May
13

Extreme Father’s Day

Author Jo    Category Experience Guides     Tags

Dads. They teach you how to ride a bike, help you to fix your car and show you how to bleed a radiator… so when it comes to Father’s Day, how can you really thank them? Sure, with Mother’s Day you can take them to a spa, or send them some flowers, but dads, they don’t want to be sat there sniffing roses! They want to be out and about … perhaps even jumping from a plane? Well, that’s where we come in, give them an extreme gift they won’t forget this June 16th.

Indoor Skydiving 2for1 Father’s Day Special in Milton Keynes

Price: £98 £49

The experience made with Father’s Day in mind – indoor skydiving for two. Treat both you and your dad to two one-minute flights that will make you feel like you’re really falling through the air! What makes this so perfect is how you can spend the day together, isn’t that what your dad really wants on Father’s Day? Give him the thrill of skydiving, and be in it with him to watch him really enjoying the gift you bought him.

Bungee Jump All Over the UK

Price: £60

Daughters, remember that spider your dad saved you from last week? Yeah you know, that massive black furry thing that seemed big enough to attack you (when in fact it was the size of a 1p coin)? Well, let’s put your dad’s bravery to the test, treat him to a bungee jump this Father’s Day. Watch as he throws himself off a crane from a height of 160ft, with just a bungee cord attached to his feet.

Tandem Skydive Anywhere in the UK

Price: £249

Ok, take that bungee jump (and big scary spider) and turn it into a skydive. Turn that 160ft into 15,000ft and treat your dad to 30-60 seconds of free fall – what a way to spend Father’s Day! His jump will have him free falling and reaching terminal velocity (160mph), before floating back to Earth – which can take around 6-8 minutes to do, so plenty of time to enjoy the views.

4×4 Driving Experience across the UK

Price Range: £45 – £600

Remember your first driving lesson, or the first time your dad took those stabilisers off your bike? Well, why not get him back in the learner’s seat and behind the wheel of a 4×4 as he finds his way around the tricky terrain of a whole new road – hills, muddy tracks and rocky trails. We offer everything from discovery lessons, private sessions and half day courses, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Off Road Buggy Experience all over the UK

Price Range: £40 – £290

Treat your dad to a new set of wheels, but not just any four wheels, and not for his road-car. We’re talking quad bikes, apache or karting of course! This Father’s Day, why not get your dad off the road and behind the wheel of something entirely different. With so many options he is spoiled for choice, and we bet he’ll think of his brilliant day every time he gets back in the driver’s seat for that boring road-drive to work.

Supercar Choice 1 anywhere in the UK

Price: £89

There’s no doubt about it, dads love cars. That’s why our last Father’s Day gift idea is the perfect choice for your dad come June 16th. Treat him to four laps around a track in a supercar! With such a huge variety of choice he won’t know which one to go for – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Porsche, Subaru or a Caterham. This experience really will make your dad feel like number one as he races around a track in such a beautiful motor.

Whether your dad is a thrill seeker or a petrol head, Extreme Element can offer the best gift to give him this Father’s Day, and we can guarantee the next time you need something fixing you won’t feel so guilty giving your old man a call. Happy Father’s Day!

May
10

Tough Mudder Update: Four Weeks to Go

Author Jo    Category Jo on the Road     Tags

Jo on the Road is back, and this week I’m updating you guys on my progress for our Tough Mudder event in four weeks (the office update to come). That is only twenty eight days… TWENTY EIGHT. Not that I’m worried or anything. Ok, I’m a little worried. It probably hasn’t helped that I’ve been watching videos from recent Tough Mudders, like this one from the London event a couple of weekends ago:

(Warning, naughty language in the following video)

“It feels like being punched in the back” – well that just confirmed my doubts about the electric shocks! Aside from electrocuting myself, or willingly letting someone punch me in the back, I’m not entirely sure there’s much I can do to train for the shocks! However, the rest of the obstacles are perhaps a little easier to prepare for… although I don’t think I’ll be having ice baths any time soon!

Since my last Tough Mudder update, I have been in the gym before work every morning running miles and miles, squatting, bench pressing, lifting weights… ok, ok, there might be a slight exaggeration there, but I have been to the gym (she says as she tucks into a doughnut). I was beginning to think that I hadn’t made any progress but as you can see below, and I’m very pleased to say, I have!

