.
* Vehicles that are 1 litre might struggle to get over a mountain but are likely to be good for cities.
* Popular marques include Daewoo, lada, Opel, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Mercedes and BMW.
* If you are thinking of doing minimum modifications to your vehicle - top of the list is raising the suspension and putting on a sump guard.
What happens to the vehicles?
All Rally vehicles are donated to local Tajik charities on arrival. One of the nice things we can do is match Rally teams and vehicles to the Tajik charities so that teams know where their vehicle is going and who is going to benefit from their vehicle. Many of these small local charities have no vehicle at all and would be grateful for anything reliable. Vehicles have to be of a good enough standard that will benefit the charities and make it worth them jumping through registration hoops. Due to the nature of Tajikistan 4WD is always the best but vans and buses a likely to be very useful and even normal cars from Opels to Lada's will still be valued and used. Fancy delivering tea from an ambulance? A minibus?! Then we welcome you with open arms!
Do we get backup?
Frankly, no. There is NO back up! We don't even know the meaning of the word. You head out on the rally going bravely into the unknown with nothing but a toothbrush and a spare wheel to fight off the marauding bandits. This is an adventure! We also categorically state here that this trip involves essentially driving into the unknown – it is bound to bring risks and be dangerous in parts. There is no doubt that it will be hard. Make no mistake about it – you need to be brave or stupid to take part, and if you do choose to take part – don't sue us if you die. The warning bit is written here and you should take note.
The 2013 rally official location is likely to be Woburn Safari Park, just to the north of London. From there, it's off to the final destination of Tajikistan, Central Asia (if you don't know where that is, you are not alone). We encourage you to take on the ‘Roof of the World' by driving across the Pamir mountain range of Tajikistan on the second highest highway in the world - which just so happens to be one of the world's best kept secrets (and most insane drives). The rest? Italy, Austria, Siberia, Turkmenistan.......it's up to you. Teams can take any direction they like between the start and finish. Go forth and find some adventure! For further details, visit our Route page.
Interested?? We are looking for some hardy adventurers take some tea to the world. This is a small event with a limited number of 30 spaces for teams. Sign up for 2013 teams is opening on Saturday 21st July 2012. If the idea of dragging a vehicle over some of the world's most spectacular and harsh roads appeals, click on ‘Join Us’ to grab a spot. We've got an opening deal for the first handful of teams and then we will be charging an admin fee of £300 for all other teams to cover our costs. We also request that anyone who comes raises a minimum of £1000 for Go Help.
- Thu 12 Jul
- Tue 10 Apr
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