On Sunday we waved 220 Mongol Rally teams eastward, to meet their European compadres in Prague and to make a fist of eventually reaching Mongolia and the finish line.
Here is the rolling news from the first leg. Where the teams (hopefully) get their shit out of Europe.
That's the end of the Rolling news for week 1. Unlike on the road where the clock almost never stops us at Adventurists HQ return home at the weekend to bury our heads in buckets of gin to recharge our batteries for the the fresh onslaught.
Week 2 Rolling News will begin Monday, kicking off with any action from the weekend you might have missed before getting stuck in with the gritty bit when the teams get their shit out of Europe.
16:46 24.07.2015 Mr Joolz
How important is all that red tape eh? It often depends how cheeky your grin is and when the chap-in-the-official-hat last had sex. We advise people to heed the rules unless they're prepared for the consequences. This being the Mongol Rally, that's not advice always taken.
We'll be keeping an eye on these teams to see if they regret their shortsightedness. We're hoping not of course. It's a sad world where fortune doesn't favour the foolhardy.
15.13 24.07.2015 Rosa Earp
Many teams are continuing to have mechanical issues. Rally for Rexy are still stuck in Belgium but had the sense to bus it to Amsterdam to wait it out. Meanwhile, the Iron Badgers haven't started yet but plan on hitting the road "some time next week." Until then, their days "consist largely of eating cheese and drinking wine, usually near a large body of water."
Some would be stressed, but these guys are Australian.
12.59 24.07.2015 Rosa Earp
And another team goes down. Last seen south-east of Dresden with "white smoke coming from the car." The Gentle Wolves, we never knew you.
13.20 24.07.2015 Mr Joolz
We've just had a load of photos sent over from our man in Sibiu, Vlad. Each year he and his chums at the Cotton Pub host a pit-stop, plying weary ralliers with free beer and good music until they can take it no longer.
11.30 24.07.2015 Rosa Earp
The rally's first marriage proposal, from a Romanian woman on behalf of her son:
We reckon a wedding is worth hanging around for. You could trade her for tripe soup.
15.55 23.07.2015 Rosa Earp
18.25 23.07.2015 Rosa Earp
A bunch of teams may have made it there, but only TukTales rode down the Transfăgărășan highway on a pink kids bike and full lycra. They're from Norway though, so clearly they're fucking mental.
A bunch of teams have made it to the Transfăgărășan Highway. We could mention that Jeremy Clarkson called it the "best road in the world" but he is a soggy bag of balls so we won't.
Aaaaaaaand the first team goes down. 3 Fists In made it all the way to Belgium before going out in a pisspuddle of glory.
The team have a broken half-shaft but don't have the time, knowledge or money to fix it. You could say they're half shafted.
Adventure for Dementia couldn't even make it to Belgium before being fined for driving too slow. Twice. "The reference on the receipt they gave us translates to 'stupid car on motorway.'"
What is it with the (usually reliable) Suzuki Swifts this year? We usually have at least one roll over each year from over-enthusiastic speed in the desert, but that's three broken down in 3 days now.
This breakdown is from team Horse & Radish. Apparently they'll be back on the road before too long.
The ever gallant gents from Super Villians Deluxe. Cheeky fuckers:
It's hotter than the devils cleavage out there:
The teams are beginning to spread out across Europe like ants in a windtunnel. Some are bolting for the 'stans and others are going for more of a Grand Tour approach.
Don't forget you can see the whole rally or follow individual teams here.
Praha Radio 1 sent a photographer along to Czechout to capture the action. Here are his shots. Who would've thought you could get good photos of a Mongol Rally party without nudity?
Kukaranakara take an adrenaline break in Croatia before going back to the routine of the road.
Jennifer from the KhanQuistadors was unimpressed by the accommodation options in Czech Republic:
Not for the Social Driver have run into a 'minor hiccup' in Budapest. Ever supportive, the other ralliers suggest a hacksaw.
Can you teach him about personal hygiene while you've got him?
Matt from Yorkshire Special Branch is getting a little too attached to his Ignis. She is a looker mind. But wait until she splits her sumps and pisses 10 litres of oil onto the kazak desert then refuses to start.
Apparently there's a whole generation of youth who don't understand photos unless they're square with a dodgy filter. If you're one of those crazy kids fear not. We've had one of our techo-monkeys translate the Mongol Rally into a language you understand.
Sibling rivalry strengthened by adversity:
The kerbside suite for ralliers at the CzechOut Party:
From Adventurists HQ: always a pleasure.
While we call Europe 'the easy bit' but for some teams it doesn't necessarily seem that way:
Some great convoys on the way into Europe. Who's up for Rally Bingo?
For the first time we've introduced a stop over on the first night of the Rally. Adventurists head of logistics, Mr Peter hosted beer and camping at an old circus site. A chance for Ralliers exhausted after the first day of the road (and any over-exertions the night before) to rest somewhere comfortable.
They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a small traffic jam and this was no exception.
The snarl-up leaving Goodwood was clearly visible on Google maps. The bad traffic followed many teams all the way to Dover with an number of teams missing their ferries.
Here are the Nerdventurists stuck on the M23, The Mongol Rally gods doing their best to stop them even leaving the UK.