Hello, it is Andrew here, and today I'm going to talk about an ambulance, driving a long way, and Mongolia! The story is that I have been working in the BBC a long time - so long that I get something called 'long service leave' - more time off. I'm taking my longer holiday at the end of this month, and I have decided to have a small adventure. I am joining something called the 'Mongol Rally'. It is an event that is now organised every year. A group of people drive all the way from Britain to Mongolia. It is about 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres). This year around 400 cars will be doing it, leaving from Goodwood in southern England, but also from Barcelona in Spain, and Milan in Italy. Why? Well for fun, and also to raise money for various charities. The idea is also to try and donate something useful for Mongolia, a developing country. In my case I've decided to donate an ambulance - the one I'm sitting in the picture!
I've heard that there aren't many ambulances in the country, and I found a small private ambulance company that donated one for me to deliver. All I have had to do is spend some money making sure it is roadworthy. You can read about the Mongol Rally here
I will be driving with my friend Mike - here's a picture of both of us. We will either have a wonderful time or get very irritated with each other - we expect to sit in the same ambulance 12 or 14 hours a day, so he had better like my driving! I'm not sure if I should tell him I like to sing very loudly when I drive! Seriously, though, we are planning a route that should take us through the Czech Republic (there is a party in a castle there which we MUST attend), Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, and perhaps a few other countries too. If you live in one of those countries, tell me what places we must visit! We're also thinking that if there is time perhaps we could try and meet some of the readers of this blog and offer you a free English language conversation class. We'd like to talk to you in your language, but the only other languages we know are Spanish, French, and Portuguese - not very useful on a trip to Mongolia.
You can see details of our plans on our Brighton to Baatar website. We've called our team that because we both used to live in Brighton. I still do but Mike has moved to another nearby town in southern England called Newhaven.
Do let me know if you have any suggestions for the trip. I will take pictures and hope to publish some blogs as we travel. I have to admit I don't know too much about mechanics, so I might have to ask your advice on how to fix any engine problems we may have. We also have a FaceBook group you might like to look at. We set out on July 24th. Wish us luck!