The Launch & Routes
6th July - London /near London
The 2013 rally official location is likely to be Woburn Safari Park, just to the north of London. We've had two successful launches there in 2010 and 2012 and it's a great contender for us picking it in 2013. If you can't leave on that date teams are free to leave when and from where they want. The usual structure involves admiring/laughing at other teams cars, waving goodbye to family and friends, picking up freebies and last minute advice and some speeches from dignitaries. It is a joint launch with the Mongolia Rally teams.
The Budapest Break is usually set a couple of days after the official launch. We know some excellent watering holes in central Budapest for teams to either relax, discuss rally plans, or just potentially drink absinthe till their eyes cross over. It will be a long hard slog from the UK to Budapest but this is where the fun really begins. Details as to which bar we have picked and directions will be given out nearer the time. The break also provides the chance for European teams to meet with those launching from the UK.
The Finish - Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Is whenever you arrive! Teams will be arriving at the Save the Children office in Dushanbe. We will, however, be planning an official finishing shindig three to four weeks after the launch, more information will be provided at a later date.
The Route - Or, How do I get There?
The short answer is any way you want!
From Woburn Safari Park, near London to 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 worlds 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! Below are some very rough route guides (you do not have to stick to these)
Starting from London head north into the icy lands of Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle. Treat the occupants of Murmansk to a hot cuppa before dropping down through Siberia headed for Tajikistan and warmer climes - this is a rarely used off the beaten path route, and we are keen for 2013 teams to take up this challenge!
After the good old Budapest knees up head for the Baltic. St. Petersburg and Moscow are the next stops, then continue to spread the tea love through the Siberian wilds and Kazakhstan.
Keep heading east. Chase the sun in the morning and run away from it in the afternoon as you take on Ukraine and the Black Sea before heading for Volgograd (Stalingrad) and take give a bru’ to the bandits in Eastern Kazakhstan.
Teams headed south can take their fine beverages all the way through Turkey before blagging their way across the Caspian on a cargo ship and exploring the strange desert state of Turkmenistan. Or Maybe Iran and Syria are more your cup of tea!
The Pamir Highway