MIR’s 30 Years: Roving the World in Land Rovers

MIR’s 30 Years: Roving the World in Land Rovers

(Douglas Grimes is co-founder and president of MIR Corporation.)

MIR is known for its creativity in finding truly uncommon places and sharing those destinations, people, and cultures with MIR travelers. For many years, the team at MIR has had the privilege of helping MIR travelers create dream journeys to places few have heard of, let alone have traveled to: on foot, on motorcycle, in cars, in 4×4 Land Rovers.

We call them overland expeditions,” lasting anywhere from a week to months at a time. These determined travelers know there will be logistical hurdles: some challenging accommodations, spotty gas availability, hard-to-obtain visas, required vehicle documents and licenses, and especially the unpredictability of some border crossings and multi-country itineraries.  

Land Rovers caravan through Turkmenistan along the Silk Road, once the exclusive domain of camels Photo credit: Douglas Grimes

Land Rovers caravan through Turkmenistan along the Silk Road, once the exclusive domain of camels
Photo credit: Douglas Grimes

Year after year, such intrepid travelers turn to us – and return to us – at MIR, where we are known and respected for our “logistical wizardry” in handling complex details, “doable-not-daunting” itineraries, with on-the-ground local support along the way. The Hong Kong Land Rover Club is a memorable example.

Hong Kong Land RoversThe MIR team has had the pleasure to work members of the well traveled Hong Kong-based Land Rover Club on one of their overland expeditions. The 2013 journey from Kazakhstan to Turkey, motored through Central Asia’s Silk Road and the South Caucasus for 24 days. They had 18 vehicles, 54 participants, and a crew to shoot professional HD videos, with partial proceeds going to their club’s favorite charity. They used two of their Land Rovers as support vehicles, equipped with supplies for flat tires, radiators and batteries so they wouldn’t waste time searching for local replacement parts.

We began initial talks for this epic expedition about a year earlier, coming to fruition in 2013. We created a detailed itinerary, including accommodations, safe parking for the Land Rover vehicles, meals, gas stops, local on-the-ground support, guides, and sightseeing. We also handled very complex border crossing issues that might easily have wilted the most intrepid of travelers.

Land Rovers thrive on rough-and-tumble roads, a common element in overland expeditions Photo credit: Jered Gorman

Land Rovers thrive on rough-and-tumble roads, a common element in overland expeditions
Photo credit: Jered Gorman

(click on photo for larger version) 


Making Movies A highlight for my MIR team was helping scope out dramatic locations for the Hong Kong Land Rovers’ professional video crew to shoot, such as sunrise in the Silk Road city of Bukhara, Uzbekistan with the iconic Kalon mosque and minaret in the background. At other times five or six Land Rovers were used to catch the convoy in such stunning places such as Kazakhstan’s Charyn Canyon.

This trailer for the club’s video series highlights their Silk Road adventure, shot to help raise money for their charitable cause, an eye clinic in Hong Kong. (You can view all of the Hong Kong club’s videos on YouTube.)

(click on photo for larger version) 


Crossing BordersMIR’s on-the-ground team typically speaks several languages and is attuned to cultural nuances – helpful skills especially at complex border crossings with the Land Rovers and their vehicles. Sometimes those crossings can take hours and layers upon layers of documents and paperwork; MIR’s hands-on expertise can help make the crossing smoother and faster.


MIR’s Memorable Overland ExpeditionsOver the years, travelers repeatedly have told us how much they appreciate the expertise and experience of our “logistical wizardry” in planning and successfully undertaking such complex overland expeditions, like the Hong Kong Land Rovers. They realize they could never do this by themselves, especially at the border crossings, and how important it is to have a deeply experienced organization like MIR to assist them. Their time is valuable, and they know they prefer to spend their travels — well, traveling and exploring — and not stymied with handling their own logistical challenges such as visas, accommodations – and even where to find gasoline in Uzbekistan!

I enjoy the challenge, and so does my deeply experienced team of MIR travel experts, sharing the uncommon places we love and unforgettable people we cherish on these overland expeditions at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.

MIR's segment of the Hong Kong Land Rover Club's 2013 tour was part of a 16-country, four-continent expedition marking the 65th anniversary of the first Land Rover Photo credit: Douglas Grimes

MIR’s segment of the Hong Kong Land Rover Club’s 2013 tour was part of a 16-country, four-continent expedition marking the 65th anniversary of the first Land Rover
Photo credit: Douglas Grimes

 

More on “MIR’s 30 Years”

Learn more about “MIR’s 30 Years” in the stories below, all embedded with videos. They include MIR’s beginnings and the mindset and mission of MIR’s president and founder, Douglas Grimes; MIR’s utterly unique travel offerings at the crossroads of Europe and Asia; and Siberia, one of MIR’s favorites specialties.

You can also view the video series of “MIR’s 30 Years” on MIR’s YouTube channel, MIRCorpTravel, specifically under the playlist, “MIR’s 30 Years.”

MIR’s Beginnings

MIR’s One-of-a-Kind Journeys

Siberia, A MIR Specialty

MIR, in a Nutshell

(Top photo credit: Douglas Grimes – A Land Rover greets early sunrise at the heart of the Silk Road in Bukhara, Uzbekistan)

PUBLISHED: November 6, 2016

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