August 8, 2013

The last chapter

I wrote my last post from the Oasis Inn in Astana, a small hostel where I had spent my only night (night = 4 hours) in Kazakhstan. Life was good, I hadn’t had any major issues so far, and I was really looking forward to next few days of adventure. Little did I know what was ahead.

Back to Russia (27/07/13):

I started my journey with a short visit to the city before heading east for a new border crossing to Russia. The roads were OK, the views quite formidable, and I even got to see a Kazakh wedding celebration!

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July 27, 2013

A bag full of experiences

Samara – Chelyabinsk – Astana (24-27/07/13):

On Wednesday I resumed my journey through mother Russia (who as you know I met the day before in Mamayev Kurgan), and today I finally made it to Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, from where I’ll attempt my Mongolian conquer. These last few days have been full of new experiences that I’ll treasure for a long time

  • The joy of being back in the race and happiness of being able to see new places and find myself in odd and colourful situations (if you liked my encounters with 112 or the border controls you would have loved my attempts to communicate with Russian and Kazakh speaking only hotel and roadside restaurant staff)

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July 22, 2013

Some time to reflect (finally)

From Volgograd to … Volgograd! (21/07/13):

Despite the long trip from London and treacherous roads of the previous few days the car was holding up quite nicely (or so I thought). This was about to change…

One and a half hours and about 97km from Volgograd the car suddenly gave up. No smoke, no strange noises, the engine was still working, but the damn thing refused to move. Sunday afternoon, in the middle of nowhere, a Spaniard incapable of speaking any Russian other than “da”, “nyet” or “spasiba”… this could be the script for Almodovar’s next movie!

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July 21, 2013

The “Rally” really begins…

The last four day’s driving has been “intense” to say the least. Demanding roads, long (really long) hours, my first encounter with border controls and checkpoints… But I’ve made it to Volgograd according to schedule (I’m sure Isabel will be thinking “yeah, right!”) and so far the car is behaving nicely.

Off to Romania – Transition Day (17/07/2013):

The initial plan was to dash by Hungary into Romania where I had booked a bunk bed in a cosy youth hostel in Bucharest; a mere 1,066km according to Google Maps or “the RedBull day” as I called it. But what was originally intended as a pit stop in Budapest turned into a 6h stay at a local mall to get my TomTom sorted (I’d been travelling without maps for 2 days) and replace my only sweater, lost in Frankfurt. Tip for travellers, Starbucks provides more than coffee and sandwiches ;-).

Since making it to Bucharest was no longer an option, I used some of my spare time to research a new destination and settled for Sibiu, a small town in southern Transylvania, not far from the Transfagarasan (road DN7C) Top Gear’s 2009 Best Road in the World.

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July 17, 2013

Czech Out party and more

By the time I got to Klenová the party had already started so I put up my tent quickly and run uphill to grab some dinner. I shared table with two fun Norwegians who are doing a similar route to mine and shared some important need to knows about life and Scandi women (don’t worry I’ll keep your secret!). One of them has postponed his wedding in order to be able to complete the rally, how cool is that? :-)

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July 16, 2013

Bagoaz!!! (There we go!!!)

Live from Budapest!!!

Apologies for the long silence but I’ve been having major technology issues. I should be able to post daily updates from now on and at least until I arrive in Kazakhstan, and just in case I don’t below you have a map that might help map my location:

http://www.theadventurists.com/the-adventures/mongol-rally/teams/hemendik-horra

The below is a post I wrote 2 days ago and updated yesterday morning. Enjoy the read and hope to write a new update tonight.

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July 9, 2013

Almost ready to go…

Time flies and it’s now only 4 days to go, are you nervous?, have you got everything ready?, will you keep us updated?, and more importantly, will Chupi join you this time?

Over the last few days some of you have asked a number of very interesting questions that I’m sure have also crossed other people’s minds. Here is my Top-5 in no specific order (please click “Read More…” to see all the questions and answers):

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July 3, 2013

Keep it coming!

Thank you very much for your generous donations, you are fantastic!

In just one day we are already above target for the Great Ormond Street Hospital and at 32% of the set target for Cool Earth, where will we be tomorrow?. The sky is the limit, please keep it coming!!!