In the space of a month my muscle mass improved by 3.7kg! This hasn’t stopped me worrying though, and I fear I still have a long way to go, considering I ran four miles last week and found that hard enough. Tough Mudder is twelve to thirteen… with twenty-five obstacles! Oh, if you’re not too sure what I mean by obstacles, here are a few examples…


Walk the Plank – Ahh yes, the part where you jump into a massive pool of muddy water… from a height of 15+ feet. Nothing like a bit of diving to accompany some electrocution! Maybe I should be practising my front flips and belly flops for this one.


Funky Monkey – the well-known funky monkey… sounds like some sort of crazy dance move you’d throw down on the dance floor, but oh no, not for us mudders. When it comes to be doing tough, the ‘funky monkey’ is there to test your extreme-ometer (I say that like the others don’t, they definitley do)! Not only do you need to swing gracefully from bar to bar without dropping into – yes you guessed it – more muddy water, you have to cling on for dear life when it comes to those greased up poles – mean Tough Mudder organisers!


Cliffhanger – “Leave no mudder behind”, a phrase I have seen all over anything relatively Tough Mudder related, and I have a feeling this obstacle will put this into motion. A slippery, muddy, ridiculously-angled hill, put there to be climbed and defeated by the team. Let’s hope our chain-building skills are up to scratch as we tackle this one together to get to the top.

Of course those are just a few of the many obstacles we will be tackling in four weeks time, and don’t forget the twelve to thirteen miles we will be running as well. I hear you questioning why I’m doing it, well for a little while I was questioning myself too. BUT I’ve heard it really is an unbelievable experience, and seeing as that’s what we provide on a daily basis, it’s only fair we try something new ourselves! Plus, we love a good challenge here at Extreme Element, and what better way to tackle one than in a team. There will be more updates to come… and when I survive I’ll be posting a whole new blog about my experience, and let’s hope I can proudly say I’m a true ‘mudder’… that survived!

Apr
30

Extreme Lava Kayaking

Author Jo    Category Extreme News & Views     Tags

Just when we thought we had seen some extreme kayaking, we find this…

Oh yes, that really is lava! A whole team of fearless kayakers take to the boiling water to get up close and personal to the oozing molten lava … all to create some incredible images and unforgettable memories … and, of course, to wow us! Check out some more of these jaw-dropping images, all taken by Alexandre Socci:

I’m sure you’re all wondering, ‘Just where is this awesome place?’ Well, it’s an active volcano (surprise, surprise) called Kilauea on Hawaii’s ‘Big Island’. This bunch of daredevils braved the waters all to get some awe-inspiring footage for a Brazilian TV show, KAIAK on Channel OFF. Well worth it, if you ask us!

Absolutely unbelievable. Think this rates pretty high on the ol’ extreme-ometer… anyone fancy giving this a go? Think we’ll give it a miss this time, and leave it to the kayaking pros!

Apr
10

Pro Interview: Stunt Rider Mattie Griffin Update

Author Jo    Category Pro Arena     Tags

Two years ago we introduced you guys to motorbike stunt rider, Mattie Griffin, sponsored by BMW and riding his way into an enormous number of freestyle championships, and jaw-dropping shows. Today, we caught up with him to see what he’s been up to since then.


Hey Mattie, last time we spoke to you, all the way back in 2011, you had lots going on, so just a quick catch up and insight into your world for our Extreme Element readers. You’ve now been stunt riding for nearly ten years right? What do you love most about it?
Yes, I can’t believe how time has just flown past! That’s a tricky question… what I love most about stunt riding… I’d have to say… the thrill of learning new tricks, traveling all over the world, meeting interesting people and most of all, performing and entertaining fans and spectators.

It all sounds so amazing! What has been your most memorable stunt riding related event in the past 2 years?
Again, another difficult question! Mainly because I’m so fortunate to have done so much over the past two years..! I think my most memorable stunt riding related event would be my most recent trip to perform in India (that was an experience and a half), truly unforgettable!

