From Melbourne to St. Petersburg
As a modern courier for the czar, Rainer Zietlow, Marius Biela, photographer and cameraman, and the Russian journalist Vadim Gagarin delivered a letter from Melbourne´s mayor to the mayor of St. Petersburg. In a 17-day marathon-drive, the message traveled from one twin city to the other.
Between July 26 and August 12, the team travelled 23,000 kilometers through 3 continents and under difficult conditions in a Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI. The standard vehicle had only received a reinforced chassis, a rollover cage and two additional tanks for the tour.
A special challenge on this long-distance record drive was the first crossing of Indonesia between East-Timur and Sumatra in only six days. The team had to traverse the strait between Sumatra and Malaysia in a wooden boat. Via Laos, China and Kazakhstan Zietlow, Biela and Gagarin arrived in the northernmost metropolis, St. Petersburg, after 17 days and 18 hours.
For every kilometer driven, Rainer Zietlow donated 20 cents to a SOS Children's Village in Laos, which he visited in person.