At last the team gathers up again in Bruges, Belgium!
So Much Stuffs
Excitement is clearly evident. We nervously run through the checklist to see how many unnecessary items we have taken and how much vital equipment we decided to leave behind.
- Golf Club – check
- Flying Gadget – check
- Stack of sweets – almost depleted but still ok
- Duct tape – check
- Maps of Europe – err…
My exercise regimen has already started for the rally… Carrying 50kgs of clothes, camping gears and electronic stuff from Lyon to Bruges, including a 1.5 km walk from the train station to the hotel. The best part is I discovered shortly after that the car is almost full.
First Day, First problem,
A stop by the nearest VW dealer and we learn that the breaks are getting tired. We got approx 5,000kms on them but certainly not to enough to go through the Pamirs. Well, seems that we know what we will do as soon as we arrive in Istambul… We hope this is not a bad omen.. I try not to be superstitious, it brings bad luck.
Nevertheless! The drive from Bruges to France went like a breeze, barely realising we are on our way to the greatest road trip of our lives.
On searching for the car manual, Michael and I just came to the realisation of how much gear we are taking on the road and how much weight it adds to the car.
Sitting on the deck of the ferry to Dover we are trying to define what we leave behind and what we decide to take on for the rest of the rally.
Haggling starts:Fred – “Ok you leave your boots and I drop a couple of socks and some camping gears, we can fit a couple of things a little easier.” Michael – “No way keep as many clean socks, I don’t want to die” Freddy -“…Yeah whatever”
Following this little stretch, we take on the road to London. As we arrive in the outskirts, rain, traffic jam and dirty streets, aah London, how much I missed you, not!
The rest was an exercise of driving skills for Michael, cruising through the traffic despite having no visibility for the rear mirror and a wheel on the wrong side of the road. I keep on Jumping in and out of the car, trying to get the best pics of the day*.
After 2 hours of “entertainment” driving through the city centre we take off for the legendary goodwood circuit, where the names of Stirling moss, Mclaren rightly sits next to ours. In a couple of hours, we are taking part of the Festival of Slow, official launch of the Mongol Rally 2012.
* Photos are currently being recovered. Will post them shortly