Itinerary and Costs:
The itinerary depends almost entirely on how much funding the Paris to Peking Challenge gets. The itinerary shown below is the absolute minimum - ie, the cheapest - required to be able to coherently retrace the journey of Prince Scipione Borghese and write reports about it.
Obviously, the more funding the Paris to Peking Challenge gets, the more time we can take to explore the human history and natural history of the areas we pass through.
How much will it Cost..?
All costs shown here are in Pounds Sterling. Amounts shown in brackets are the equivalent in US dollars, going on an exchange rate of $1.6 = £1. Daily expenses are based on two people sharing.
The Citroen Traction Avant does approx. 30 miles to the gallon.
Overnight accomodation, meals, incidental expenses, insurance, etc @ £150 per day.
Air fare for two people, Beijing to London = £1000 ($1600)
Total expenses = £5250 ($8400)
To buy a good condition CitroŽn Traction Avant = £5000 ($8000)
To ship the car back from China to Europe = £1000 ($1600)
Extra five days added to the itinerary to get the car down to Hong Kong = £800 ($1280)
Total car expenses = £6800 ($10,880)
£5247 expenses + £6800 car expenses = £12,050 ($19,300) inclusive cost of The Paris to Peking Challenge.
This inclusive cost is not a fixed sum, since fluctuating exchange rates and conditions on the ground in the various regions effect the price of things. It is, however, a fairly accurate estimate of how much a fast itinerary, Paris to Peking, will cost. For a longer itinerary, add £170 ($275) for each extra day.
Not so long ago it was just about impossible to take a private car to countries like China. Now restrictions have been relaxed and it can be done, providing you make an application to the relevent authorities beforehand. Likewise with Russia and Mongolia.
The granting of official permission to drive in these countries also encompasses road insurance, etc. To get that official permission it helps if you have sponsors in the countries concerned. Rob has a lot of contacts in Russia/Siberia, and a very strong contact in China. Rob does not know anyone in Mongolia, but on previous visits to this country the British Embassy in Ulan Bator have always been very helpful.