Corrandulla native tackles one of world’s most gruelling driving tests for charity

Getting in gear...Mongol Rally participants Aoibheann Browne and Tommy Torrades.
Getting in gear...Mongol Rally participants Aoibheann Browne and Tommy Torrades.

“It is achievable but it won’t be easy – there’s nothing wrong with a challenge.”

Those are the words of Galway woman, Aoibheann Browne, who is set to take part in one of the most gruelling driving challenges in the world – the Mongol Rally.

Aoibheann, from Corrandulla, will join forces with Sligo man, Tommy Torrades, to drive a clapped-out 1.2 litre car from Galway to Mongolia this July – with the aim of raising much needed funds for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.

According to Aoibheann, she thinks the seed was planted in her mind to complete this mammoth journey while speaking to someone who was “probably a bit nuts” on her travels in South East Asia.

And while the idea to tackle the 10,000 mile long expedition had been there for quite some time, the pair only signed up for the challenge four months ago.

“We’re both fairly relaxed and I asked Tommy would he do it and he said ‘yes’ and I asked would we sign up and he said ‘sure why not, I’ll transfer you the money’ and then we were signed up,” she exclaims. “We didn’t put a lot of thought into it before we signed up.”

Neither Aoibheann nor Tommy spend much time at home with Aoibheann currently studying medicine in Budapest and Tommy working in Norway.

As Aoibheann explains, this can complicate matters with applications for visas requiring them to send off their passports and be left without an opportunity to come home.

And visas they will need as the journey takes in 21 countries including a continental criss-cross taking in England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and most of the Baltic states.

They will then venture into Turkey, Iran, five of the former Soviet republics, Russia and Mongolia – before the final stint back into Russia to cross the Siberia-based finish line.

For the rest of this story, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.