I want you

The Great Game Expedition – Departing 10th April 2013

I’m looking for adventurous team members, to join a unique overland 4×4 trip from London to China and back, through Central Asia. Travelling from London to Russia we will join the Silk Road and head east to China though the “Stans” north of Afghanistan. We will then to head south via Laos to Malaysia in South East Asia. After shipping the vehicle to Bangladesh we will head west via India, Nepal, Pakistan and Iran, and finally Europe to London.

This is a unique opportunity to be part of an expedition that combines one of the great overland journeys with a fantastic historical narrative. While we will take on the challenge to share this amazing adventure as the expedition unfolds.

Expedition Vision

To explore present day Central Asia along the former Silk Road routes, retracing the steps of the players and the historical events of The Great Game. Through the interaction with the local people, cultures and landscape, the aim is to compare and contrast the historical version with modern day Central Asia.

The Great Game or Tournament of Shadows during the 19th Century.

Expedition Goals 

  • To have the adventure of a lifetime
  • To explore the countries of the Central Asia
  • To meet the local people and make new friends
  • To raise awareness of the current situation in Central Asia by sharing the events of the journey, and attempting to bring to life the story of The Great Game and its relevance to its modern day successor
  • Through the mediums of film, photography, and words to capture and share the journey via social media channels
  • To produce a documentary / adventure travel film of the journey

Key Dates

Applications close:       January 14th 2013

Team Selected:            by January 20th 2013

Visa Applications:        1st tranche submitted by end of January (with payment)

Confirm place:             Payment by end of January

Departing:                    10th April 2013

Potential Roles on the Expedition

–       The Journey

  • Planning and Logistics
  • Sharing the Driving, Cooking, Navigating, and Negotiating
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Languages
  • Filming and Editing – Capturing the Story/ Experience
  • Photography – Capturing the Story/ Experience
  • Social Media / Communications – Sharing the Story / Experience

–       Support team roles during prep for & the journey (UK based but not a prerequisite)

  • Logistics
  • Social Media / Communications
  • Film Editing and Production
  • Researchers

I’m looking for people who will share my passion for the expedition, more than just the funding. My preference is to share the journey and experience with other likeminded souls. If you think you can bring something special and unique in your own way to the expedition, I want to hear from you. It’s the adventure of a lifetime and these experiences always better when you are part of a team. However, if I’m unable to find anybody that fits the bill, I will still be going by myself.

As the cost is significant I have broken the journey into 5 legs. You can join for one leg or come along for all 5, if you are feeling inspired. Applications are welcome to join as many legs as you wish.

If you are seriously interested, and can see a role for yourself on the expedition (whether that is on the road or at home in support) then I’d love to receive an application from you.

If you need further information please don’t hesitate to contact me via the website.

Jon

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The Details 

Key Dates

Applications close:       January 14th 2013

Team Selected:            by January 20th 2013

Visa Applications:        1st tranche submitted by end of January (with payment)

Confirm place:             Payment by end of January

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Budget / Costs

Figures are GBP based on the best current forecast. I’ve tried to be conservative in approach and have sensed check the figures with experienced travellers. However like all trips of this nature they are likely to vary. Hopefully they balance out or even reduce. For a useful comparison of prices I suggest you check the Dragoman website: www.dragoman.com

Variable          – inc personal visas, food, accommodation & discretionary spending

Fuel                  – based on current diesel rates for each country x forecasted mileage

Fixed               – inc car visas, maintenance, shipping & insurance

While the aim is for teammates to complete an entire leg (ideally more than one), there is scope to vary the length on each leg. Please refer to the website blog for the outline route for each leg. 

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Route

Leg 1:                          London to Azerbaijan                               

Visas:                          UK Passport – Russia & Azerbaijan visas required

Dates:                          Apr 10 – May 10        (25 days / 4 weeks)

Seats Available:          2 seats

Estimated Cost

Variable                        1,150 pp

Fuel                              395 / 260 pp

Fixed                            580 / 390 pp            (23 per day * 1 seat / 15 per day * 2 seats)

Total                            2,125 / 1,800

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Leg 2:                         Turkmenistan to Kyrgyzstan    

Visas:                          UK Passport – Several visas required

Dates:                         May 10 – Jun 20       (45 days / 6.5 weeks)

Seats Available:          2 seats

Estimated Cost

Variable                       1,915 pp

Fuel                             285 / 185 pp

Fixed                          1,050 / 700 pp         (23 per day * 1 seat / 15 per day * 2 seats)

Total                           3,250 / 2,800 pp

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Leg 3:                         China to Malaysia    (China daily itinerary:  Group Confirmed)

Visas:                          UK Passport – Several visas required

Dates:                         Jun 20 – Aug 30        (70 days / 10 weeks)

Seats Available:         2 seats

Estimated Cost

Variable                      2,150 pp

Fuel                            590 / 400 pp

Fixed                         1,620 / 1,080 pp      (23 per day * 1 seat / 15 per day * 2 seats)

Total                          4,360 / 3,630 pp

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Leg 4:                         Bangladesh to Turkey                

