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Rusty Rhinos Beijing Rally 2014

Discussion in 'Expeditions' started by rustyrhinos, Sep 9, 2013.

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  1. rustyrhinos

    rustyrhinos Well-Known Member

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    Hello. For those that have been following us we have done a few trips now. Next up: China. We will be going through Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and then nip into China. This will be the first occasion we will have to get our Landie shipped back. I reckon about 10,000 miles and we aim to do it in 28 days.

    We will be launching at the end of June and taking our 1963 SWB Series 2A which is still running a 2.25 petrol. We will again be raising money for the Mercy Corps - website and charity links etc. to follow at a later date.

    If anyone has any first hand experience or tips for getting cars back from ports near Beijing it would be greatly appreciated.

    Bit of the stuff we have done prior to this:

    Rusty Rhinos 2014 Rally Announcement on Vimeo

    www.rustyrhinos.com
     
  2. rustyrhinos

    rustyrhinos Well-Known Member

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  3. 200tdi ayre

    200tdi ayre Well-Known Member

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    Awesome :)

    Quick questions how much does it cost do do a trip like this ? Ish

    Does sponsorship money cover your costs too or do you pay for that yourself ?

    Not dissing just thinking about for when I do it in the future :)
     
  4. rustyrhinos

    rustyrhinos Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. It costs a fair chunk...the biggest cost is probably fuel cost...a 2.25 petrol is not exactly a good choice for fuel consumption. 10,000 miles...that's a lot of re-fuels! I try not to think about it. So if you know your MPG you can work out the rough cost based on that.

    We avoid hotels and campsites as much as possible...eat on the road or in cheap side-of-the-road affairs. Other than things breaking they are the only real cost (on this one, no major ferry crossings or anything to bump up the costs). Visa costs for some of the countries are a consideration but they are not mega expensive. Few hundred quid on tolls in Europe.

    Sponsorship covers very little really - we have managed to scrounge a couple of ferry crossings in the past and on this one LR Series have sponsored us some parts for prepping the vehicle. Pebble Track have helped us with our GPS mapping. Other than that, everything else is comes out of our own pocket. Charity money goes straight to the charity and is completely separate of course.
     
  5. 200tdi ayre

    200tdi ayre Well-Known Member

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    Very noble, most would let some sponsorship cover abit of cost so doing it yourself is very selfless :)

    Have you got any pictures of the interior / comfort for such a long trip ? Pics of the back ? What you take with you? :)
     
  6. rustyrhinos

    rustyrhinos Well-Known Member

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    Creature comforts. Umm not many...we have some household carpet glued to the doorcards and roof:

    [​IMG]

    Some cup holders:
    [​IMG]

    And fitted these:

    [​IMG]

    Rubber mats...clutching at straws here!

    More importantly we have fitted a stereo :)

    The back of the car...we use cheapo plastic boxes to store most of our things in. I don't believe in these expensive "expedition" boxes when 3 for a fiver or whatever they were seem to stand the test of time. I have 2 regular tool boxes that get jammed in between everything else. There is nothing special in the back it all just gets wedged in. No room for sleeping in the back.

    Stuff we take...a single burner hob, cheapo 2 man tent and pound shop bowls and plates. For recovery some waffle boards, high lift jack, shackles and rope. It is easy to go too far with vehicle spares but take the basic things like distributor cap, plugs, UJs, filters, fuel hose, threaded rod, oils, gaffa tape and a random selection of nuts/bolts/washers/bits.
     
  7. 200tdi ayre

    200tdi ayre Well-Known Member

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    K.I.S.S approach :) the less there is the less there is to go wrong :) the expedition draws and stuff are nice but don't give a massive extra benefit :)

    What stuff have you actually broken/ changed on an expedition?
     
  8. rustyrhinos

    rustyrhinos Well-Known Member

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    A few punctures that is expected. Have had leaf springs snap several times (on the Suzuki SJ not the Landy), shocks die, brake and wheel cylinders leak (we take seal kits) wheel bearings and oil seals fail (we take spares and have learnt to never trust cheap seals on anything), fairey hub disintegrate (rid of those now). Loss of gears. Dizzy caps break up inside and other electrical oddities. Head gasket failure. Radiator failure. Exhaust manifold break and back box explode. Cracked chassis...on the worst occasion snapped both front dumb irons almost completely off so they were flapping about...which is not what you want to have when navigating sand dunes in the dark.

    Only on one occasion have we not managed to either fix/patch/bodge it ourselves or limp it to a garage (mainly for welding) and that was in France with engine failure which either meant complete rebuild or to source another engine...the frustrating part being if we were in Morocco/Algeria/etc we would have probably sorted it somehow. Not deterred we picked up the Landie, brought it back and launched a few weeks later.
     
