Overlanding: The Maya Rally
Guest Blog from Bryon Dorr of Exploring Elements
Anthony Sicola, of Overland Nomads, and myself, Bryon Dorr of Exploring Elements teamed up to tackle the Maya End of the World Rally, an overland scavenger hunt across Mexico, that finished at the end of the Mayan calendar, Dec. 21, 2012. Although the world as we know it didn’t come to a fiery end, we did have the adventure of a lifetime!
The total adventure took us over 7,000 miles of Mexican countryside in just 36 days, traveling in Anthony’s trusty 80 series Land Cruiser, affectionately named Hank the tank. Before the Rally began we got an amazing opportunity to help rejuvenate a boys orphanage in Irapuato, through the Muskoka Foundation. Our LED Lenser H14R headlamps truly allowed us to get the job done, as we finished painting the little boys room by headlamp late into the night.
This was a highly rewarding volunteer experience that I would recommend to anyone. The rally itself was quite an action packed adventure that ranged from offroading in the moonscape high above Guanajuato to touring cenotes and Mayan ruins on the Yucatan peninsula. Along the way we experienced the Monarch butterfly migration, explored lava flow destruction, wrestled with the Lucha Libre, ate fried crickets, toured a mescal factory, visited the Rainbow Gathering, and soooooo much more. All of that was just during the 10 days of the actual Rally!
You hear all kinds of stories about the corrupt police and military in Mexico through the American media. I have to say that although there were MANY checkpoints and vehicle inspections we never paid a bribe or had anything stolen in Mexico. With that said, our LED Lenser M7R flashlights were major eye candy for all the police and military. We were asked for them as gifts and even to sell them, for pennies of course. In the end we politely said no to all suggestions and offers and went on our way. The lights were so convenient that they helped us find our way or accomplish tasks in the dark on many occasions. My suggestion is to just keep them packed away during your overland adventures during the day, when you know you’ll be going through inspection checkpoints.
Overland travel is a passion that Anthony and I love to share. Sharing our experiences
with using the right gear for the task at hand is a big part of that. Having durable gear that
performs exceptionally in all conditions makes life on the road so much easier! On this
adventure we were lucky enough to be supported with quality gear from LED Lenser. For more tales from our Maya Rally adventure be sure to check out Exploring Elements &
PS: Our team, #TeamAstrid, took home the 4×4 and overall victories during the 2012 Maya Rally. We would love to thank our third teammate Astrid Sicola, Anthony’s wife,
for her strength and passion for life, which spurred us on throughout this adventure. Sadly
she was not able to join us as she was still recovering from a battle with Leukemia and
subsequent bone marrow transplant. See you on the road less traveled soon Astrid