Friday, August 15, 2008

Arrival and a Week in UB

Sorry for no updates.

With our car on it's way to Ulan Bator, we have managed to spend almost a week in the capital, waiting for our flights. Every day new ralliers came into town, both with and without their cars.

It's interesting to see the same level of attachment towards their vehicles, in other teams. We felt like we had a third teammember the last week of the trip, that of our car, and he never let us down once. Even when the belt slipped, the car was impeccable, and if we could have had our engine lifted, or the radiator removed, we could have gone on with no troubles.

The good news, in that regard, is that the car will net quite a great bit of charity money in sales. It's without question the best car that isn't a commercial vehicle, in the rally (i.e. non-bus, ambulance, truck). That's not my love for Teeg, that's just fact. I will fight you if you disagree.


As far as getting to UB, I'll write about that in length once we get photos, but I can safely say that it was the worst two days of my life. I wouldn't wish that travel experience on anyone, ever. Never. We hitched on a bus and paid a pretty penny to get us to the finish line somehow, in a car, along the route we'd have done in the Micra, and ended up getting more and more Mongolians packed on top of us as the trip went on. We had a driver, who we called Coach...a mom and her two year old, two other ralliers who gave up, with a perfectly working car, a second driver, a kazahk geo-engineer, and a wholesaler guy who wore a towel around his neck, who we called "The Champ."

It was awful. The roads, for lack of a better term, were navigable in the Russian van, but still less than comfortable. We drove basically non-stop for 45 hours in the car to get to the capital as quickly as possible. There are stories that will come from those two days, but I'd rather put some distance between then and now, before writing about it. Unpleasant.

The night before flying, we had the best night possible. Nick, Edward and Mark from Team Do you Do Airports? showed up and we proceeded to share many beers and stories, and in the middle of Dave's Bar we regaled our cars and toasted their maginficence.

Then the entire country exploded with joy as the Mongolian Olympiad, their Judo champ won the gold medal. There were fireworks, ecstatic and joyful celebration in the squares, and thousands of people screaming, cheering, high-fiving and waving flags.

It was a great end-cap to the trip and a wonderful exclamation mark on the rally.

I am sure there will be tons of stories to sort out....but I'll be waiting until I can integrate the photos Steven and I took, and hopefully some of the video taken before Bryan headed home.

Patience!

(i'm flying now, to Orlando)

8 comments:

Josh said...

woo, grats guys, waiting for all the fun details

Dave said...

Congratulations on making it to UB! Sorry to hear that the final two days of your travel were so unenjoyable, but I guess that's what makes for good stories. Nice to hear that it all ended well and you are on your way (or have arrived) home. We look forward to your stories and pics (when you get a chance).
---Dave (TARDwear)---

susie said...

Thanks so much for the up date and glad your on the way home. We look forward to hearing the stories.

Ryan Natan said...

Hi there,
Im from San Diego and participating in the rally summer 09. i was wondering if i could ask you some questions about the experiance. it would be great if you could help!
thanks!
ryan of team Great Job!
rnatan@gmail.com

Kevin said...

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iffatali said...

If any head of state wants to travel to Germany, this is a matter to be dealt with by the German authorities and definitely not by FIFA. I would be happy that any head of state would accompany his team and to be present in Germany.
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