Day 4+5+6

Episode 2
Days 4+5+6’ish

… Driving from Sibiu to Bucharest, and then ending it in The Ukraine, after driving through Moldova super-quick.

Music: Wintergatan – The Rocket

Day 1+2+3

There we go.

Finally we can start editing this amazing adventure.
Here’s the first video, and there’s more to come, oh yeaaaaah.

Day flies when you’re looking for petrol in Uzbekistan

Day flies when you’re looking for petrol in Uzbekistan

Oh boy, these last two weeks has been so intense.

So many new things, experiences & people. It’s hard to believe that we’re actually doing this, and that we’re only half way through.

Uzbekistan, Samaraqand & Bukhara has been amazing, despite the total lack of good petrol & internet.

We set out to do this and make one movie update/week, and blog posts every other, and boy was that wishful thinking.

With all things happening, you’re totally flabbergasted/exhausted when you finally get camp up, so updating or editing movies is the last thing on your mind.

But, soon, you will be seeing things popping up.

We’ve been teamed up and caravaning with two other teams these last few days, and today one team left us for Tajikistan, but the rest of us will try and reach the Kyrgyzstan border from Samaraqand tomorrow. It’ll be a hell drive (roads here, suck), but if we make it, we’re looking forward to some camping in super amazing environments.

If you ever get the chance to do the Mongol rally, do it. This shit is ballz.

Much love to all our sponsors for helping us make this adventure happen. Your gear has helped us out in so many tight spots, and you’ve given us memories that will last 3 life times … and we’re only half way though.

Day 4, lets make that 4 AND 5 – Not hungover, just a little tired.

Day 4, lets make that 4 AND 5 – Not hungover, just a little tired.

We had arrived in Sibiu the night before, wanting to just have 1 beer, and crash. Well, that didn’t happen. The awesome people from team HIEHFEKBC had organized a little party at the Ursus Cotton Pub (Ursus, currently my beer of choice), with all you can muster into your puny body beer. We stayed way too long, and all tho it was super awesome meeting all the other teams, it meant that we got a terribly late start, which would mean stay in hotel in Bucuresti in order to be able to pick up the router from DHL there.

We creeped towards Trans-gargamel-transen after checking out from the hotel, and smooth ride was had.

Transfagararsen, damn. How does one start to explain how powerful and beautiful that ride was? I’m not a guy who can write stuff that pulls you in, especially not in English, so I don’t know how.

Images will probably help a lot.

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It’s now day 6, when I’m writing this post about day 4, since we’ve had our asses filled. And when not, we’ve slept. I thought that I would be able to edit film, write blog posts and edit images while Jompe was driving, but since one guy in our car (me, or sometimes Jompe, if he lets me drive) has to navigate, it is impossible to do anything other than navigate, and then try to sleep before it’s your turn to drive again.

These last days has been so awesome, but so stressful on both mind and body.

We all have different moods, and different ways of tackling challenges, something we have yet to get in sync. I feel more bad for Jompe and Matt tho, since me and Christian have a very ‘Straight forward’ way of tackling issues with each other, an art form years in the making, which must be tedious to listen to.

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We arrived in Bucuresti pretty late since we had an awesome lunch at a cool little place somewhere in the transfagararasen, checked in to a swank hotel (hotels are CHEAP here), had a swank dinner, and then continued to lock ourselves out from the UNO’s trunk. An hour or so later, me and Jompe had devised a mechanism, with strings, to open the trunk “remotely”. This made me feel awesome and invincible. Sadly, this meant we had no time to do the blogging and cutting, again.

Day 5 was all about mission “Get the package, and get the fsck out of dodge”. We wanted to get going early, and make good time, since we were already two days behind schedule. So a quick pick up at DHL, and off we went. One way to make up time is to get in your car, and just DRIVE. Another way to do it, is to NOT drive though the Romanian/Moldova border, and then after 45 second drive (Yes, something like that), do the Moldova/Ukraine border.

