Pair tackle Mongol Rally in tiny Nissan Micra

Dave Kohler and Sam Dryden are driving their Nissan Micra to Mongolia. Picture: Greg Macvean
Dave Kohler and Sam Dryden are driving their Nissan Micra to Mongolia. Picture: Greg Macvean
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It’s the 11,000-mile road trip dubbed the “greatest adventure in the world”.

Now two friends are set to take on the world-famous Mongol Rally in a tiny Nissan Micra – driving all the way from the cobbled streets of Edinburgh to the barren wastelands of deepest Siberia.

Dave Kohler and Sam Dryden, who were both raised in Balerno, will begin their perilous journey this Friday before leaving the UK on Sunday afternoon to cross over to Calais.

And the daring pair – who hope to complete the challenge in just six to eight weeks, passing through more than 20 different countries – have a few surprises up their sleeves.

Their pint-sized Nissan has been kitted out with a Nespresso machine and an ice maker the size of a microwave, allowing them to get their regular caffeine fix and even dish out whisky on the rocks to any thirsty locals.

Meanwhile, a raft of jerrycans in the back will hold 60 litres of emergency fuel, while engineering student Sam, 25, will act as mechanic.

And in order to help them stand out, the duo will be embracing their Scottish roots by donning kilts and sleeping under tartan tents – as well as taking on the team name “The Haggis Hunters”.

The Mongol Rally, which begins in London and ends in Ulan Ude, Russia, is not a traditional race – with no prizes for finishing first – and sees around 300 teams taking part every year.

Dave revealed the ambitious plans came about after he developed itchy feet on his return from travelling.

The 25-year-old, who quit his high-powered career in energy trading to embark on the adventure, said: “I always like to have a goal, and so nine months ago I had just come back from being abroad and was messaging my mate and saying I need something to look forward to.

“It’s taken way more planning than I expected – first of all, you have things like visas that are all in foreign languages where you can’t even read the letters. And the modifications to the car have been quite thorough, so that’s taken a while.”

Dave and Sam have pledged to navigate using only a massive eight-metre long map and face a long drive home after completing the trip – with a competition run by the pair offering one lucky winner the chance to bag their Nissan after the race if they manage to snap a picture of the vehicle during the challenge.

The duo hope the stunt will raise thousands of pounds for Cash for Kids and rainforest charity Cool Earth, and a charity ceilidh at the The Merlin Roadhouse in Morningside this Friday will kick start the fundraising.

Matthew Owen, director of Cool Earth, said: “We’re thrilled Sam and Dave are risking life and limb to raise money for Cool Earth. Adventurist teams doing the Mongol Rally and other crazy adventures have raised nearly half a million pounds for our charity so far.

“This has made a huge difference to our work protecting at-risk rainforest by working alongside indigenous villages.”