Eventually, all dreams must come to an end. Like holiday weary teenagers dragging their feet on their way back to school, our fatigued teams cross the finish line and begin to drift back to reality and all that bollocks.
Some of our belligerent teams refuse to let the adventure die and are planning their route back, some in convoy, others revisiting places they wished they had been sober enough to remember. Yet more simply thought, let's do it again, but backwards.
Some of the true legends of the Rally who have taken the mucky, sordid, down and dirty route (which is the proper way to do it), are finally heading down the last leg. The folks in the electric car even managed to pull their carbon offset into Ulan Ude on the 9th of September. Sterling work.
Some of our knackered teams in their excuses for cars crawl - or are towed - towards the finish line, worn out and shagged out. Begging for parts to fight on the last leg or battling with tow truck crews who demand tribute of a first born child or a year of servitude. Desperate to be among the finishers and to have their picture taken in front of the shiny finish line sign, go on lads and lasses, you can bloody do it.
Lazar Nesic had a caps lock panic on Facebook as he lost his team mate somewhere in Russia after doing a dodgy disappearing act with all the cash. Like a true friend, he decided to deal with the loss of his friend by posting videos of his dance moves and Swedish toilet activities to social media.
HEY! URGENT MESSAGE! LIKE PROPERLY URGENT! NOT THE "HOW DO I GET MY CAR ON A TRAIN?" KIND OF PRETEND URGENT, LIKE ACTUALLY COULD REALLY HELP SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE POORLY AND ALSO HELP ME SLEEP KIND OF URGENT! Anyways: MISSING PERSONS CASE!
Luckily this was resolved in typical Mongol Rally fashion when the missing Rallier turned up the next morning still hammered in the same Russian night club at 9am.
Our newly weds, 'Team Make or Break', made it into Ulan Ude having tested their vows on the road. They cheerfully announced their major achievement of consummating their marriage in every country they passed through. Thank god for wet wipes.
Canadians Mike Bradshaw and team dunked their shite mobile in a Mongolian river in some misguided attempt to give it a good wash. A day of lazing around presumably in soggy pants while the car and their clothing dried out gave them a much needed opportunity to stare at the grass for a while. Possibly to rethink life choices and relive sordid past experiences.
"Exhaust on the roof and clothes drying on the ground - you should always check the depth of Mongolian rivers before crossing... our car smells like wet dog and dead hookers."
The Mongol Rally is an adventure of the first order, it is unplanned chaos and gives participants the opportunity to flex their ability for sculduggery and derringdo to a truly global scale. The un-organization behind the Mongol is “designed” to allow our bold boys and girls to create their own mayhem and madness, not by giving them a series of challenges, but by presenting them with a start and finish line and saying, “Do your daftest”.
Basically we set you a ridiculous destination and task and then laugh as you mess up along the way, all terribly entertaining.
Sometimes you just have to straddle it and whip it into going faster
The Karma Wanderers summed up the spirit of the Mongol Rally as they crossed the finish line with mixed emotions and emoticons.
“Oh, boy! bloody done it! 18000km, 55 Days, 32 Sea/Rivers/Lakes, 23 Countries, 11 Time zones, 9 Break downs, 8kg weight loss, 5 Mountain Ranges, 3 Deserts, 2 Police station visits, 1 Hospital visit, 1 Army detention, sleepless nights, foodless days and countless highs & lows.”
Tag 49: Was macht man, wenn man keine Hebebühne hat? "Mongolian engineering" lernt Niclas, sprich das Auto wird einfach umgekippt und auf einem Ersatzreifen abgestützt. Auch ansonsten wissen die Leute hier, was sie tun und so ist nachmittags der Auspuff wieder dran und das kleine Leck im Tank sauber zugeschweißt. Was will man mehr? Höchstens noch ein Selfie mit den Werkstattjungs, hat auch geklappt. Weiter gehts! #mongolrally2017 #teamhinzkunz #mongolianengineering #ontheroadagain #nothingcanstoppolo #ofcoursenot #whatwereyouthinking
If in doubt, a sheer bloody minded refusal to look mechanical death in the face will see you through
The last of the Adventurists team just left Ulan Ude, having barely recovered from the big finisher's party. They took this as an excuse to indulge in bringing a little un-culture to Russia by forcing night clubs into letting them karaoke obscure hits of the 80s to the disgust of all other patrons.
A full round up of the glory that was the 2017 Mongol Rally shall be coming next week - including all bits and pieces from the splendid last dregs to limp over the finish line.
Sign up for 2018 is open now. Just hit this small and humble button below for a whole world of fuck yes.