We got free beer in Sibiu, life was good.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
It seems like yesterday it was 100 days left, and the rally seemed so far away.
Well, it’s now 18 days left and it is feeling more and more real.
GETTING EXCITED? YES!
One member of the team has gotten his passport, filled with nice and awesome visas, and the rest of the team is only missing 1 or 2 visas, then we’re all set to leave (if it was only visas missing).
The cars has been pimped out (thanks to dipyourcar.se), and all kinds of extra stuff to make the travel a little bit more comfortable has been purchased, along with medical equipment (thanks to medivet.se) and camping gear (thanks to friluftsvaror.se).
All that is left now, is the sump guards, and getting an extra key to one of the cars (since Ted lost one >_<). Well, I’m sure there’s a couple of more things, but right now, those are the two “big” things left.
… is it too soon to start packing yet?
So, last weekend, me and Jonas took the two cars out for a spin, to try them out for longer distances, and then we ended it all with a camping out in the wilderness. We mad a little movie, enjoy!
Thanks to friluftsvaror.se for all the gear they sponsored us with!
Thanks to everyone who showed up last night for our Reklamöl/fundraiser/Chillax. It was a great success (Mintuu Chili?!), and together we managed to raise 1413.50 SEK! Awesome!
No one brought any pens or drawing paper, which I found a bit odd, since that’s the industry we’re in.
Oh well, it was still awesome!
We had both cars parked outside, fully pimped out with logos and stickers and roof racks. Looked pretty pimp.
Damn, less than a month left now, and all of a sudden it feels like there’s SO MUCH LEFT TO DO!! … which there isn’t.
A little gallery-thingie with pictures will be up later.