Visas:                          UK Passport – Several visas required

Dates:                          Sep 1 – Nov 30          (97 days / 14 weeks)

Seats Available:          2 seats

Estimated Cost

Variable                      3,500 pp

Fuel                            530 / 350 pp

Fixed                         2,400 / 1,600 pp      (23 per day * 1 seat / 15 per day * 2 seats)

Total                          6,430 / 5,450 pp

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Leg 5:                         Turkey to London                

Visas:                          UK Passport – No visas required

Dates:                          Dec 1 – Dec 14          (12 days / 2 weeks)

Seats Available:         2 seats

Estimated Cost

Variable                     400 pp

Fuel                            330 / 220 pp

Fixed                         300 / 200 pp             (23 per day * 1 seat / 15 per day * 2 seats)

Total                          1,030 / 820 pp

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Budget Rules

Upfront Payments

Pay for visas when due:

  • Leg 1, 2 and 3             By the end of January 2013 (some flexibility for Leg 3 only)
  • Leg 4                           By June 2013 (estimate)

Pay the fixed charge in advance (similar time to the required visa application’s):

  • The fixed rate is a daily charge that will be applied for each day you are planned to be on the trip
  • All figures will be updated prior to departure to reflect the current view
  • Calculated by a total fixed cost divided by number of (forecasted) days for Legs 2, 3 and 4
  • An element of the fixed charge is potentially refundable if not spent

Pay a GBP 250 bond in advance of joining the team

  • Bond against equipment damage (vehicle, expedition, film & computer equip etc)
  • Bond is refundable on completion of your journey. Non-refundable if you pull out

On the road expenses

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Fuel
  • Discretionary spending
  • Insurance (personal and vehicle as required)
  • Any personal flights required 

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What commitments am I looking for?

  • Ability to commit to either of Legs 1, 2 or 3 by late January.
  • Commit time in advance to develop roles, skills, training, preparation & logistics.
  • Desire to be fully involved in the expedition and assist in achieving its goals while on the road.
  • Flexible attitude and approach.
  • Good team player with a sense of humour.
  • A person that meets deadlines and dates that are agreed.
  • Ability to fund your trip (Cash paid on time).

What can I offer?

  • 18 months preparation and research into the journey.
  • Fully prepared expedition vehicle.
  • Experienced traveller and professional project manager.
  • Fellow of RGS with access to its resources and experts.
  • All ready resourced, prepared and booked China itinerary.
  • A friendly and fun travel companion (New Zealand born / British based).
  • Ability to join a well resourced and funded trip that will take place with or without additional team mates.
  • First hand experience in organising and participating in a long and unique overseas expedition. 

Risks I’m taking on

  • Overall preparation and maintenance of the vehicle.
  • I’m prepared to cap the vehicle maintenance budget required to keep vehicle fit for purpose upon its return to the UK. The final figure would be agreed prior to departure. 

Caveats

  • This is not a tour operation, so I will not be held personally responsible for any changes to the trip that is beyond my control.
  • If for some reason the trip had to cease then I would look to return any fixed funds for journeys not completed. i.e. the vehicle is damaged beyond repair.
  • The rules and details are designed to provide a guideline to preparing for the trip. Things will no doubt change as the trip proceeds, so you will need to be prepared for that.
  • The rules are designed to give confidence and comfort to all that the trip will proceed as planned and that people are committed once on board.
  • However they are not totally rigid. If for instance, unforeseen events meant someone had to drop out, then all efforts would be made to resolve the situation to everybody’s satisfaction and avoid people being out of pocket.

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Team Mate Application Requirements

Please provide a brief description (approx. 500 words) with your application in which the following areas should be addressed:

  • In what ways will you be going ‘above and beyond’ your usual experiences, limits or boundaries?
  • For what reason(s) is this journey important to you?
  • What makes you a great teammate?
  • What are you individual strengths?
  • What makes you passionate about this expedition?
  • Why should you be part of this expedition? 

Applicants must provide short biography or CV stating any relevant previous experience or competencies. Please list any previous travel experience. This will help me learn a little bit about you. If you want to learn a little about me have a look at my website, and I’d be happy to provide you with a copy of my CV on request.

Eligibility to join the trip

Applicants should hold a clean, valid (UK/IDP/other) driving licence and have three or more years’ experience of driving. They must also be eligible for the appropriate licence in all the countries they will be travelling through.

Applicants must also be eligible for the appropriate visas in all the countries they will be travelling through.

Applicants must demonstrate a clear desire to learn from and be able to document the geography of the people, places and environments encountered on the journey.

Thanks for reading. I hope this inspires you to apply or just to get in touch and let me know your thoughts on the expedition.

2 Responses to “Applications Are Now Open – Adventurous Team Members Wanted for a Unique Overland Expedition”

  1. anilkumar ojha says:

    hi,
    i am from india . i can join you from india to london , what should i do , and how i can bee part of your trip

  2. Hi Anil,

    Thanks for the interest in the trip.

    To apply for team mate positions on the trip I need to know a little bit about yourself. If you could complete the team mate application requirements above and forward them to me, that would be the first step.

    I suggest you contact me via the contact page and then we can chat via email.

    Cheers Jon

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