Rally adventure with strangers

Laura Dawson PNL-150107-152421001
Laura Dawson PNL-150107-152421001

A university porter will be thundering through some of the world’s most hazardous regions in a 17-year-old banger to raise money for charity later this month.

Laura Dawson, who works for the University of Buckingham, has joined forces with three strangers from different countries for the gruelling six-week Mongol Rally.

They will be undertaking the 10,000-mile trek in a Renault Clio bought for £250.

Setting off from Goodwood motor circuit on July 19, they will travel through Europe, Turkey, Armenia, Iran and Turkmenistan, finally crossing Mongolia to get to the finish line in the Siberian town of Ulan-Ude.

The Mongol Rally motto is: “If nothing goes wrong, everything has gone wrong.”

The idea is that disasters will happen – leading to interaction with local people.

And the rules state that cars cannot have a bigger than one-litre engine.

Laura, who lives in Hanslope, said: “The scariest part of the journey is that there’s no back-up, no support and no set route – just yourself, your fellow adventurists and a tiny car that has been bought from a scrapyard. We will be buying food off of food vendors, basically getting it where we can. If it means having to buy a goat and slaughter it, then so be it.”

Laura met her fellow travellers via the website gapyear.com and the team are calling themselves Strange fellows.

Laura will be outdoor survival leader, partial mechanic and also the cook.

Andre Correria, of Portugal, will be the camerman.

Danish medical student Mia Ansbjerg will be in charge of medical issues and London cabbie Ross Turner will be the route finder.

The team plan to raise £1,000 for their chosen charities – Cool Earth, Medecins Sans Frontieres and London’s Air Ambulance. See www.strangefellows.xyz