THREE brave Cork lads will set off this Saturday on a voyage involving 10,000 miles, 26 countries, three mountain ranges, two continents, and one desert — all in a 1999 Ford Focus.
Mick White from White’s Cross, George Bolster from Mallow and Ger Kelly from Mahon, are taking part in the infamous Mongol Rally, where participants have to use all their survival skills to make it over to the Mongolian capitol of Ulan Bator in one piece.
The rules are specific — that it must be done in a car that would normally be considered as wholly inappropriate. There are no plane journeys as a short cut — just the lads in a car with each other for the best part of a month.
Their route will see them drive to Dublin, get the ferry to London, the ferry from Dover to Calais, France and then overland from there.
The lads have chosen L’Arche Cork as the charity to benefit from their adventure.
L’Arche is a residential and day service for adults with an intellectual disability. They have four houses and a full day service in Cork. Ger’s niece is supported by L’Arche and the lads said they wanted to raise awareness as well as funds for the excellent work the organisation does. The official Mongol Rally charity of Cool Earth will also benefit. The adventure has already started — the lads are anxiously awaiting clearance from the Russian authorities for travel visas, and it will come down to the wire before they set off on Saturday.
Mick said: “Three lads in a car would usually head off for a spin or a day out but this is a bit further than that. I’d say we’ll be fit to kill each other after a few days but that’s the fun of it all.”
The lads were sponsored by Goldbergs bar and The Bierhaus Cork, while mechanic Trevor O’Leary of Tidy Mechanical Repairs got their Ford Focus in peak condition for the epic journey.
Mick added: “We couldn’t have done it without such great support. We’re rearing to get going now, and no doubt we’ll have some adventures along the way.”