"VT Caucasian Challenge Team. Budapest to Yerevan!" CaucasianChallengeVT's Profile
On August 30, 2008. A small group of intrepid VT adventurers took part in the first annual Caucasian Challenge. A wild and woolly rally through the balkans, across Europe, and into Asia Minor.
Here's what the organizers wrote about it, so you can get the feel of the insanity involved:
"The Caucasian Challenge is a minimal assistance motor rally. Forget those ideas about specialized racing vehicles. Our idea of a tricked out and dependable race vehicle is an old Soviet Moskvich with fuzzy dice and a spare tire. Anything you want to race in from cars to trucks or mopeds is okay with us. Most vehicles will get into a pickle at some point and if you're surrounded by guys riding carts to the market your computerized ride might not be easily serviceable. We like simple cheap cars that are easy and sorta fast to fix so you get all the adventure of making friends in strange places without ending your race. Minimal assistance means that there are no support vehicles or a cadre of professionals waiting for you at checkpoints. We scout the route in advance, prepare a detailed list of emergency and "comfort" resources but once you're on the road you must entirely depend on your own skills, endurance, luck and ingenuity to get you to the finish line in one piece. There's only a small medical team traveling with us but don't expect plastic surgery. Remember: this is not a Sunday joy ride to the neighboring hill station! It's going to be long, tough, heavy and sweaty - but it's worth all the efforts. Base hotels (or rather camps) are established for each night. However there might not be hotels en route big enough to handle everyone. They're more like party and informational centers. Like everything else in the Caucasian Challenge there are a zillion ways to reach each goal along the way and only you and your team decide what's the best or most fun way to do it. Besides if everyone did the same thing what would you talk about at all the nightly parties?"
Thousands were emailed, many applied, and four were chosen! The VirtualTourist 2008 Caucasian Challenge Team was ready to go on this truly once-in-a-lifetime journey. We had many wonderful applicants and it was an incredibly tough decision, but were happy to announce that the VT team (from left to right) was:
We were pleased that these four brave souls agreed to take this challenge!!! In just a few short weeks their trusty 1988 Moskvitch was trudging down dirt roads filled with potholes, the fuzzy dice swaying back and forth, and with no map in sight. To read more about them, personally, check out the team page below.
Start: August 30, 2008. Budapest, Hungary.
Head south and make the first border crossing into Croatia, then Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria before leaving the Balkans. Cross the Bosporus into Istanbul and navigate the full length of Turkey along the Iranian border into Georgia. Dip down into Armenia and across the politically uncertain area of Karabagh before crossing the finish line in Yerevan.
Finish: September 15, 2008. Yerevan, Armenia.
As some of you may know, VT GM, Giampiero Ambrosi took part in (and won) the Indian Autorickshaw Challenge in 2008 with his friends as Team Namascar. See the insane videos
He had such a great time that when one of those organizers and his friends in Budapest decided to host the Caucasian Challenge, he decided that a VT Team should share in the fun.
Fourteen teams including VT took part. Click here to see our competitors.
Here are a few snapshots of sights and views enjoyed along the race. And this is just a tiny preview. More details in the travelogues below
Ain't she a beauty? This is the VT Mobile the team is loving along the course of the Caucasian Challenge! The team adds new stickers everyday! Mostly from VT though......
After many grueling miles and madness along the way, VT was the first team to arrive in Yerevan. OK, so maybe we skipped a few challenges toward the end, AND drove through the evening to get here early. But we were first!!!
Where is everyone else??
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updated their Profile Page "VT Caucasian Challenge Team. Budapest to Yerevan!"
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