See you on the udder side: wacky race team will raise moo-lah for charity

Moo car 5 cropped for web

Next stop Udder Mongolia - Team Jackie Moo-art's Highland cow car.

​Graeme Donohoe is prepared to brave rabid dogs and getting lost in the desert to raise money for F1 legend's charity

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17th July 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

Team Jackie Moo-art has embarked on the world’s most bonkers motoring adventure – the Mongol Rally.

Our mission is to get a farcically small Ford Fiesta, pimped up to look like a four-wheeled Highland Cow, from Scotland to Mongolia.

We’ll be driving 10,000 miles across Europe, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia in a cow car we’ve christened Morag. 4x4s are banned and if we end up in Syria, we’ll have taken a wrong turn.

I’m no Brad Pitt but I wouldn’t mind keep my head attached to the rest of my body.

Happy birthday to moo: Graeme on his 40th with a cow car cake

Happy birthday to moo: Graeme on his 40th with a cow car cake

When we cross Turkey, we hope President Erdogan doesn’t mistake us for a military coo and blast us with one of his tanks

There’s no backup, no support and we have been warned that any “Help! We’ve broken down in Kyrgyzstan” type phone calls to Mongol Rally HQ will be met with a snort or derision and a click of the receiver.

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

The point of the trip is to celebrate my 40th birthday – and more importantly, to hopefully raise a cow shed load of cash for F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart’s charity Race Against Dementia.

Dementia is now Britain’s biggest killer. There are 850,000 sufferers in the UK – and that figure is expected to soar to two million by 2051 unless a cure can be developed.

Two of my grandparents suffered from the brain disease and it’s absolutely devastating for any family to go through so I’m hoping people will dig deep to support us. More families will suffer this in future unless we find a cure.

Please can I stress, this is not one of those jollies where we expect people to stump up so a charity will pay to whisk us off gratis on an exotic adventure. Every penny raised goes to the charity.

We got lucky that Peoples Ford were up for supporting us by generously supplying us with our car for the trek and we can’t thank them enough.

But other than that, we have entirely self-funded this trek ourselves – paying our own flights, accommodation, insurance, etc.

The £300 for my vaccinations was money well spent alone as the doctor told me that if a rabid dog tries to attack me I shouldn’t try to fend it off with my hands but kick it in the head. Apparently, the infection travels much quicker to the brain from your hands than your feet.

I’ve picked up loads of bizarre survival tips and there’s even a method behind the madness of asking Highland Cow Art artist Hilary Barker to transform our wheels for the rally into a bovine beast.

Apparently, if your car has comedy value it makes the border crossings a lot easier as the guards are more interested in getting selfies with your motor than shaking you down for a bribe.

You’re also a lot less likely to be suspected of being an MI6 spy. I can’t see 007 swapping his Aston Martin for a Highland Cow car any time soon.

Although, when we’re crossing Turkey, we’ll need to hope President Erdogan doesn’t mistake us for a military coo and blast us with one of his tanks!

If the reaction to the car so far is anything to go by so far, we’re going to raise a lot of smiles during our adventure.

I parked Morag outside a pub on Duke Street, Glasgow the other day and when I came back a group of mourners attending a wake were all laughing at and taking snaps of our trusty steed. The sister of the man who’d just died of cancer said: “Thanks for giving us something to smile about on a day that’s broken our hearts.”

Our challenge of a lifetime won’t all be smiles. I’m told I’ll never complain about a Scottish pothole again after driving through Kazakhstan.

A friend who’s done the Mongol Rally in the past rang up with some tips and asked if I’d bought road maps for Mongolia. Her advice was to just throw them out the window when we get there because there are NO roads… just sand.

Bring it on!

For more info or to donate click here or follow their adventure on Twitter @MoragTheCowCar.

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