Corr, we bet! We hear your 2013 shows include some brilliant features, please tell us about it.
I am constantly changing and improving my shows, a really recent addition are some impressive stunts using some of our newest and most remarkable ramps. I really love to mix things up with my shows, so I can keep them entertaining for both new and existing spectators. Traditionally my shows are three sets of fifteen minutes, but quite what they include you’ll just have to come along to one to find out!

Do you have anything else exciting coming up in the future?
I’m as busy as ever! I have some pretty high profile shows coming up this year: MCN Live 2013, North West 200, The world famous Goodwood Festival of Speed… To name a few! Over the next few months I will travel throughout Ireland, England, Europe and even as far as Japan to perform. 2013 really is shaping up to be a busy year for me with many new shows, and I really am loving every performance!

Thank you Mattie for chatting to us, we’ll have to come along to one of your shows! Want to find out more about Mattie, or follow his impressive shows around the world?

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Apr
10

Attention, A Life In Extremes – Interview

Author Jo    Category Pro Arena     Tags

Here at Extreme Element, we love ALL things extreme, whether it be a sport, video, athlete or something completely outrageous, like a parkour dog! When we heard about this up and coming video that has been produced to delve deeper into the life of three extreme athletes, and the challenges they face, we knew we just had to find out more. We caught up with the director behind the movie to get a real insight into the film.


Movie Title:Attention, a life in Extremes
Genre: 80.min. Feature Documentary
Director: Sascha Köllnreitner
Production: AdriAlpe-Media

So Sascha, please just talk us through the film – “Attention, a life in Extremes”, and what you’re hoping to give to your audience?
What fascinated me the most was the real human being behind the so called “modern superhero”. A perspective I mostly missed in other extreme sports movies.

So first we get to know the daredevils, the gladiators at the edge of the possible, but step by step the true identity and emotions behind this daredevil are uncovered. With all the difficulties, challenges and problems the extreme athlete is facing… Professionally, and even more, privately.

As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s not that easy having a family while you are constantly risking your life, and unfortunately without taking these risks and pushing these boundaries, our inspiring and motivating athletes just won’t get recognised, be able to live their dream or become successful!

So the audience can expect a very entertaining movie, where you can dive into the psyches of people who live pretty extraordinary lives.

It sounds truly moving, could you please just tell us a little more about the three extreme athletes you mention?
The three athletes fit the theme of the movie perfectly, as they’re all from different backgrounds, doing different extreme sports and living different lives. I love the diversity, it really helps to create a true insight into the extreme world. Every one of them has a really interesting story to tell, and have experienced things most of us can’t even begin to imagine. One of my favourite stories is actually how Gerhard, the cyclist, was previously a weightlifter! I learnt so much about these athletes whilst making the film, and it’s such a brilliant way to delve deeper into their backgrounds and past experiences. I felt I really connected with them all.

It’s not long until you’re due to be finished making and editing the film, what are your next steps from there?
Get the film into as many cinemas as possible! I’m really looking forward to a broad promotion tour we’ll be doing in the near future, where I’ll be connecting with so many people from around the world.

We wish you the best of luck with your crowdfunding campaign, how has it gone so far?
From the perspective of a PR agent… Brilliantly! The trailer views are constantly rising.
Speaking in producer language; “Could be better!” We still need a few backers.

It’s always interesting to hear the background, or ‘behind the scenes’ for any movie, do you have any insightful, motivating or interesting stories from your time making the film?
We would be here all day if I even attempted to tell you half of it!

Having recently survived nine days in a car, during the Race Across America, with no more than three hours of sleep a night, we certainly have some brilliant videos and pictures that might give you a rough idea into the ‘making of’. We actually did this trip twice! It was such an amazing and memorable experience. We created a YouTube channel and Facebook page to document our adventures… they’re just too good to miss!

I have learnt so much in the making of this movie, it’s unbelievable. I really can’t stress enough how great it is to just be out and about meeting people and getting to know them! After filming this I’m now constantly telling people to travel as much as possible, and dare to dare sometimes. You may not fancy yourself to be a wingsuit flyer as such…. but get out there! Be extreme!

Brilliant, it all sounds very exciting and like a real eye opener, if you’re dying to find out more, check out the ‘Attention, a life in Extremes’ trailer!
Dying to find out more certainly sounds very fitting to the topic. Thanks again guys and I hope you enjoy!

