Ultimate Train Challenge – Lisbon to Saigon


This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

A few months ago, I posted about the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile adventure car rally from London to Ulanbaator, culminating (many flat tires later) in a 2-week closing party in Mongolia and a donation of all the cars to charity.

Another challenge, this one by train, is underway and ending in Saigon. Whereas the Mongol Rally was not a race, this contest is, requiring participants – Jeannie, Nora and Michael – to take whatever route they want to get to the finish line in approximately one month’s time. The person or team that ends up in Saigon with the most miles traveled by rail will win, as long as they follow the rules. That is: every day, a train needs to be involved in the onward journey, and you can’t loop back and repeat the length of rail you already took. 

The challenge also has a charity aspect to it, with the team raising money for the Da Nang Association of Agent Orange Victims (DAVA), associated with the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Any donations raised from their trip go to the DAVA center to support their on-going activities.

Thus far the trip has taken each participant from Lisbon, Portugal through to China, with their progress marked on their tracking map

While not a conventional Trans-Siberian trip (I did mine in 2 months and that was just Siberia and Mongolia), the charity and contest components has made it fun to watch as they wind their way to the finish line.

They all look friendly below, but their pleasant exterior hides a competitive spirit in each of them. Good luck to all 3 as the challenge comes to a close!

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