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23.000 Kilometers throughout half of the world. At the end of July Rainer Zietlow is starting for this huge challenge with his Volkswagen Touareg. Together with a cameraman and a Russian journalist Zietlow will deliver a letter in the ancient style of the “dispatch rider of the zar” from the mayor of Melbourne, Australia to the mayor of St. Petersburg, Russia. Both cities are in a partnership since 1989. In fact both cities are the most northern and most southern coexistent million-metropoles in the world.

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Yes! We did it! We have overcome almost 23,000 kilometers from Melbourne to St. Petersburg, and arrived at the Palace Square on Monday evening. We were met by Pavel Belov, vice-chairman of the Committee for Physical Culture and Sports of the Government of St. Petersburg, which stopped the timer Tag [...]
On the border with Russia we had to stay longer than usual - at the Kazakh border guards had a problem with the database on the server and so they passed cars very slow. But we have given all the forces in China and Kazakhstan, to have time to get to St. Petersburg for 17 days! In addition to all [...]
Before passing the customs of Kazakhstan we had to wash the Volkswagen Touareg, which sported a brutal "tan", purchased on the roads of Laos. Of course, we were a little sorry for - because in this way resembled the Touareg racing cars for the rally-raids! But it was necessary not only [...]
We have arrived to Chinese border absolutely exhausted – roads of Laos were very hard, especially at night. But we knew that in China we can drive fast because of excellent highways. At the border our team got fourth member – Chinese guide! It is necessary to drive here by foreigners at foreign [...]
Laos – it is another big challenge for us. We came relaxed from Malaysia and Thailand because of highways where we could drive with high average speed. But in Laos we remember Java and Sumatra! Ok, in the beginning there were asphalt roads with good surface, but just one hundred kilometers after we [...]
There are very good roads in Thailand – two-lane highways has smooth surface and you don’t have to pay for using them! But you have to pay to road police if you drive fast. Most of drivers in Thailand don’t care about speed limits – they can drive 130-140 kph when the limit is 90! Normally we don’t [...]
Another good news – car has arrived to Malakka at 7 am! But we had to wait until 10 am because it was delay with crane. Fortunately, crane operator was quite professional. He heads deloading process and did it very good. But we had another problem – low battery. The reason was our shortage of time [...]
This morning our boat has arrived to port of Dumai – and it is a great news! But it was a little bit scaring moment when we saw it. It was a wood boat only 30 meters long with old diesel engine and crew looked like smugglers. How old it is? I think it produced in 16th century but this boat was only [...]
We arrived at Dumai, last Indonesian city on our route, at 8 am on Sunday. But we had unpleasant surprise – bad weather! Fog, high waves and storm at Malakka strait have caused a delay of our departure to Malaysia until midday. But we not sailed today! The reason was not experienced captain of our [...]
Yes, we knew that Sumatra is the hardest part of our World Record tour. But we could not imagine that this would be a nightmare! We completed 1400 kilometers in 28 hours –average speed was only 50 kph. Well, the road to Palembang was quite good and we have not lost too much time in this big city – [...]
Do you know Java is most populated island in the world? 125 million people live here! And Java is well-industrialized. That means a lot of truck – it is a biggest problem of these roads. Yes, there are two-lane highways everywhere, but trucks are constantly trying to overtake each other. And we had [...]
We arrived to Sumbawa at 4 pm in Wednesday and drove directly to internet-café in Bima. Thanks to Candra Rusly, owner of this café, who uploaded our video about the start of World Record tour – check it on this website! We were closed to Pototano, when at 10 pm had tire puncture on gravel road. But [...]
What is Flores island? For us it is about 730 kilometers to go. But Rainer had a plan to cross Flores in 24 hours. Do you think it is too much? No! And the main reason is the roads. Very tricky mountain roads with a lot of traffic and roadworks, no straights longer than 200 meters! We already wrote [...]
As you already know we lost all chances to get the regular ferry in Kupang on Sunday because we had a problem with the radiator of our car. And it was a big challenge to find a ferry which could deliver our team to Larantuka port on Flores island without losing too much time. But Rainer did it – he [...]
Second attempt for crossing East Timor has been successful. We started from Dili at 5.15 am and after 3 hours we already came to the border with Indonesia. It looked strange – more like a farm not a national border. Small wood houses, goats and hens around and just one officer who played billiard [...]
Our plans to reach Kupang until 4 pm did not realize. We have completed only 30 kilometers after Dili because of cooling system problem. Just imagine small bridge, speed is only 15 km/h – we used it to make short video. Suddenly we saw steam from under the bonnet and stopped immediately. [...]


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New World Record Time
Old World Record Time: No exist
Total Kilometer Driven: 21.434km
Start: Melbourne 07/27/2012
Finish: St.Petersburg 08/13/2012
Flight: Darwin (AUS) – Dili (TLS)
Ferry: 5 x inside Indonesia
Vessel: Dumai (IDN) – Malaka (MYS)


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Kazakstan -
St. Petersburg


Thailand - Kazakstan


Indonesia - Malaysia




Broken Radiator


Darwin - Dili


Tourstart Australia




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Route Animation