The Romania / Moldova border crossing was awful.

People cutting in, like, systematically cutting in line. Making their kids go up and signal when they should try and cut in order to get “stuck”, leaving the border guards with nothing else to do than letting them pass. 200C° added that nice little twist we all needed whilst waiting around for about 5 hours from start to end.

.. “The Ukraine borders will be the easiest during the rally”. Fsck me, we’re doomed.

We managed to meet up with our old friend Mr.Minza (Thanks for the Campagne!!!) somewhere in nowhere-land after finally making it past the tedious border, followed by a looooooooong drive via Odessa and a scetchy underpass, to a magical cliff by the sea outside Morske around 3.30 AM, where we put up camp, and managed to get at least 3 hours sleep before the sun made the tents pour hot lava out of your eyes.

We got free beer in Sibiu, life was good.

– Day 3 –
Day 2 – A 4 star raw uncooked meat thingie? Don’t mind if I do.

Day 2 – A 4 star raw uncooked meat thingie? Don’t mind if I do.

Day of the launch. Day of the miscalculation of time needed to get to Sibiu. Day of the first real camping.

Started the morning with … well, waking up. Not feeling rejuvenated at all.

After a ceremony with the Czech’s strongest man, doing some stuff, with his teeth. Yup, teeth, we drove. And drove. And drove.

Well, not entirely true. we stopped to repack, since both our back seats where absolutely filthy, and filled with stuff. We must have done a good job, since when we were done, it was 1 hour later, and we could finally start driving … towards Mongolia (?!).

After two ours of intense driving, the first pit stop was had, at a 4 star restaurant. You have to start somewhere. I had a beef tartar, and that was all I ate, until lunch the day after. See, that’s how you get your tummy in order. By starving it into submission.

Right before we exited Czech, we stopped off at IKEA, to get some pillows. Turns out they have a “No Shoe, No Service” policy. Even after I explained that I was swedish and IKEA is practically my home, and I, unlike him, could actually pronounce the names of the furniture, I was still denied access to the premises. Haters gonna hate.

This was the most excitement of the day pretty much, since we wanted to get as far as possible. The end goal was Sibiu. But after a slow start (that opening ceremony was way too long Buddy), and getting lost in Budapest for a while, we were not making it to Sibiu. So, around 1-2 AM, we turned off the highway somewhere southeast of Budapest, and the we turned off the road that followed, and the we turned off the off road that followed after that, and then we where in a field. Good. Camp!

All the stuff we got from friluftsvaror.se was really handy here, especially the headlamps, since in nowhereville, it’s pretty dark during the night.

Snoring and pope’ing was had, and it had been a good first day, even tho we only made it half way to that days goal.

Day 1 – Does the Pope shit in the woods?

Day 1 – Does the Pope shit in the woods?

Sunday morning, didn’t feel anything special, as we talked about in a blog post further down. I was not supposed to be picked up until around 8 PM (which then turned into 9.30 PM) left me with some spare time to just re-pack a few 200 times, and make sure I had everything, which I probably don’t. Also get luck wished upon by friends from north to south by phone, and slowly it started to sink in, this thing, we’re doing it.

Christian and the guys were late (as calculated of course ;)), and around 10 PM, we were off. First stop, the ferry in Rødby, via øresundsbroen, and somewhat Copenhagen.

Painless. Easy.

After the ferry, and the shopping for Mintuu, we headed towards Berlin, and then it started to get a bit blurry. Not because alcohol (don’t drink and drive kids), but because we arrived in Germany after 1 AM, and we’ve all been up since 7-8 AM the day before. But, due to a deadline of when we needed to be in Klenova (Klenova Castle), we trucked on as they say. Big up to Jompe who more or less drove for 11 hours straight, to get us there in time (Yeah, my face was so sleep deprived, that I couldn’t see straight, so he filled my shifts).

There’s not much to say about the drive down to Czech and Klenova other than the thing above. Well, that, and “holy shit what Germany is ‘grey’ ”. Kind of like, god created earth, and on the seventh day, he tried out the cool feature in photoshop that he just found, called “Desaturate”.

