Last year I brought you the Inca Rally, and this year I can suggest the Ultimate Train Challenge.
I first heard about the Ultimate Train Challenge in 2011 when Michael, Nora, and Jeannie went on the adventure of a lifetime, taking the world's longest continuous train journey from Lisbon to Saigon.
I'm happy to tell you the challenge is now open for anyone to enter. So if you are looking for a travel adventure in 2013, this could be it!
The concept is simple: You have to make it from Lisbon to Saigon (or Saigon to Lisbon), in the month of May, all by train.
31 days of travel. You make your schedule, choose your route, and your stops.
You decide how far you will push yourself, and what you will visit along the way. It's a 25,000 km journey to navigate; with many great destinations along the way like Barcelona, Paris, Venice, Berlin, Prague, Moscow, and Beijing.
What do you get for your entry fee?
In short, you can blog your trip on our website to keep family and friends up with your journey; there is a live-tracking feature on the site, so you can map your trip in real time.
Intrepid Travel is offering 2 amazing 15-day tours to the first ones to cross the finish line each way.
Eurail is offering up at least 4 of their Global Passes that will be raffled off and given away as prizes.
HostelWorld is offering 2 nights stay in each city beforehand.
There will be awesome pre-launch parties in both locations (Saigon and Lisbon) before the race.
And that is just the starting point. You can check out all the prizes on the site.
But wait, that’s not all. In order to keep up with the latest developments on new sponsors, prizes and other news, you can sign up for the free newsletter. As an extra bonus, they will be giving away a new Samsung Galaxy SIII to one lucky subscriber from all the newsletter subscribers in February.
- If you register by February 15th, the entry fee is USD$295.
- If you register from February 16th to April 30th, the entry fee is USD$395.
- And because you are entering from this post, you will get $30 off your entry fee. All you need to do is enter the code EE13UTC on the “Referral” line on the entry page to get the $30 discount.
Any help on the planning?
First things first that everyone needs to understand – this is not a tour. You have to make your own plans, get your own visas, and make sure that you know what you are doing on the ground. The challenge of it all is that it is you verses the rails – all on your own.
That being said, they have put together some resource pages for you to start making your plans.
It is about having an adventure you are going to tell your grand-kids about. Try challenging yourself and doing something that very few other people have done. From one corner of Europe to the far corner of Asia…. all by the best mode of transportation you can use to experience the vastness and wonder of this planet of ours.
All about charity
The UTC 2013 team has also partnered up with Blue Dragon’s Children Foundation in Vietnam to raise some needed funds to help out their cause. They are asking each participant to raise $500, and Intrepid Travel has been generous enough to agree to match each donation dollar for dollar, up to a $10,000 total.
So not only are you doing this whole adventure to challenge yourself, the entire group is going to do a small part to make the world a better place.
Sign up. It has the makings to be the adventure that will change your life. And don’t forget… on that sign up page you input EE13UTC in the “Referral” box to get $30 off your entry fee.
Let us know that you found the UTC13 via our website, and that you are entering the challenge, we would love to stay up-to-date with your progress!