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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
In pictures: An ice cream adventure

At the starting line in Hyde Park

In late July Alex Welsh, Ryan Walker and Mike Hollaway trundled out of London's Hyde Park in an ice cream van. Their destination? Mongolia. It was for charity, of course.

In convoy with others in the rally in Tajikistan

They were taking part in the Mongol Rally, for vehicles with engines of one litre or less. The month-long rally raised money for Mercy Corps, to fund projects in Mongolia.

Roadside camping in Bulgaria

The trio drove, ate and slept in the van as they made the 9,999-mile trip there and back, and spent 46.25 hours at border crossings.

Lost in the Pontiac Mountains in Turkey, pointing in the direction of Mongolia

Wrong turnings often resulted in detours well off the beaten track, as here in Turkey. "But the scenery was fantastic so none of us had any complaints," said Ryan.

Dicey mountain roads in Tajikistan

As the team progressed towards their destination, the roads became increasingly dicey...

Stuck in a ditch in Kyrgystan

... and sometimes got a little too tricky. Here the van came off the road and into a ditch.

Running repairs - Ryan hammers the serving window back into its frame

The state of the roads and the extreme heat meant the freezer packed up, scuppering plans to sell cones en route. At journey's end it was donated to a science lab to be fixed.

Towing the Miss Daisy team

Breakdowns were frequent, with 39 of the 200 teams failing to reach Ulaanbaartar. Here the trio give a tow to another team in Irkutsk, Russia.

On a cargo ship

They crossed the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan by cargo ship, which took 30 hours, not the expected 12. "We ran out of drinking water and were very dehydrated," said Ryan.

In the desert in Turkmenistan

After 20 hours waiting at the Turkmenistan border, then 10 hours filing in forms, the van's thermometer broke when it hit 55C in the desert.

Children react to the sight of the van

Children - and adults - reacted with surprise and delight. "But their villages were devastatingly poor," said Ryan. The rally raised 100,000 to support such communities.

Rum, raisin and rotten roads
24 Jul 07 |  Magazine

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