Brothers in Mongol rally


Preparations are well under way for a pair of former Taieri College pupils who will join friends on an intrepid journey from London to Siberia next month.

Brothers Nick and Mike Bathgate, who grew up in Outram, will join friends Taygen Hughes and Debbie Knuvers on the Mongol Rally which starts on July 16.

The team has raised nearly $3000 via a Givealittle pledge page as of yesterday morning. This money is pledged to charity and the competition stipulates that each team must raise at least $NZ1766).

Nick said a Toyota Yaris had been purchased as the team’s “weapon of choice”.

The team bought it online for $1060.

Nick, a mechanic, said the team might make some minor modifications to the vehicle before embarking on the rally.

“There’ll just be a few things, probably fit a big roof rack . . . so there’s a bit more storage and a few spare tyres and just do some general maintenance to it before we start and hope we have a good run.”

Fuel containers and camping equipment would also be purchased.

Tents had been donated by the Swazi company.

The team will arrive in London on July 8.

Nick hoped the four intrepid travellers managed to get along during the rally, which could take up to a month.

“Hopefully we all get along. It’s going to be pretty confined.”

There is a launch party for the rally in London on July 15 before teams set off on a journey through Europe which would ultimately take them to Ulan Ulde, in Siberia.

Securing the right visas for different countries had been a challenge, Nick said.

“That’s been a real big mission.”

Applying for a visa to Turkmenistan stood out because it had been a “long drawn out process,” he said.

Nick is living in Outram with Mike, while Ms Hughes is in Australia and Ms Knuvers in Levin.

The team had co-ordinated their plans online.

It was “pretty full on” with communication most days, Nick said.