Mayo men are ready to head to Mongolia....by car

This July two Mayo men and a friend from Wicklow will leave the shores of Clew Bay and head east, very far east.

Three lads heading off on a road trip in the middle of the summer is not something that odd to read about, but this trio is taking part in what has been described as "the greatest motoring adventure in the world" - The Mongal Rally.

Joe McGing and Ben Ruddy from Mayo, along with their friend Luke Cafferkey from Wicklow, have taken on the challenge of driving from Mayo to Mongolia to raise funds for their chosen charity, the Simon Community.

Ben Ruddy told the Mayo Advertiser he cannot wait for the adventure to start.

"These days it seems like you have to do something a bit mad to capture people’s attention, and The Mongol Rally is our mad way of drawing attention to a great cause," he says.

"There’s no back up, no support, and no set route from the organisers of the Mongol Rally, so it’s a perfect adventure for us. We have planned to cross 17,000km across 31 countries to Mongolia, and in doing so raise as much money as possible for our charity."

The route includes some hair-raising terrain, including spending five days driving along the border with Afghanistan, crossing the breadth of Iran, circumnavigating the Aral Sea, driving up and over the world’s second highest road, and getting stuck in the sand dunes of the Gobi desert.

And they will be doing it all in a Renault Clio to make the challenge even harder, with help from their major sponsors, JJ Burke Car Sales in Ballinrobe, and Irish Continental Group.

The trio had set an initial fundraising goal of €1,500 for the Simon Community and they have already raised double that amount, thanks to the generosity of the public.

"We want to keep the ball rolling and give the charity a great gift to continue doing their good work."

To contribute a donation to the charity, visit www.gofundme.com/mayotomongolia For more information about the trip, visit www.mayotomongolia.com or the Facebook page www.facebook.com/mayotomongolia/ They will have live updates from the road with a GPS tracker in the car so supporters can follow the trio's trials and tribulations en route to the finish line.

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