You know you want to do it. But first a few questions…
- Who is eligible to participate?
- How many people will be involved?
- When do you close registration?
- What if all the spots are taken?
- Is it safe?
- How do I get to the starting line?
- What if I break down on the way?
- What do I do with my vehicle in Armenia?
- Where are we going to sleep?
- Does my mobile phone work everywhere?
- What vehicle papers will I need?
- How do I get the car insurance?
- Will I need Visas?
- What about the terrain?
- Can I make it with a 2WD vehicle?
- What kind of weather can I expect?
- How about health issues and vaccinations?
- What maps and navigation techniques do you recommend?
- Can we get our own sponsors?
Who is eligible to participate?
Anyone with a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle you’ll be using. Technically you should also be of sound mind and body… but that’s covered in the terms and conditions you sign before the start. No age restrictions, use your common sense and/or ask the organizers.
How many people will be involved?
When do you close registration?
What if all the spots are taken?
Is it safe?
Um, sort of. The more you obey the rules listen to advice and practice common sense; you’ll probably do just fine. But it’s not guaranteed, you won’t have a support or rescue team nudging you on plus you’ll be in extremely remote areas at some point. This is real adventure. Read more about the threats and dangers. We never had major security/safety problems in the past years so don’t be too much concerned, just use common sense and follow the Road Book.
How do I get to the starting line?
That depends on where you come from. Anywhere from Europe it’s easy to drive to Istanbul (almost) all the way on speedways. Or you can fly to Istanbul and pick one of our rental cars there. We can even help you buying a car and deliver it to the start line. We can help you finding the right vehicle for your budget and arrange all paperwork, enhancements, preparations, rally decals, whatever you need. Just let us know in time. Anything is possible, really, just contact us. !
What if I break down on the way?
We could say bad luck but it’s rather good luck. You have a wonderful opportunity to test your sense to find a mechanic or someone who knows someone maybe far from the next village, test your team mate’s nerves and learn names of car parts in local languages.
What do I do with my vehicle in Armenia?
You can turn around and drive home, sell the car and fly back or give it away for charity. All these options are your responsibility but we can help guide you with information about the average going rates for your type of vehicle in Yerevan. NOTE: selling a car in Armenia with foreign plates is a pain in the butt, the administration procedures are complicated and taxes are high. So you better plan with leaving your car there helping some local charities who do all necessary paperwork. Anyhow, if you intend to leave your car in Armenia, please let us know well in advance so we can help you.
Where are we going to sleep?
If you prefer luxury accommodations we’ll do what we can to point you towards the nearest approximation. Sleeping accommodations are the responsibility of the participants. We give you a tailor-made road book, in advance, that lists some of the local accommodations for the nights. Each night a designated hotel (sometimes a campsite) becomes the Caucasian Challenge base camp. This is the place where you’ll find the organizers, parties and a friendly place to hang out or get help. We’ll spend some of the nights in campsites under the stars – the most unforgettable nights indeed!
We put together a hotel package, so if you sign up for that, you won’t have problem with your places to stay for the whole length of the event. It’s around 300 Euros per person in total for the whole length of the rally. It’s not mandatory but one thing less to think about while on the road – just pick up your key and enjoy the night. Hotel package prices and conditions will be announced in May 2015.
Does my mobile phone work everywhere?
Believe or not but it does. It’s weird that at some points you feel like you’re back in the middle ages, still, your phone gets full reception. The only exception is Nagorno Karabakh where some operators have roaming others don’t. Obviously there are some points where you won’t have any coverage but that’s only for a couple of hours and especially in mountainous and less populated regions.
What vehicle papers will I need?
The same standard papers required elsewhere: car insurance (green card) and vehicle registration paper (called ‘car passport’). If the vehicle is on someone else’s name make sure you have an authorization. Any paper that connects you with the owner of the car (or whoever is in the car papers), will be fine for the border procedures. We will notify you in advance if there are any special requirements. Anyhow, you’ll find all the details in the road book.
How do I get the car insurance?
An EU insurance is valid in most of the countries covered by the Caucasian Challenge. The exception is Georgia and Armenia. For both countries you can (and probably must) buy insurance for a small fee at the borders. The procedures and the fees are explained in the Road Book.
Will I need Visas?
Depending on your passport you will likely need some visas. Most probably 2 in total (for Turkey and Nagorno Karabakh) if you’re from the EU, the US or Canada for instance. The good news is that all are pretty easy to get en route (at the borders), so you don’t need to do anything in advance.
What about the terrain?
Covering a bunch of countries rarely seen by western eyes, you’ll marvel at the infrequent modern roadways in between the dirt, gravel and moon-like surfaces. You’ll experience all kinds of roads to test your vehicle and yourself. From big flat dirty plains to steep mountain passes you get what you wish. Having a fancy car full of electronics won’t necessarily be an advantage when it comes to repairs.
Can I make it with a 2WD vehicle?
Yes, you can make it. Some past participants completed the challenge with ancient rust buckets so it’s proven. There are some charming challenging roads specially for 4WD cars but we will always mark these sections in the road book and suggest alternative routes. Not the four-wheel-drive in particular what you need for the tricky sections but ground clearance.
What kind of weather can I expect?
Difficult to answer. It can be chilly and rainy as well as deadly 40 degrees Celsius or anything in between. The climate is generally hot in August but better to be prepared for colder nights especially at higher altitudes. More info will come about the specific regions in the Road Book.
How about health issues and vaccinations?
You have a pretty small chance to get the plague on the way but be well prepared. No vaccinations needed. We created a short document for you covering all the issues and possible health related problems during this trip and recommendations for packing your medicine box. You can download this doc after logging in to your account.
What maps and navigation techniques do you recommend?
We give you a series of maps for the whole route including all countries. The really exciting part comes when resources are outdated, inaccurate or there are no maps at all. For this we set GPS navigation waypoints and advise that you have a GPS device that you are comfortable with. We highly recommend Garmin GPS products as a proven brand in adventure traveling. All the GPS maps we give to participants are Garmin format.
Avoide taking only a phone with some country maps and special GPS software. It’ll perfectly navigate you from Tulip street to Rose street in your hometown but almost useless when you can’t do route planning in Karabakh for instance.
Can we get our own sponsors?
All participants are required to have official Caucasian Challenge sponsor stickers on their racing vehicle. However some teams like to offset the cost of the Challenge or increase their charity donations by finding their own team sponsors. Go for it!