  9. ovalandrover

    ovalandrover Well-Known Member

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    I have just got back from Mongolia this was the second time I have been there .
    Last ear I went through China (what a paine in the ass) and as for your comment that the visas are4 cheap they are untill you get to china. You have to hire a guide and if you dont have room in your vehicle to car him /her you have to hire a 4x4 and driver as well. costs can be reduced if there are a few of you going but there were 8 motor bikes and i was carrying the guide but it still cost over $1500 each vehicle. and the route we were allowed was constantly changed and in the end we had to make 2 entrs into china and at the last minuite the vehicle permits were cancelled so there was 8 bikes and me stranded in Mongolia without Russian visa and no Chinese permit'.
    the bikes were flown to Bangkok but I had to spend 3 weeks arranging a transit visa for Russia and Kazacstan .
    This year there were riots in turpan so entering china via tourget pass was out and the Kaskar province was out of bounds.
    I spent 1 month in Ulaan Baatar and there were not many people going to china but that may change next year.
    You have to arrange the trip through a tour company and the vehicle has to be registered in China when you get there and also you have to be Issued a chinese driving licence.
    Have fun arranging all that.
     
  10. OLDUN

    OLDUN Active Member

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    Have followed your travels for some time and impressed. I like your idea of wild camping and eating on the road as this is what I prefer to do on my trips to North Africa. Have always wanted to go to Mongolia as long as much of it as possible is off tarmac but would not like to have the hassle and cost of doing China. Have you ever thought of taking along another Land Rover as backup.
     
  11. rustyrhinos

    rustyrhinos Well-Known Member

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    True Chinese Visas are not cheap...last time I bought one was in 2007 but didn't end up going into China! It is going to take some doing getting into China by the looks of it. I have 8 months to sort it out. Don't suppose you have a checklist of some sort of things I need to think about to get into China ovalandrover?

    Where did you try to get into China? Sounds like you had a right barrel of laughs!

    Thanks OLDUN :) We have done a trip to Algeria and back with another vehicle - my mum and step dad in their RRC V8 - was good to have them with us. Cannot convince them that driving to China with us is a good idea though. Certainly not much tarmac in Mongolia - the only bit of tarmac we came across in 2007 was the lead-in to Ulaan Bataar and that was mainly under construction. I would not be surprised if it was still under construction to be honest! Kazakhstan is also superb for off road even if it did split our SJ into pieces.
     
  12. ovalandrover

    ovalandrover Well-Known Member

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    In 2012 we entered china through the touget pass and then went to Kaskar and on up to Turpan and exited into Mongolia .
    As for roads in Mongolia they are rapidily becoming sealed roads to Chinese mines and very soon the road to the Gobi will be sealed so if you want to experience Mongolia as a offroad experience do it soon.
    river crossing in Mongolia - YouTube
    Mud holes - YouTube
    Road to Dadal - YouTube
    small car at river ford in Mongolia - YouTube
    The Camel Trophy.wmv - YouTube
    enjoy these videos
     
  13. uk_vette

    uk_vette Well-Known Member

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    Can I suggest an alternative route, or is that route pretty much planned out already?

    Dover Dunkirk, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Moscow, Novosibirsk, , follow M52 into north west Mongolia, at Tashanta.
    Pick either north orbital, or southern orbital to UB.
    Continue south to Erenhot, cross into China
    This is where you really have to have done all your home work.
    I have lived in China for almost 4 years, and have a full Chinese driving licence.
    The pain is that you are driving a foreign registered vehicle.
    You will get stung for guides.
    Even as I was planning to drive my land Cruiser to Beijing and beyond, to where we live in China, I (we) were still going to need to get a guide, even though me, and my Chinese wife, both have full Chinese driving licences.
    Now the strange thing is, when I am in China, I can drive my Chinese registered car, any where in China I please, (well 99,9% places) but in my UK registered vehicle, I now need a guide.
    It's all about safeguarding their tourism industry.
    Now, don't get me wrong, I can agree with certain protectionism, but I can't for one minute believe, that I am going to drive any where different, in my UK car, than I would in my Chinese registered car, stupid.

    So back to the return, ship out of Tanjin, which is about 150km south of Beijing.
    Or, be more adventurous, and ship out of Shanghai.

    Gra
     
  14. rustyrhinos

    rustyrhinos Well-Known Member

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    Which roads were sealed can you remember? As that may affect our route planning. In 2007 the only sealed road (other than ones that were falling to bits) was a small stretch into Ulaan Bataar.
     