Mar
8

Tough Mudder Update

Extreme Element signed up to Tough Mudder two weeks ago and aside from all the shocked faces from friends and family, we’re feeling pretty good about it… until a couple of us saw this:

That heavy feeling sinking in; this really isn’t for the faint hearted, we really are going to be facing blood, sweat and tears. Anyone can run a half-marathon (if they train hard enough of course) but to smash through the tough and muddy obstacles will take more than physical fitness, it’s going to test our mental strength too. Twenty-five challenging obstacles – everything from ice pools and fire walking (maybe we should all go to our very own fire walking experience first) to monkey bars and climbing over walls.

With that in mind, I think it’s time to introduce some of the Extreme Element Team who will be tackling the mud and ice together in just thirteen weeks. I also thought it would be a good idea to put together some questions to really dig deep into the worries and fears of our TM team… only to receive some rather witty (or just plain stupid) replies, which I couldn’t possibly ignore… enjoy!

Aaron

What is your biggest concern?
There’s a yoghurt in my fridge that I bought last week and haven’t eaten it as yet. Not 100%, but I think it goes off today or tomorrow.

How’s the training going?
I have set myself very low targets, so even though I haven’t actually done anything yet – I am ahead of schedule, by quite some distance in fact.

What are you hoping to achieve from doing TM?
Great acclaim. Women. Money. Fame. The attention I deserve.

Any previous marathon experience?
I ate hundreds before they were rebranded Snickers – so none in the last 10/15 years.

How has your life / routine changed most?
Where I once didn’t feel guilty about my slowly expanding waistline, I now almost feel the peer pressure seeping in. So, my oblivious nature is being ever so slightly impacted by the notion I should really be doing something. But then I remember how far ahead of schedule I am – and the feeling of pride makes me feel great. So that’s good.

Do you have a goal beyond TM?
Well I’d still like to own a Lamborghini. Hopefully doing TM will bring me the fame and money that would be needed to purchase one – so yes, my goal would still be the Lamborghini I guess. I’d also like to set up as many websites and make as much money as I possibly can. I’d also like to improve my food-wasting efforts, and not have to throw yoghurts away.

Dee

What is your biggest concern?
Death, and the back of my shorts splitting.

How’s the training going?
Tentatively

What are you hoping to achieve from doing TM?
I expect to resemble an Amazonian goddess, as though I was sculpted by the gods themselves.

Any previous marathon experience?
I watched one go by my house once, while smoking and eating cake in bed.

How has your life / routine changed most?
I have started juicing vegetables. I am hoping that will be enough.

Do you have a goal beyond TM?
To use it as a catalyst for living a slightly healthier, smoke-free life. And also I would like to win the euro millions.

Robb

What is your biggest concern?
Mud in my hair-do.

How’s the training going?
I have a cold. However, I would say I’m roughly 18% manlier now than when I started.

What are you hoping to achieve from doing TM?
With any luck we’ll lose Selene in one of the obstacles.

Any previous marathon experience?
I watched the half marathon from my living room window, and have a London Marathon medal (acquired without running).

How has your life / routine changed most?
I’m tougher. And muddier.

Do you have a goal beyond TM?
At my age you don’t set goals beyond 3 months out; you never know if you’ll make it that long.

Ok enough of this terrible wit and sarcasm, time for some ‘real’ answers.

Renata

What is your biggest concern?
That I won`t be able to run the whole distance. I don`t think my main problem will be with the obstacles and to overcome them, it will be with the constant running. I was never great at long distance running and 12 miles seems to be an awful lot to me.

How’s the training going?
Training is going great as I have Jo training with me, which makes it easier. We can push each other and help each other to overcome our concerns or issues and still have a great laugh about it. The only thing we need to get more going or more like I have to start running more so I can last the whole 12 miles. We have been talking about going down to the beach and run on the pebbles, stairs etc… but we have not gone yet.

What are you hoping to achieve from doing TM?
I hope to run the distance that is asked and I am hoping that this experience will bring us (Extreme Element members) even closer and we will be an even greater team at work. I hope we all be able to come away from it with loads of great memories and with a huge smile on our faces.

