Engine Powered Travel
When we think at how we move around our cities in everyday life, probably the first thing that comes to our mind is the automobile (along with the public transport, of course). Car is the mean of transport that we see and use the most and it is no coincidence that it is also the favourite pick of many travelers embarking in long road trips. Be it a round-the-world journey or a coast-to-coast trip in X continent, here are some stories to inspire those who are dreaming the same kind of adventure. Just fill your tank and forget about the “reverse”.
La Terre en rond – Drive Round the World
Back in 1958, Jean-Claude Baudot & Jacques Seguela were among the first adventurers to complete a round-the-world trip in a car. The vehicle chosen for this purpose was a Citroën 2CV. The building company of this automobile wanted to prove the majesty of its masterpiece and thought that a world trip would be the perfect propaganda for Citroën. Upon return in their motherland, Jean-Claude and Jacques published a book titled La Terre En Rond, sharing in it the main moments of that epic road trip.
They departed from Perpignan on October 9th, 1958, and returned home on November 11th, 1959. The number displayed by the odometer after the journey was about 120.000 kilometers driven thorough 45 Countries. It definitely was not a smooth adventure. It is said that Seguela, shortly after departure, was already secretely craving to return home. He said: “As we approached a new city, our most urgent need was not to visit the city’s biggest attractions, but finding a job so that we could gather the money needed to drive to the next place”.
La Terre En Rond went on to sell over 100.000 copies worldwide and it became the first of a 20-pieces serie of travel books. After the epic adventure, Jean-Claude continued his writing career while Jacques became a successful advertiser.
Riding Full Circle
One engine for two wheels. It’s motorcycle story time! Heather Lea and Dave Sears are traveling the world from the top of their motorbikes since the fall of 2015, maintaining at the same time a rich blog about the stops along their trip. While it is not clear to us whether or not these Canadian bikers are in a relationship, we know for sure that they share a strong passion for both travels and motorbikes. Heather has a voracius appetite to discover new places around the globe and Dave has the peculiar desire of reaching those places via all kind of possible backroads.
Heather has a background as freelance writer, counting over sixty articles published in magazines such as The Canadian Alpine Journal, Mountain Life, Women’s Adventure, Climbing and Gripped. Dave is a skilled contractor and a expert handyman, so he is the one in charge of fixing mechanical issues and track navigation during the expedition. Needless to say, they sold their houses and cars and closed their business activities to pay off credit cards and loans. After that, they cut away with the old life and departed for this motorbike trip.
The route that they planned takes about two years of travel and it goes from Canada through the U.S and down into Mexico. Down again to Central and South America. Then over the sea and into Africa, Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. They set foot in North Korea too. Definitely something worth following!
It’s on the Meter
Year 2011. University time. Or almost. Friends and fellow students Paul Archer, Johno Ellison and Leigh Purnell were chatting in a lazy evening when one of them came out with a question that would change the course of their lives. The question was: “what is the longest taxi ride ever made?” Few moments later they were using their student loans to buy a 20 years old black Cab from eBay, with in mind the dream of entering the Guinness World Record for the longest taxi fare.
At the time, little did they know about what kind of adventure was ahead of them. Departing from England, the original plan was to spend eight months driving all the way to Sydney, Australia, thus breaking the Guinness World Record. They managed to make their dream come true but it wasn’t a smooth drive as they faced multiple issues along the journey. And what issues! Along the over fifty countries traveled, they had troubles with the Iranian Secret Police, narrowly escaped Talibans, they were arrested in Russia and even bumped into an Australian mechanic who turned out to be a murderer. But not all was bad: there also were kind souls to assist them. They were helped by some of the many passengers that they picked up along the way. In Arizona, a former pornstar offer them her help and in Moldova it was the President himself to rescue the crew freom their troubles.
It’s on the Meter: Around the World in a Black Taxi. This is the book about a fifteen months, 43,000 miles journey that led the three friends to enter the Guinness World Record not just once, but twice. Why the second record? Because after reaching Sydney they went on to “conquer” America and ultimately all the world in their little old cab. Feel the fear, reveal the fun and meet some of the hundred passengers the taxi picked up along the way, as the authors take you on their action-packed journey.
The Mongol Rally
How could we not mention the Mongol Rally? When we think of crazy travelers on motorized wheels we cannot omit the most extreme road trip ever invented. Mongol Rally is a massive 12.000 miles drive from England to Mongolia and there are three simple rules to it: 1- each team must use an old car which engine is max 1000cc, 2- each team must face the trip without help of any kind and, 3- each team must fundraise at least 1000 GBP in donations to charity projects.
The Mongol Rally was conceived by two british fellas named Tom and Joolz back in 2001, when they were staring at their old Fiat 126 asking themselves what could be the most insane place to go to on that car. Says the legend, that when a fair amount of alcohol had settled in Tom and Joolz’s veins, they decided to drive the semi-broken car to Mongolia. Even thou they didn’t quite make it to their ambitious finish line because of troubles with visas and border crossing, they loved that experience so much that they decided to make it again in 2004.
From that time, history is speaking. In 2004 there were a mere 6 teams taking part to the Mongol Rally and every year the number of participants has constantly grown, reporting over 300 crews at the starting line in Goodwood for the Mongol Rally 2017. We totally love these Locos for having invented a massive event that combine extreme travel with the opportunity of helping others. Thumbs up, Tom and Joolz!
Is out there any other Loco that is doing (or has done in the past) some crazy road trip form X place to Y place and has a story to tell? Let us know!