The more homesick teams are gratefully approaching the finish line and eagerly booking flights home. Others are hunting for food, patching broken vehicles and cursing the mothers who brought them into this world.
Those still on the road have penned letters to loved ones asking them to delete their browser history and give the cat the bad news. Messages from family and friends are appreciated at this point to help the survivors cope with the upcoming PPSD. (Post Pothole Stress Disorder).
All teams by now have become complacent with the reality of how ineffectual any of their original planning was and are happily winging it. Mainly relying on the good will of locals, hefty bribes or bullshit to get themselves along the last leg, or in some cases the first legs.
We're one month in. Welcome to the Mongol Rally 2017.
The photo competition is kicking off, some teams are even getting all artsy. The things they'll do for free beer. Here's a selection of our favourites.
The Kiwis soldier on
The early birds and the home sick
So far four brave teams have crossed the finish line, obviously craving a return to civilization and potentially harbouring some doubts about not having taken enough risks or encountering enough disaster. Blatantly they have been the victims of far too reliable vehicles and an unhealthy dose of good sense.
The finishers so far are, 'Driven to Distraction', who arrived a day before the finish line opened, looking slightytoo strong and capable. 'Team Pulponautas', 'Rasputin 11' and 'Team Shaka' have also arrived in Ulan Ude.
Mightily bloody chuffed with themselves they look too. Rightly so. Obviously craved a proper cup of tea.
We just did it! 🚙🐙🚀🔥 #mongolrally #mongolrally2017 #finishline #2ndplace #2nd🏆 #16000km #greatestadventure #yeswedidit #challenge #ulanude #mongolia #russia #wild #mitsubishi #pulponautasexpedition #missionaccomplished #mongoliamission #astronauts #thankyoueveryone #thanksforyoursupport #whatsnext 👨🏻🚀👨🚀👨🏼🚀
Those in between and in the void
With the majority of the teams spread out somewhere along the great void of unknown that makes up the greater part of the Northern hemisphere, updates and tracking show a menagerie of broken cars, broken hearts and bribing, thieving, mutinous bastards all heading vaguely in the direction of Ulan Ude.
Most have now passed the point of no return and simply cannot be arsed going back, so will push on to the finish, or the next bed.
Sam Ovenall continues his mission to showcase both his epic moustache and flag collection to as much of the world as possible, having collected 28 countries in 19 days.
'The Penguin Search Party' continues to be overly verbose as they pass into Mongolia to continue foraging for junk food.
'The TayKhans', Scott L. captured the spirit of the day in Arwaicheer “bedding down here tonight. Car is fucked but gonna slowly push on”.
'The Karma Cowboys', take time to piss through the gates of Hell, confident they have passed through.
Team 'That's not a car!', less confident of their victory over the trials of the course have opted to instead try and boost their flagging self-esteem by battling 'Men with Muscle' in a tug of war at the Alat ferry terminal, results unclear.
After two weeks of Europe, mechanic failures, car accidents, hostel and highways, we arrived in Kapadokya. Our first free camping, and the waking up left us without words. Amazing. . . . #mongolrally #mongolrally2017 #toucantokhan #theadventurists #adventure #trip #travel #globetrotter #world #travelblogger #travelasia #travelingram #travelgram #travelers #crazy #crazycars #crazytravel #charity #passport #borders #Kazakhstan #Turkey #Europe #Asia #Russia #Mongolia #Iran #faremounpolverone #turchia #mongolrallyphotocomp
Team 'Toucan to Khan' consider alternative transport with some Phileas Fogg inspiration after waking up to a pantheon of aerialists overtaking them in Cappadocia, enough to make anyone feel like an earth bound twat.
The drop outs, give ups and the unlucky
Inevitably, given the nature of the Mongol Rally, there are those who don’t make it, give up, sell a kidney and go home.
'Team Unbearable' can no longer bear each other with most of the team abandoning hope and flying home, leaving Timur seeking new friends or hitchhikers to help push his vehicle on from Almaty, we salute his resolution to continue alone and afraid in the wilderness.
Most of the teams that were going to give up are now on their way home, pretending they never set out on this bloody silly adventure. The hardier are knuckling down to the task of repairing a snapped axle with a baked bean tin and bribing large Russian men in pointy hats.
We salute those of you who are struggling onward in the spirit of the great unwitting.