Any previous marathon experience?
Back in elementary school I have ran the half marathon and took part in many short distance races so this is not that new for me but it has been a long time since then. Hence, I am a bit nervous about it.

How has your life / routine changed most?
I have been going to gym before the TM training kicked in, but now we (Jo & Me) started to go for as many morning classes as possible. On Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays we go for a Fit-X Class held by Laura in the ZT Gym, which prepares us for running and gives us more strength. We are always given something different to do but the exercises are put together to use all the muscles in our body. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we go to a Box-X class held by Ed at the ZT Gym where we are again do several different exercises but this class focuses on our arm strength a bit more, this will come handy when we will need to climb the obstacles. Otherwise, I still try to go to yoga to stretch my muscles and breath better. Also started to do a diet and eat healthier so I can lose some more weight so I could carry less but this was something that I wanted to do anyway. It will be another change for us when we will move office as we will need to create a new routine, it will be hard.

Do you have a goal beyond TM?
I have the same aim that I already had before the TM….. to lose the weight that I have gained in the last 2 years, become healthier and stronger. Maybe even take part in the next year half or the full marathon in Brighton, this depends on how I will get on with the 12 mile on the TM.

Selene

What is your biggest concern?
Not being able to finish, letting everyone down, getting a stitch really early on and getting really bad chaffing from the cold! Also, not being prepared to the cold/wet element of it.

How’s the training going?
Only started this week. Am stepping it up now so I will get back to you…

What are you hoping to achieve from doing TM?
All round general fitness and strength. I want to be really strong, really fit and really toned.

Any previous marathon experience?
I did a 14k cross country run last year (mostly uphill) but that’s it.

How has your life / routine changed most?
Not stuffing my face with junk food before I go to bed … saying no to sweet things … not being able to walk due to pain of going on one run.

Do you have a goal beyond TM?
To keep up the general fitness level and not fall off the bandwagon. Perhaps to do the half marathon next year.

Michelle

What is your biggest concern?
Injury during the race
How’s the training going?
Great, I’m always training
What are you hoping to achieve from doing TM?
Have fun and be able to say “I did it”
Any previous marathon experience?
2 ½ Marathons
How has your life / routine changed most?
It hasn’t this is just one of many races in the season

As for me (Jo), I’m most worried about injuring myself, falling and dying in a big heap, covered in mud… not too dramatic then.

Watch out for more updates to come!

Mar
1

Mother’s Day at Extreme Element

Author Jo    Category Experience Guides     Tags

Every year we all make the conscious effort to order flowers and buy a card, but is that really what your mum wants this year? Is it not all a little bit too clichéd and stale? Here at Extreme Element, we asked our mums what they would like to do this Mother’s Day to really mix things up – what experience would they least expect to receive? What experience would give them an unexpected adrenaline rush and make them smile with surprise? Here’s what they came up with:

Thrilling One Hour Helicopter Tour Over London
Price: £115

Ever wanted to see London from a different angle? Well now your mum can, and not only from the sky but in a helicopter – what a way to travel! Make her feel a million dollars with this unique sightseeing tour of London and soar to cloud nine.

4×4 Off Road Driving Experience in Kent
Price: £47

Send your mum on a 40 minute hands-on 4×4 driving experience through mud and streams, over hills and tricky terrain and across just about anything. Don’t worry though, she will be accompanied by a trained instructor for this exhilarating session.

Supercar Track Day Experience Anywhere in the UK
Price Range: £45 – £795

Feel like your mum is more of an on-track lady than a knee-deep-in-the-mud kind of gal? Well, then get her behind the wheel of a fantastic supercar. Lamborghinis at Goodwood, Ferrari driving at Silverstone and beautiful Aston Martins in Oxford!

Fire and Broken Glass Walking in Somerset
Price: £49

This is an experience she really will not be expecting to open come Sunday 10th – walking over broken glass and fire… with your feet still in tact after! Most mums say they’d walk over broken glass for their children … so give her the chance to prove that!

Forget those flowers and typical cards and give your mum something extreme this Mother’s Day to make it truly memorable.