Czech had an amazing countryside. We entered in through Chemnitz, and over that little hill-range located after the border. Amazing scenery, and amazing roads.

A few hours of driving and asking for directions commenced, which made us end up at the Castle in Klenova, for the Adventurist’s Mongol Rally Launch Party.

This was around 2.30 PM, almost the time we wanted to be there … ish.

So, tents where put up, beers was had, and instead of power-naps, we socialized with the other teams who had arrived. A lot new and old faces, and even people whom had family that some of us knew in real life. Good times.

Next we knew, it was 7 PM. This is where we should have gone to bed.

Instead we went up to the castle, drank some more beers, ate some food, socialized for the better half of 2 hour. Then, the wall hit us all, hard. No sleep for over some odd 30 to 40 hours, mixed with alcohol and meat. For some, it hit in the form of just going to bed and passing out like a baby. Others stared blank into the darkness that was around us for a few hours. Some got food poisoning. Well, lets just go with food poisoning. Pretty cool nightmare, when there’s just one toilette (with a broken lock), and about 2-300 people, drunk. So, does the pope shit in the woods, well, this pope does. Quite a few times too during the night, but hey, practice makes perfect! I’m SO ready for Mongolia now!

… yeah, that happened.

Pretty ups and downs first day.

Tomorrow, wish it was yesterday, so that I knew what tomorrow feels like.

Tomorrow, wish it was yesterday, so that I knew what tomorrow feels like.

So, tomorrow we leave … for Mongolia.

Last couple of days as we’ve been going through all the “last meet before you guys leave”-events one by one, I’ve been asked a few times, -“So, how does it feel?!”. And to be honest, I don’t feel anything special right now. Sure, it “feels” more and more real for every hour, but I don’t think I’ll realise what the hell it is we’ve gotten ourselves into for another week or so.

Don’t get me wrong here folks, I AM super stoked about the idea of driving to Mongolia, and I AM looking forward to this, but as it is right now, I still don’t have that “night before xmas when you where 9”-feeling.

It’s just, unlike when you go to Tokyo, New York or whatever for first time, when you know for sure what to expect, this is just so, so so so, unreal. So abstract. So unimaginable. It almost feels like it’s all just a dream. I mean, who drives to Mongolia in a way to small car? Dude, who does that?

Apparently, we do.

All the things I’ve read about, which has had to do with the rally could just as well have been a novel, science fiction novel, since everything they write about is so strange, so unordinary, so unpredictable, so adventures, and so awesomely brilliant.

Slowly this thing will sink in, but most probably when I’m knee deep in it, when it’s too late to stop and think about it, and it’s just pedal to the metal, and “gilla läget™”.

Tomorrow, the other guys are picking me up around 7 or 8 PM, and then, well, then it’s ON.

I’m scared. In a good way.

We lost our fifth leg. No pun intended.

We lost our fifth leg. No pun intended.

Bad news everybody.

Team member Ted decided to jump ship. We’re very sad that he decided to do this, but as you all know, you can’t really force anyone to do shit like this if they don’t want to do it.

We’re not sure just why he jumped ship, but we think it has something to do with him being a sissy. Or something like that. One can only guess. And that is our guess.

The rest of us are still going tho, 4 man strong team now, and we’re getting PUMPED!

Last night we did the (almost) final work on the cars (still have those plates underneath to fit too), and also packed the cars with all the gear we’re bringing. Everything could fit, and we even got some space left over for … for … well, lets be honest, it will be filled with beer.

Later this week, we’ll do the under-the-car-plates, and then it’s time for the waiting game.

Only 12 days (and 22 hours) left!

FPV Test flight #1

Took the Phantom & Fat Shark out for a test spin today. It was windy as hell, and still haven’t mounted the de-vibration-thingie, so it’s a little bit jumpy.

But, it will be awesome to bring with us on the rally! :D

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