All posts by planfmongol

The 5th Team Member…

Ever sat at home gazing at your Facebook timeline, seeing our photos of our adventures and thinking “I wish I could be with the lads”? Well fear not, this could be your lucky day.
Although as you all know we don’t like planning over here at Plan F HQ, we have begun to accept that in order for us to get you fine folk to turn out your pockets and hand it over, it helps if we do something for you – that requires some planning. So months before we leave on these charity adventures we start writing numerous finely crafted begging letters, Alan and I have developed quite the knack of this over time but even then it is like trying to get blood out of a stone, every once in a while though one works out and a company with a heart and more than likely a good sense of humour writes back and says yes – the fine folk over at partypacks.co.uk were one of these companies.
Thanks to Party Packs we can offer one of you lucky people the chance to come with us… sadly not in person, but rather as a cardboard cut out. Party Packs have agreed to print us a life sized cardboard cut out of one of our lucky donators and should that be you we will be taking you along for the ride. Thats right, you’ll be coming for a pint with us in Munich, having a kebab in Turkey, visiting the Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan, no doubt end up in a Russian prison cell overnight at some point and of course you will be there with us at the finish line. We at Plan F promise to take you with us wherever we go and whenever we have a team photo, you will be in it. There will be no more looking at our photos on Facebook wishing you were there, you will have your very own album of photos from when you drove to Mongolia WITH Plan F!!
So don’t delay, sponsor us today £10 and we will enter you into the draw. For every multiple of £10 you sponsor us you will get another entry – but hurry, there is only a week left to get your donations in! To donate you can go to http://www.justgiving.com/planf or you can simply text PLAN60 (plus your amount) to 70070. Thanks in advance and we hope to see YOU at the start line.

We all like a good party so if you’re arranging a party, need some fancy dress or even a life size cut out of someone who can’t be there then go check out http://www.partypacks.co.uk they have literally got everything under one roof and they are super friendly and easy to deal with. Myself, Alan, Gilbey and Don would just like to say a massive thank you to Katy over at Party Packs for acknowledging and agreeing to our somewhat strange request, you’ve already helped us raise a small fortune and I’m sure there is more to come.

20140618-181905-65945393.jpg

We bought a car!

Purchasing a car unseen on ebay is almost certainly a bad idea. Even more so if you’re hoping to then drive it ten thousand miles across who-knows-what to Mongolia. But then again, £600 quid for a Skoda Felicia with only 37,000 miles on the clock seemed like a good deal, so we decided to go for it anyway. Plus it was white, and we thought the team logo would look nice on white. In such situations it’s important that you get someone with a sound knowledge of motor vehicles to check out the relevant worky-bits before handing over any cash.

Now, I know pretty much nothing about cars. I know they’re generally supposed to have four wheels; I know that if bits fall off when you drive that’s probably bad; and um… lets stop there shall we. Fortunately for us, Don has been messing around with cars since he was a wee laddie, and Gilbey is an “engineer”. Alright, Dave doesn’t know much about cars either, but still a fair bit more than I do. What a relief! I’d hate to have had to go along on my own, pretend to know what I’m talking about, hand over a large wedge of cash and then break down on the way home, having let the entire team down.

Sadly, Don lives in the USA, Dave had to work, and if we told you what Gilbey was doing we might have to kill you. It was therefore with no little trepidation that I set out alone to collect the car from some dusty little village in Gloucestershire.

The seller met me at the station. He seemed like a nice sort of chap, and made a decent cup of tea, so I decided to trust him. I made a bit of a show walking round the car, poking things and looking under stuff before declaring that I was happy with our purchase and setting off back home in the our new rally car.

And you know what, she drives like a bloody dream! Bring on Mongolia!

What’s Next?

It’s April 1984, Al is wetting his pants and being sick over his mothers shoulder, I’m being dragged into the world with some forceps and Gilbey is still a bun in the oven. Fast-forward 30 years and here we are, approaching middle age wondering what to do with our lives. Where has the last 30 years gone? How does it only seem like yesterday that our idea of an adventure was going to Blackpool Pleasure Beach?

Well, they say time flies when you’re having fun and I suppose you could say that between us, we’ve all had plenty of that! So, We’re rapidly approaching 30, we could sit around and whine about growing old or we could grab life by the short and curlies and do something ridiculous to mark our giant leap into adulthood. Naturally, we chose the latter. So here we are at 29, planning to buy a beat up car fit for only your Grandma  to run to Sainsburys and back once a week then pimp it out sufficiently for it to take us 10,000 miles from Blackpool to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia and see in our 30th year in style.

There is obviously an element of danger involved in this adventure which we are very much aware of. There is grumpy gun toting border officials, Eastern European Mafia, bad roads, terrorists, getting lost in the middle of nowhere, bandits and not to mention Alan’s driving and Gilbey’s choice of music! All these things have been taken into consideration and we’ve decided we’re still going, why? Well, because if it were safe, it’d be simple and we’re after an adventure!

Watch the below video for a taster of things to come.

Devizes to Westminster Race

Two thirds of the team are not content with driving 10,000 miles for charity, that seems almost easy in comparison to this charity challenge. Dave and myself are currently training for the Devizes to Westminster boat race.

This idea has brought an entirely new meaning to the idea of ‘two men in a boat’.

Dave, Master Kayaker and me as the wise Navigator (yes there is some irony in that statement) intend to compete in the Devizes to Westminster boat race – completion preferred but not guaranteed. The full details of this hideous event can be found on their website, however, by way of a summary – its 125 miles starting on the Kennet and Avon canal, finishing at Westminster pier on the Thames, passing through 77 portages. Completing this gruelling event relies on supreme endurance, efficient teamwork and a flexible support crew. The race takes place on Easter weekend, the 30th of March. Our aim, potentially an over-ambitious one, is to complete the distance in under 24 hours – note: worryingly, in 1998, only half the teams completed the distance!

The boat we have borrowed is a rather supreme K2 race boat – aerodynamic, light, and terrifyingly unstable. Every subtle movement is amplified and smooth passage requires honed intuition and precise synchronized paddling.

You can like our Facebook page here. The page will be used as a blog to track and monitor our progress. There’s no guarantee that we’ll make the event let alone complete it in under 24hrs. Through this page, you can live our every stroke, chilly capsize, and gruelling training hour but as you can see, it’s September and we can paddle 10 miles comfortably for a pint… only 115 miles to go!

Gilbey