Feb
21

Extreme Element Does Tough Mudder

Extreme Element have just entered the dirtiest competition ever – Tough Mudder! We will be training to the max on a daily basis over the coming months, as we prepare for the most hard-core workout of our lives – a 13 mile run, riddled with some pretty terrifying obstacles. We are not just talking monkey bars and mud, the Tough Mudder course features actual extreme elements – electric shocks, fire and ice. Oh yes, things are getting serious in the Extreme Element HQ, as we prepare to well and truly live up to our name. Every day we provide you guys with the most extreme, blood-pumping activities, and now it’s our turn to put our money where our mouth is!

For those of you who have been brave enough to tackle the event in the past, I’m sure you can appreciate the nerves we are feeling, but I have extra worries! You see, I entered everyone into the race, therefore I’m to blame if anyone dies (and we did sign a death waiver)! Over the next few months I’ll be updating you guys on our trials, tribulations and tough mudder training. Bearing in mind this is a first for all of us (most of us haven’t even attempted a half marathon before, let alone one with obstacles), we’re all just hoping we make it out the other side. The lucky eight who will be tackling the 13 mile track punctuated with multiple obstacles are: Michelle, Aaron, Robb, Renata, Tatiana, Dee, Selene and myself – pictures to come!

To kick start the training and progress tracking we will be taking body fitness tests that measure our body fat, muscle balance, physique rating and many more. However, with only three months to go, will we be ready on time? I’ll be posting our first results in the next blog.

To keep updated on our progress (or lack thereof) check back here. If you want to tell us about your past experiences with Tought Mudder (and maybe offer some words of encouragement… or warning), get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter… but please don’t scare us too much, we already know a few of us may be barely crawling over the finish line, if and when we get to it!

Got a question for me? Drop me an email:
jo @ exelement.com

Jan
31

Make Your Valentine’s Perfect for One

Author Jo    Category Experience Guides     Tags

Valentine’s – a day for gifts, flowers, chocolates, couples in love and dinners for two… but what if you haven’t met the right person yet, or you simply can’t be with your loved one on the 14th February?

Well, fear not, solo Valentiners – Extreme Element are here with a range of the finest, most exciting activities to get the heart racing come the dreaded day. Why not take a Lamborghini for a spin, learn to fly a plane or even jump out of one!? We do love making things a little extreme here at Extreme Element, and we can’t see why Valentine’s Day should be an exception.

Drive a Supercar Anywhere in the UK

Make your Valentine’s Day a SuperValentine’s Day by driving around one of the UK’s famous race tracks, such as Goodwood, Silverstone or Knockhill in one of their many, many supercars (over twenty altogether)! Whether you’re a Lamborghini lover and have always dreamt of getting in the driving seat of a Gallardo or a Murcielago, or you find yourself fantasising over getting your hands on a Ferrari steering wheel, then Extreme Element have just the experience for you. Take your love for cars and speed to the extreme by dedicating this romantic day to you, a roaring engine, and the track ahead of you.

Flying Lessons around the UK – See the World from a Different Angle

Dying to get those butterflies in your stomach once again, well avoid that first date embarrassment and book yourself in for a flying lesson. Take to the skies in a helicopter, microlight plane, vintage biplane, or even an aerobatic plane. If all those loops and swoops don’t make your belly flip, then we don’t know what will! Spending this romantic day up in the air, soaring over beautiful landscapes and learning all about the techniques of flying will definitely keep you satisfied and hungry for more.

Skydiving in the UK

Always dreamt of jumping out of a plane? Well, why not do it this Valentine’s Day? Gently free-fall back to Earth in a dreamy daze, with the option of a tandem skydive, static-line parachute jump or even the opportunity to complete your own skydiving AFF course, and fulfil all your skydiving dreams. If skydiving sounds right up your street but you can’t quite come to jumping from a height of 12,000ft out of a plane or completing a static line jump from 3,500ft up in the sky, then why not give the indoor skydiving experience a go? You’ll experience the same free-falling sensation and can float in mid-air without the fear of being too far away from the ground – brilliant.

Archery around the UK

Trade in Cupid’s bow and arrow this Valentine’s Day and take aim for the bullseye instead. With adult archery experiences from as little as £20 in Southampton, you’ll find it more than easy to have your cheapest Valentine’s Day yet! Even better, children aged 8 – 17 can participate in an archery session for only £15, so why not take your son or daughter for a day out too … it’s a real bargain and a brilliant way to spend a day devoted to love.

