Mongol Rally

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 May, 2012, 12:00am


Mongol Rally
by J.A. Irving
Amazon Digital Services (e-book)

J.A. Irving published Mongol Rally for the many people who asked to read his account of his three-week, 15,500-kilometre road trip in 2006 from London to Mongolia as part of an 'organised' event for 200 cars. Participants could drive any vehicle and take any one of four routes, including through Central Asia, which Irving chose. This will appeal only to those who know the author or are planning something similar. Because it was not a race, Irving could stop in places such as Kutna Hora, southeast of Prague, site of The Church of Bones, which has a chapel decorated with the bones of 40,000 to 70,000 bodies arranged into towers. There was Transylvania ('eerie') and Transnistria (a breakaway region of Moldova aligned with Russia), where Irving's sunblock raises eyebrows because an official assumes it's something homosexuals use and it's illegal to be gay in Transnistria. In the 'Stans' (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyszstan) there are grumbles about difficulties withdrawing money and running out of petrol. Mongol Rally doesn't pretend to be much and lives up to that promise.