7000 KM To Go
by Ric Gazarian
My first book, 7000 KM To Go, follows my first road rally, The Caucasian Callenge in 2010.
The rally, Caucasian Challenge, began in Budapest and ended in Yerevan. It was 17 days, 11 countries, and 7000 km.
Adventures include an accidental visit to a country not on the itinerary, a visit to one of the newest countries in the world, breakfast with mafia/special forces soldiers on the Black Sea, and a police escort out of No Man’s Land in a country that does not legally exist. Or check out this story when I had to throw away my car in Budapest.
What attracted me to the Caucasian Challenge? Why would I want to drive non-stop for 17 days in a 1993 Jeep Cherokee with 250,000 km. What won me over was the warning on their website. Here it is!
What do we mean by “minimum assistance rally”?
There are no back-up vehicles, mechanics, rescue teams or any other support vehicles or persons in place to help if something does happen. There are no arrangements on national or local levels that are waiting to assist you in your journey. You are a regular tourist and have to obey all the regular rules. This applies to everything from visas to police officers and medical. There are no arrangements to rescue you if you become stranded, broken down, injured or otherwise harassed during the event. There is a good chance that you may face mechanical, medical, financial or other types of damage or loss by participating in the Caucasian Challenge. The successful rally participant understands this by assuming total personal responsibility. The best ways to avoid any serious mishaps is to
What can happen?
- Acts of war or political unrest
- Religious, political or cultural customs different than those in a home country – leading to conflicts
- Imprisonment for hitting a pedestrian
- Car accident at high speeds in any country
- Car accident or injury far from major populations
- Irreparable damage to your vehicle far from human populations
- Dangerous / drunken drivers
- Floods or landslides
- Sun stroke
- Food poisoning
- Poor or no medical treatment
- Corrupt officials who won’t let you travel (or slow you down significantly) until receiving bribes
- Lazy officials who will perform their jobs slowly and thus delaying you