We hope we’ve given you plenty of reasons to get out and about this Valentine’s Day, and if not we’ve certainly given you some great ideas to distract yourself in the future! Happy Valentine’s Day.

Jan
25

Budapest to Bamako 2013

Every year a number of adventurous people trek all the way from Budapest to Bamako (and sometimes further), with nothing more than the car they travel in… oh, and some toys to donate! Here at Extreme Element we love everything extreme and to find out this charitable event was happening right under our noses we just had to find out more! We managed to catch up with a couple from Hungary who are now already on their sixteen day adventure.


Hi, I hear you’re driving all the way to Bamako from Budapest? Could you tell us a little bit more about what you’re doing and what your journey includes?

We are not going to Bamako, it is Bissau where we are heading, it is only the name of the race brand which stayed as Bamako (same as with the Dakar Rally, it is only the name, which stays the same). In answer to your question we run our own design company (ADVEX Design Srtudio) together and alongside this we are the founders of a nature photography club (Foto Natura) so we were always up for challenges, something new, adventures and extreme. Joining this event was an idea from my husband, Laszlo Herbaly last year. It was his dream since his childhood to become a car racer, this almost came true when he took his Dad`s old & shabby car once and entered a race, where he qualified for the next year race but due to the lack of equipment and qualified people`s help he gave the car back to his father. Hence, when he heard of this Budapest-Bamako race he came to me and asked or maybe even tricked me into entering the race with him. I am up for adventures as well so he did not have a hard job. Hence, we equipped our Land Rover and entered the race for the first time in 2012, with the idea that my husband will be the main driver and I will be the navigator throughout the journey, obviously we did swap roles every now and again. This event is a great adventure and one humanitarian caravan altogether.

I understand you’ve done this sort of charity fundraiser before, what did you find to be your greatest achievement last year?

Crossing the finishing line was awesome, not only physically but morally as well, since we could bring toys and other equipment for the Cacine village`s missionaries and this is a great feeling.

Is there anything else you wish to achieve this year?

This time around we are hoping to live through a lot of new experiences, see new things, take photographs and create a full HD small movie about our journey.

With the journey being nearly 16 days where are you planning to stay overnight?

In Europe and Morocco we will be able to hopefully find accommodation along the road in simple and small hotels but from then on during the trip we will be sleeping in camps with camp fires created by the participants of the round.

Apart from the accomplishment of reaching Bamako and delivering all those toys to the children who else are you hoping to help?

We hope to help the other participants (eg. When they are stuck in the sand and need someone to pull/dig them out) and the people who stayed home and would not be able to reach destinations like this to get there and be part of our adventure through our blog, photographs and a small movie.

Is there anything that worries you about the trip, running out of petrol? Meeting some unfriendly people?

For us, all unknown circumstances are a test, by this we even mean finding fuel when needed or being creative of how to work with the little that we have left. Last year, for example, in Senegal there was a walkout; therefore, at the petrol station we could not buy petrol so we decided to flag down trucks and vans to buy petrol from them. We haven`t experienced any unfriendly people so far, obviously there is no guarantee that this will stay the same for this year as there are troubling times in Mali at the moment but we hope this won`t spread out further.

How do you plan on keeping everyone back home updated on your journey?

There is a page functioning as an SMS wall for the participants during the journey, where the participant`s text messages will be uploaded alongside the car`s race number so our loved ones can keep track of us. During the race we will obviously be taking notes and photos and if there is an internet connection we will automatically upload information onto our own blog.

This all sounds really amazing! Is there anything else you would like to tell us about?

THE ADVENTURE, which is not about 5 star hotels and sun loungers, which could last for a life time and you MUST EXPERIENCE! The happiness that the contribution and the donation can give, and the only way to understand this happiness is by participating. Even if we only saw one child`s smile and could help that one child to have a better life by giving them clothes, support and security IT`S ALL WORTH IT.

With thanks to Ildiko Herbalyne Szalanczy and Laszlo Herbaly for their time and we wish them the best of luck!

Here’s the journey they have planned out: