The inspiration

At the end of the 90’s Bart Rietbergen gave Mick a DVD-set with report of the 1997 rally Peking- Paris during a business meeting.
Bart himself was a participant in this rally.
Mick recalls: “As I received many of these types of DVD’s and video’s it took me some time to look at this one”.
One evening at home I stuck it in a PC and started looking at a record of a fascinating rally. It was a long movie as it covered every day (47) of the rally so it took me a few evenings to see the whole event, but it was riveting and made me want to participate in such a event. Grace saw it too and loved it. When Anty saw this memorable DVD he aswell was hooked on the idea”.

Anty: “If it would ever been organised again, that should be the event to participate in. Really fascinating, travelling half the globe with a classic car: “Watching the DVD’s, a modern version of the book by the Prince of Borghese passed the TV screen”.

Mick continues; “The next thing that happened was when Anty called me somewhere in 2004 to tell me that he found out that a Dutch based promoter was planning a classic car rally from Amsterdam to Peking in 2006”.

It seemed perfect for us! And so we started planning cars, equipment and budget. We ordered a rally-info-kit and entry form. One of the requirements was to pay a hefty deposit and that was the point when I started making some enquiries about the organiser of this rally. To make a long story short the enquiries did not inspire confidence and we decided not to go for this rally.
The event took place but not until about three weeks before the start all entrants had to pay the entry fee one more time…… You can imagine we were happy we did not enter. It was a disappointment though, these type of challenges do not occur that often. At the same time it surprised me that about 100 entries signed up for this rally without making the enquiries that we made. I hope they had a nice time…

Mick: “In my view the only person in Holland with experience to organize this type of complicated rally is Bart Rietbergen and his team”.

What happened next? Surprise!

In 2007 Bart announced his “ own” Himalaya Trial. Maastricht to Bhutan in 6 weeks in October/ November 2008. So our dream can become reality after all. At the beginning of 2007 the planning started all over again.

Rally information, entry forms, what car to choose. But above all: will our families allow us to disappear for approx 6 weeks into this uncertain adventure?

The answer from both spouses was yes. Sonja even pushed Anty to go and not to come back within the six weeks.

Sonja: “if you dare nót to go, you might as well stay outside for the duration of the trip. So go, do go!” Maybe because they (Grace and Sonja) were happy to be on their own for once after 25 years of marriage…(1983-2008)

“We just have to make sure we take the credit cards.”