Day 42 – MONGOL-ORIOUS!! (#MongolRally)
I opened my eyes this morning, expecting to be dead . . . (and after last night’s episode, pretty sure I would have a battle on my hands convincing the man upstairs I was worth letting in).
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that while I was not only alive, all three of us were in surprisingly good shape and ready to get stuck into the last ‘official’ day of the Mongol Rally!
(Chinggis vodka. . . the better way to describe it would be like giving a can of spinach to Popeye. It makes you stronger, better looking and able to rip karaoke like you too could be INXS’s next front man. . . . )
Once we came to, the three of us headed down to unpack the car and get it ready to be handed over to The Adventurists for auctioning.
With so much dust in the car, the whole process felt more like an archaeological dig than anything else. We found currency from just about all of the 16 countries we had visited and even though all 5kg of the coin we found probably amounted to less than $2USD, it was a nice reminder of what we had experienced over the past 6 weeks.
We packed our lives into our backpacks, gave our extra food to some of the locals in Gab’s block and arranged to donate our tools and gear to the NGO where she worked.
By around 2pm, we were on the road bound for the finish line!
As we rounded the bend near the State Department Store we could see more and more disheveled looking Ralliers lining the streets and the finish line banners in the distance. As we entered the compound we were pretty quickly told to get back out again and wait like normal people. . . . bit of a mood killer really.
We hadn’t parked for more than 2 minutes when we saw Paul from Team Phoenix! After we lost the lads in the desert for a second time (seems to be a bit of a theme here?) it was so good to see him again and hear that the boys had made it in great shape. As we walked into the finishing line compound, we were reunited with teams we hadn’t seen in weeks (some months), this was shaping up to be a most excellent afternoon.
When it was our turn for glory, we drove our car up onto the dubious looking finishing line ramp for our official photos. . .
After 16 countries, 17,012k and some of the BEST times of our lives we had ‘officially’ made it to Ulaabaatar!!!!
Ben headed upstairs to do the official paperwork (Tip for future ralliers – avoid being the registered owner of the car, only brings you pain) while I spent a bit of time downstairs with Ed catching up with some of the other teams as they rolled in. We went for a wander out the back to the graveyard, some of the cars there were in BAD shape. . . . but I guess you could expect a level of fallout after what we had come through.
We hadn’t been in the yard for 5 minutes then we met a potential buyer for our car – he loved the Hyundai’s so much he was negotiating to buy both of them. After travelling half way across the planet, the only problem with our car was that the suspension bump stops were destroyed. . .
One thing was for sure, whomever had the common sense to buy this car was getting a bloody gem!
Inside, we signed the official board of champions, picked up our certificates and proceeded to get hammered with our new family of crazies from across the planet who had made it to UB.
Later that night, we headed over to the official finish line party. The Adventurists had arranged for Altan Urag to play. Checkout their YouTube channel – they are this awesome fusion of traditional Mongolian instruments, throat singing and a little bit of Rammstein to boot. (*Addition – I would later see them live another 4 times during my stay in UB, they were that good! Check them out.).
More sillines ensued, stories were shared, good times were had. . . what a fantastic night and a great way to bring the official part of this journey to a close.
Signing off for now,