remap newsletter.autumn18 online - Page 7



direct route and promptly sank their car. They
climbed out and sat on the roof until one of
the team bravely waded out to borrow a tow
rope. At this point, we were nervously waiting
to cross the river. We made it! But destroyed
Nugget’s battery in the process. A jump start
on the other side provided a temporary
solution but by the time we reached the
Russian border we had to push Nugget across.
Matt Lee and his team took part in the
Mongol Rally - driving a 1997 Nissan Micra
called Nugget to Mongolia and back on
behalf of Remap. He visited the office to
share some stories about his trip:
How far did you drive?
17,500 miles over three months. Our route
took us through 27 countries and along the
second highest road in the world - over
15,000 feet above sea level.
What was the coolest thing about your trip?
Seeing countries not normally visited like
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. A highlight was
the burning gas reservoir in Turkmenistan.
50 years ago the Soviets drilled into the
reservoir which collapsed resulting in methane
leaking into the environment. They decided to
burn it off but 50 years later it’s still burning
in the middle of the desert and we took our
little Micra 10 km across sand and rock to
visit and camp for the night.
Tell us a funny story?
It was chilly when we set up camp on a hill
in Mongolia and soon it started to snow. We
worried about getting stuck but it turned
out to be an easy slide down in the morning!
Having set off with the heating full on we
were just warming up when we were
confronted with a massive river to cross.
We were in a convoy of 3 cars. The first made
it through ok but it looked really deep. The
second team decided, bullishly, on a more
Was that the only time you had mechanical
problems?
Amazingly yes. Considering Nugget’s age
and the fact I bought him for £100 that
was the most serious problem but sorted by
a new battery. We had to have the clutch
adjusted in Uzbekistan, 5 dollars sorted that
and the rusty, rattling exhaust was sorted by
the creative use of chicken wire! We were the
only team not to have a puncture and made
it home on the same set of, if slightly balding,
tyres.
What was it like when you crossed the finish
line in one piece?
Amazement - we’d done it! Relief - A few
teams were towed to the finish line in Russia.
Apprehension because we had to decide how
we were going to get the car out of the
country. We opted to drive back so whilst
celebrating we were also thinking of the
return.
Would you do it again?
Yes and no. I would want more time to see
so many fascinating places and less driving!
How much did you raise?
£2500 in total, split between Remap and
Cool Earth. We chose Remap because we
wanted to find a smaller, more local charity
and loved the idea of what you do. I thought
the challenge was a chance to do something
crazy and raise some awareness of Remap.
We wanted to tell your story and get more
people involved.
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