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Team Desertaxi Competes in the 2008 Mongol Rally

Jeffrey Donenfeld Projects, Travel and Adventure, Video Leave a Comment

During the summer months of 2008, I worked with Team Desertaxi in their bid for the 2008 Mongol Rally. As director of media and field communictaions, I designed, developed, and deployed their complete deep-field communications systems, which allowed them to live-blog from the heart of Mongolia, with their media showing up on a website I also designed. This was my adventure agency Four North’s first project in taking place in Mongolia. A bit more on the Mongol Rally, run by The Adventurists: The Mongol Rally is a car rally that begins in Europe and ends in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. The principal launch is from Goodwood Circuit, United Kingdom, with subsidiary starting points in other European countries. It is described as the “greatest adventure in the world”. Whilst originally the rally required competing vehicles to have an engine displacement of less than 1,000cc, this has been increased to 1,200 cc to reflect the increasing difficulty of obtaining a car since the Mongolian government stipulated that all competing vehicles must be less than 10 years old. The rally is designed to be an adventure for the participants, and not a traditional rally/race. The organisers (“The Adventurists”) are careful to point out that racing on highways is illegal, and that no recognition is given to the first finisher. There are other differences from mainstream rallies, particularly the fact that no support team is provided and no other arrangements are made such as for accommodation. Indeed, the diminutive vehicles are deliberately inappropriate for the task, in the adventurous spirit of the rally. By the end of the adventure, the team led by James Walker had appeared in international news outlets, traveled thousands of miles, and created a video to sum it all up: (direct file link) Previous posts and into about Team Desertaxi in …

Taxistan in the London Evening Standard

Jeffrey Donenfeld News, Projects 2 Comments

Team Desertaxi, who’s website and field communications I oversee, has gotten a little more press coverage. The team, and their micro-nation of Taxistan have been written up in the London Evening Standard newspaper including pictures taken from the Team Desertaxi Blog. With this story, it seems like print media is starting to looking more closely at blog media now…. these photos the London Evening Standard printed were originally uploaded by the team from the field via satellite link directly to Flickr, and then posted to the blog using the wordpress xml-rpc.


Caught between Russia & Kazakhstan by war, Taxistan is born

Jeffrey Donenfeld Travel and Adventure 2 Comments

I work with Mongol Rally entrant Team DeserTaxi, and set up their website, blog, and manage their field communications. Their mission is to drive a London black cab from London all the way to Mongolia. They were trying to cross the Kazakhstan-Russia border on the eve of Russia starting war with Georgia – and were denied entry into Russia – only to be denied entry back into Kazakhstan. They’re now sitting in a ring of barbed wire, between both borders, with no resources and only a satellite link to blog from.. check out their full post on their blog…. intense…