Mistakes are brilliant. They give you the chance to gaze deep into your soul and see what you're made of. The also create the sort of stories you never get from following 'the plan'.
The discovery of America was a mistake, so was penicillin. And bacon in Bloody Marys. While the first of those didn't work out so great the other two have saved countless lives. Mistakes are great, but what's even better is when you cock up and learn nothing from it at all. This is when stories become legends.
A doff of the hat then to Sriyal Mendis for making the mistake of crashing on the Rickshaw Run, learning nothing from the experience and then repeating the mistake on the Mongol Rally.
Rickshaw Run - Mistake #1
On the April 2013 Rickshaw Run Sriyal came a cropper when he ran his rickshaw into an unsuspecting cow. A move which will almost certainly have him reincarnated as a tapeworm. On the plus side we're pretty sure this stunt bought him a priority seat on the flight home.
Here's Sriyal's account of what happened:
About 3 days in, we were taking our rickshaw to a mechanic in the night. My teammate Niko was driving and was wearing his 'cool' hipster glasses that he actually couldn't see out of. He spotted a suspiciously large gap in the traffic and went to overtake but failed to spot the pile of cows sleeping in the road.
We hit one poor bugger as he was pulling in, so I got shot out of the tuk tuk head first, luckily I hit the cow instead of the concrete but unluckily the rickshaw flipped on me in a tuk/cow sandwich.
The cow fucked off and the rickshaw crushed my ankle. I was spirited off to an Indian hospital, x-rayed on something so old it has potentially destroyed my balls, and then was left for a few hours while the doctor shouted at my team mates and refused to treat me until we promised him we were going to take the train and abandon the Rickshaw Run.
We made false promises, so I could get jabbed in the ass with needles, have a bit of flesh chopped off and get a cast. We then went looking for beer to numb the pain. Sadly everyone in town knew we had hit the cow so no one would sell us any, except for some guy in an ally.
Next morning the hotel staff kicked us out super early because the cops were looking for us. To get away we strapped the crutches on the roof rack, and hooked a bungee up on the shaw to keep my leg elevated.
After a few days I could drive again, although I couldn't really brake. Despite this we made it to the finish on time with a bit of help from our adopted team mate Gary.
Mongol Rally - Mistake #2
In the 2014 Rally Sriyal managed to roll his Toyota Yaris. The solid little Japanese car wasn't down for long though and after being righted by some helpful passers-by they were back on the road.
In his own words again here's Mr Mendis:
Not realizing we were cursed, Gary and I put a team together for the Mongol Rally, Unfortunately when we hired motorbikes in turkey, Gary stacked it and broke his foot in many places; forcing us to leave him to reach the Iranian border on time.
He somewhat healed up and it was while rushing to grab him from Tashkent when the incident occurred. I was doing about 100 on a crappy road and the back right tyre blew out, I managed to get her down to about 30 when the wheel rimmed.
I swung her around 180 degrees but then we ran out of road and ungracefully flipped... and according to the Turkmenistan police report... also cutting a 26m gash in the road.
Lots of people appeared out of nowhere... as they do... and we flipped her over. The roof was caved in and the windscreen destroyed, but we managed to get her working again after she burnt off all the oil.
Now came our problem, we were on our last day of our Turkmenistan Visa and about 250kms from the border, and it was a Sunday. We took the only option, co pilot Lee wears gloves to hold the windscreen up, and we got showered with glass every time we hit a pothole.
Surprisingly the Uzbekistan authorities didn't give a damn about the state of the car and were more concerned about any pills we had. We then drove another 150kms or so to Bukhara were we discovered that the nearest Yaris glass was in Dubai.
A lovely local woman helped us translate and we convinced a garage to use a hydraulic lift to push our roof up, and cut a mini-van's wind-shield to sort of fit ourYaris... with the help of a lot of duct tape.
Our car was rather breezy and not waterproof with a tarp for a sun roof but again we managed to make it on schedule.
It sounds like the Mototaxi Junket is beckoning Sri. Three times a charm eh?