(WBSERO/Geneva) – Five weeks from now will be the moment some 33’000 Scouts from 147 countries around the world have been waiting for for at least four years: they will gather for the opening ceremony of the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Yamaguchi in Japan!

Most of the participants will have traveled to Japan by plane. Japanese Scouts maybe by train or bus. But Boby and Ali, two Scouts from the Czech Republic, decided otherwise! Ever since a trip to a Wood Badge Training Course in 2012, when Boby and Ali first had the idea to participate in the major event of World Scouting, they new they wanted more: “We simply wanted to mark this exceptional event by adding an exceptional adventure! We decided to drive to Japan in a vintage Škoda! And not just because we love Japanese culture or because we like adventures and travel!”

There is no big distance for the prepared ones!

There is no big distance for the prepared ones!

And so, Boby and Ali, together with a group of friends and supporters set down to start planning what is about to become the adventure of their lifetime, which meant a lot of things: spend countless weekends and endless hours to get a 30 year old vintage Škoda 120L fit again for a marathon journey around half the world, accept living one and a half months in a small car, identify the 13’000km long route (on roads of varying quality) across seven countries, collect funds to spend on over 1’000 liters of petrol and other essentials, gather and pack half a car with plenty of rare but vital spare pieces, create plenty of merchandising products and Scout items to give away and exchange en route and in Japan, attend a refresher course in Russian, complete a thick address book with contacts of Scout friends and Škoda specialists all along the route, and plenty of other things!

“Right from the beginning, we had four main goals: to drive to the World Scout Jamboree in Japan, to represent Czech Scouting and share the ideas on which it is based, to discover ways of Scouting in six other countries to initiate exchanges of experiences, and to represent Czech manufacturers and business.”

Boby and Ali in their Škoda 120L about to depart from Brno (CZ)

Boby and Ali in their Škoda 120L about to depart

For Boby and Ali, Scouting means a team of friends and opportunities. For them Scouting is a lifestyle. Like other Scout association around the world, the Czech Scout and Guide Association (Junák – český skauting) is an educational movement which prepares children and young people for life: it teaches them responsibility, communication skills, dealing with information, critical thinking and independence. It helps children rediscover nature and offers them quality and meaningful use of their free time.

The Team

Boby: Scout from Jihlava. Economist, traveler, photographer, and skilled with his hands.
Ali: Scout from Holešov. Scientist, traveler, sportsman, and musician.

“Japonsko Škodovkou” – what is the meaning of these two words for you?
Boby: A clash of cultures. Something that I am very familiar with from my childhood, something completely unknown. I am curious myself, how will these contrasts fit each other?
Ali: An opportunity to move on. An opportunity to learn something new, to gain new experiences. An opportunity to discover the world. An opportunity to discover “myself”.

What are you looking forward to and what are you scared of?
Boby: I am looking forward to the broad plains of Siberian taiga and the emptiness, which impels one to think about his own existence. I fear mainly bad mood in a team – we will be closed in one car for a long time.
Ali: When we are finally on the road, months of preparation behind us and we will have everything in our hands. Fear? I fear many things. Would be bad, if I didn´t.

What is going to be your role in our expedition tandem?
Boby: I am permanent grouch and I am a very rigorous man. I do not like criticism. And I do not do things uncompletely – everything I do must be completely perfect. Sometimes it takes a little longer…
Ali: Do we have a roles? Probably I am more the “technical” guy. And thanks to my daily study periods, my role will be to
говорить по-русски.

What personal quality do you most appreciate on your buddy (me)? And which one makes you angry sometimes?
Boby: I like Ali’s tolerance towards others (me), perseverance and stubbornness. Ali’s restraint and prudence annoys me. Sometimes I feel the need to do things rashly and impulsively.
Ali: Diligence, throughness, … But ironically, your throughness is sometimes hard to cope with, I would almost say, it can be contraproductive.

Boby, you like photography. Why do you like it? What do you like to photograph?
Boby: I take pictures because it is faster than drawing and painting while it can handle such a clam like me (that can not draw and paint). I photograph everything that gets to my viewfinder…

Ali, you like music. What instruments do you play and which one would you like to play?
Ali: Unfortunately I don´t spent enough time practicing. I play guitar, used to play piano. I would like to play accordion and violin – but that´s a very distant dream.

The Route

A long way: 13000 kilometres from Brno (CZ) to Yamaguchi (JP)

A long way: 13000 kilometres from Jihlava (CZ) to Yamaguchi (JP)

Jihlava – Brno – Holešov – Warszawa – Vilnius – Riga – Tallinn – Saint Petersburg – Moscow – Nizhniy Novgorod – Kazan – Chelyabinsk – Omsk – Novosibirsk – Krasnoyarsk – Irkutsk – Chita – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok – Sakaiminato – Hiroshima – Yamaguchi.

The Car

Ali's and Boby's home for two months: a vintage Škoda 120L

Ali’s and Boby’s home for two months: a vintage Škoda 120L

A Škoda 120L. 30 years old. “It took us a while to find her. And of course we examined her abilities for this trip very thoroughly during a test trip to Romania”, recalls Ali, “But don’t aksk me how many hours we spent to get her ready for this trip!”

“Japonsko Škodovkou” – what is the meaning of these two words for you?
Škoda:  All my life I have been preparing for this adventure. A monumental journey to glory! Or a sudden death on a scrapyard… in any case it will be a toil.

What are you looking forward to and what are you scared of?
Škoda:  Most of all I am looking forward to the opportunity of finally airing my “czech horses”. In my 30 years, they have only seen the “czech yard”. I am really afraid of the quality of foreign petrol. Apparently blocked carburettors lurk behind every corner!

What is going to be your role in our expedition tandem?
Škoda:  Now wait a second… what tandem? We are three in the team! My duty is quite simple – I have to get these geeks to the other side of the world.

What personal quality do you most appreciate on your buddies? And which one makes you angry sometimes?
Škoda:  They often put my engine to enormous speed and that is really not my cup of tea. But even though I mock them sometimes – Iike by freezing or leaking – they still take it easy.

If you want to learn more about #japonskodovkou, check the website  and follow the adventure of Boby, Ali and their Škoda on Facebook!

Contributing to text and images: Boby and Ali from #japonskodovkou


Tagged with:
Rupert Schildböck
About The Author

Rupert Schildböck

Rupert comes from Austria and is the Executive Assistant to the Regional Director. His responsibilities include internal and external communications and administrative assistance in Regional events.

Comments are closed.