MKpandas46 for the MongolRally 2017

This July 2017 we are taking part to the Mongol Rally 2017 as the MKpandas46 team. We will drive for charity a 15 y.o. Clio from Milton Keynes, in the U.K., to Ulan-Ude, in Russia, crossing the magical land of Mongolia.  This is our site, and our story.


What is the Mongol Rally


The Mongol Rally is a car rally from Europe to Mongolia** organised by the Adventurists. Every Summer, hundreds of people team up to drive more than 10,000 miles across mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia. No help, no support and no set route are given. That’s why they define the rally “the greatest adventure in the world”.

Three are the fundamental rules to participate:

  1. Our car must be small and rubbish
  2. We must make it totally on our own
  3. We need to raise at least £1000 for charity

The Mongol Rally is an adventure, not a traditional race. If we arrive first, we will win nothing but the glory.

Originally, the purpose of driving cars that far was to devolve them to local populations. We arrived too late, cars now are shipped back to Europe. Still, participating to the rally means that we can help save the world with the money that we raise.

**Well, actually, it now ends in Russia. Blame the vehicle import taxes!

Milton Keynes to Mongolia

Happy birthdaymk-50-final-red-medium Milton Keynes!
2017 is Milton Keynes’50th birthday and we want to celebrate it by taking it to Mongolia!

You know where Milton Keynes is? If you come from outside the UK, like us, you probably don’t. Well, unless you know us, or you are a highly connaisseur of F1.

Milton Keynes can be scary when you arrive here the first time –  a U.S.-style city, no historical city center, and the absolute need of a car even to go to the toilet – however, we ended up loving it and making it our home.


This is why we decided that we want to make our team an MK-branded one. We will tell the rest of the world that yes, Milton Keynes is a a city of weirdos but it is an amazing place to live as its older ring-road sisters Cambridge and Oxford. And btw, older siblings are boring when they become adults!!

The team

ilaIlaria, a.k.a Clumsy Panda, 28 y.o. Born in Rome, where she studied literature and linguistics, she flew to France searching for baguettes and cheese a future in Computer Science. Sick of good food and the Parisian transports, she went to the U.K. to become a grown-up researcher. 6 months before landing to the other side of the channel, she was saying “I will never live in the U.K.”. Never say never…

Interests: Football, Snowboard, Running, Food, Travels, Languages, Books, Literature, and much more…

manu Manu, a.k.a. Fussy Panda, 34 y.o. Unlike Clumsy Panda, he was in Rome until he was 33. He chose classical studies at high school, and then, without knowing the meaning of the word “engineering”, went for “Computer Science Engineering”, taking also a Ph.D. on it. Although everybody knows that CS Engineering is not a real engineering, he truly believes in the motto “trust me, I’m an engineer!”. Probably someone should tell him that broken cars in the middle of the desert can’t be fixed by turning them off and on again…

Interests: Being Fussy, Football, Football, Robots, Languages and did I say Football?

We want to help

Why are we doing that? Well, there’s a million reasons for that.

We DO have a crappy car. Well, not *absolutely* crappy, otherwise it will not take us to Mongolia.

We LOVE travelling, especially on our own. We did plenty of trips, we took and more importantly lost flights, (chicken-) buses, coaches, boats, we got lifts in kayaks, trucks with shovels, elephants, three-volumes cars driven by locals…


We never did a trip for a real reason. This time, we are. Getting involved in charity projects, convincing the rest of the world that what we do is for good, this is not easy to do. The money we will raise will be donated to

Mary’s Meals is a charity organisation that fights hunger by providing daily meals to schools in food-vulnerable areas such as Africa and South East Asia.

Liberia is among the worst affected countries and Mary’s Meals organises school feeding programmes to help children finishing their year. Through MM, we started the MKpandas46 for the Weilor Primary School project, and our aim is to raise enough money to provide food and school material to the 301 children of the Weilor Primary School in Liberia. The amount to reach is demanding, but are pushing very hard to provide these children a better future (and realise our dream of visiting them, sometime in the future).

Cool Earth is an environmental charity working with indigenous communities to protect rainforests in danger.

Cool Earth works together with The Adventurists. In the specific, part of the money risen for charity has to go to this association. It’s a sort of entrance fee to pay in order to participate in the MR. Of course we don’t dislike the idea! We love our planet and these guys are really cool!

A tale of pandas and turtles

Once upon a time in 2013, a panda dove in the Australian sea looking for a loggerhead sea turtle (the caretta caretta) without finding it. He therefore decided to travel the world to track down the turtle. From Laos’ rivers to Thailand’s temples, from Mexico’s cenotes to Guatemala’s volcanoes, from the Mauritian’s rainbows to the Belizean seas…still the turtle was unspotted. In 2017, the panda’s mission is to find the caretta while driving up to Mongolia…