Budapest To Bamako 2009
Could the battle from Budapest to Bamako get any more intense? Well when you throw in the battle of the sexes it can't fail to add an extra layer of tension. You've no doubt seen the Green Knights and the Dutch Ladies battle it out in cyberspace for the honour of representing the boys and girls in Travel Channel's competition, now watch them as they battle it out for real on the road to Bamako. One of the major focuses of the rally is to distribute aid along the route and you can follow race organiser Andrew Szabo and the teams as they struggle through the deserts of Africa seeking out worthy recipients. Along the way the competitors stop off to meet the local people and learn of each other's customs and there can be no stranger cultural exchange than when the Green Knights meet the Mauritanian minister of tourism. With all the usual thrill and spills at every turn make sure you follow another amazing African adventure.
No. of Episodes: 5
Rob & Chris from the UK and Nynke and Amarja from Holland arrive in Budapest. The girls and boys begin their battle for glory on the Budapest-Bamako Rally. For the two teams the competition starts a week earlier. The magnificent Hungarian capital provides the backdrop for several geo-caching challenges, cooking, car decorating and a gear packing competition for the gents and ladies. Whether it's bargaining for used Suzuki Samurai manuals at Budapest's Ecseri Antique market or having the vehicles painted by Matyo ladies in the Hungarian countryside, the teams are enjoying every minute of their stay in Hungary. They don't even suspect what lies ahead of them on the world's most demanding amateur rally.
The final stages of the Hungarian competition take the ladies and the men to a snowy Hungarian Formula One track for the ultimate showdown. After a dip in Budapest's legendary thermal waters, the teams are off on their epic overland voyage to the Malian capital. Snowy European road conditions make the track especially demanding for Rob & Chris, who also have to collect their solar equipment that they will deliver to a village in Mali. Watch the rally organiser, Andrew Szabo and his 35 year old French car drive through France while the teams battle for important points between Budapest and the Almeria, Spain.
After having car troubles Rob & Chris catch up with the rest of the rally teams at the northern fringe of the Sahara. Amarja and Nynke drive confidently through the desert, but the boys are trying their best to catch up with the ladies. The track takes teams through one time battlefields and heavily mined areas. Andrew crashes a traditional Berber wedding and consequently gets lost in the Sahara. He is forced to spend the night with a nomad family in the middle of a minefield. After three gruelling days the teams enter the disputed area of Western Sahara.
Rob and Chris drive through the heavily mined UN buffer zone between Mauritania and Morocco. The girls are completely off the radar. Did the Budapest-Bamako end for them somewhere in Western Sahara? The first Mauritanian stage is cancelled due to security concerns. Tense rally teams have to battle sand dunes and herds of camels before they reach the capital. Rob and Chris welcome the Mauritanian minister of tourism in their cheap E-bay bought knight uniforms. The minister praises their love for tradition. Exhausted rally teams turn south towards the Sahel region.
Teams arrive through the bush in Mali. Rob and Chris, the Green Knights, deliver their solar panels and solar cookers to a village in Mali. The lights turn on for the first time in this village of 200. The Green Knights also assemble several solar cookers for the villagers. After a harrowing journey the ladies arrive in Mali to deliver 230 bicycles to Malian women. Andrew breaks a shock absorber and he has to limp through the savannah before reaching the capital. The two week journey and the three week long battle of the sexes comes to a grand finale in Bamako.