  15. rustyrhinos

    rustyrhinos Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your information Gra - it is good to hear from someone who has first hand experience. The reason for our routing is that we are very keen on going to Kazakhstan again - we had a superb time there on our last visit...so our route is not set in stone but we are not varying it too far from our plan.

    Yeah it seems a right old pain driving through China as a tourist...there are agencies that can sort the driving license and car permits etc before you get there...but of course that comes at a price. But it does get me thinking...if they can do it before we arrive it proves that it is possible...it's just figuring out the loops to jump. Seems daft that you need a guide to drive your car when you live there and so on! I guess there is a strict rule book with no deviation...seems to me they are a little paranoid about tourism but oh well it's all part of the challenge!

    One thing we did consider was not to drive into China but to get as far as the border and hitch or train or whatever from there into China. But that has it's own issues - shipping the car back from Mongolia...well...it's inland :D...which leaves the option of driving back into Russia after Mongolia...but we would have already used up our double Visa...so we would have to apply for another Russian Visa on the border of Mongolia to Russia and who knows how that would plan out.

    Gra - I have not looked into it yet, that is one of the next step of enquiries...but I don't suppose you have an idea what shipping costs are back to the UK or can recommend a contact or anything along those lines? Long shot I know.
     
  16. Oldseadog

    Oldseadog Well-Known Member

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    Just picked up on this thread.

    Have you considered ChinaUK Shipping to sponsor your Landy as return part Container Cargo?

    PM me for details.
     
  17. rustyrhinos

    rustyrhinos Well-Known Member

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    Pics now up at The Rusty Rhinos - Beijing Rally 2014 - Photographs

    Closing words:

    We arrived at the Great Wall of China on Thursday 17th July 2014 marking the successful completion of the Beijing Rally 2014. This was our 5th rally and as with every rally, it was incredibly unique. 8,100 miles (~ 13,000 KM) across 10 different countries spanning two continents that required us to cross deserts, rivers and the vast wilderness in Kazakhstan and Mongolia. We've raised over £2,000 for Mercy Corps!

    Our adventure showed us once again the incredible kindness of strangers that exists throughout the world across all diverse cultures. There are too many stories to share but from the strangers in Poland who got in touch to share their enthusiasm for our adventure, the Belarusian military officer who showed us the way to Russia, the Russian taxi drivers who went completely out of their way to lead us to Kazakhstan in the middle of the night, the mechanic who refused to charge us for car repairs in Kazakhstan, the Mongolian who donated a car tool to us and the incredibly warm welcome offered to us by so many Chinese people at the Great Wall, all these acts of kindness continue to inspire us and leave us in awe.

    These examples are just a few of so many other acts of equal significance to us and are at the heart of what makes it possible for us to drive so far in a 51 year old car in a relatively short space of time.

    The rally was certainly an adventure from start to finish. We averaged 300 miles per day but spent over 5 days standing still at borders that were closed. On a number of occasions we got lost but we learnt again that getting lost only adds to the adventure, whether it is the adrenaline rush of having to track back in the dark off road routes of Mongolia after the sun has set or because we are led to an awesome new place or bump into new people, it all provides for a thrilling journey.

    Red, our 1963 Land Rover, served us incredibly well once again. We did have our fair share of car issues, we experienced a high speed tyre blow-out in Russia and not so long after, we lost a second tyre. Our suspension suffered, especially in Kazakhstan and parts of Mongolia, we had some fairly stubborn sand and dirt accumulate in some of our filters which affected our car performance and on occasion brought us to a complete halt. We also had a huge crack in a our rear axle. However, even on arrival at the Great Wall of China, Red was still screaming for more action and adventure!

    Our thank you list is huge, we've had so much support from friends, family and even people in other parts of the world who we have never met. Support has come in many forms, from advice, donations to Mercy Corps and help whilst we are on the road. We have to thank the Desert Bunnies at Rusty Rhinos HQ in the UK for providing continued support with Red and providing advice whilst we are on the road. Thanks also to Chris and Kai at PebbleTrack for providing and supporting our GPS tracking system.

    We are also incredibly grateful to all of our friends, family and so many other donors who have made such generous donations to Mercy Corps.

    Thanks to all those who have offered us a helping hand in times of need on our way to China as well as those who just wanted to welcome us to their country.

    Last and by no means least, we thank Elizabeth (UK), Jennifer (UK), Jumagul (Mongolia), Jennifer (Mongolia) and Doreen (China) from Mercy Corps for making our Beijing Rally so special. The completion of the rally at the Great Wall of China was amazing.
     
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