I knew the Mongol Rally would be an adventure. I knew it would be exciting and I knew there would be highs and lows. I knew that being contained in a small car over horrendous roads even with two good friends would result in discomfort and the occasional argument and I knew it might prove stressful when things didn’t go our way!
I was wrong!
Despite the breakdowns, the border delays, the tight timescales and the discomfort I wouldn’t change the experiences of the past 4 weeks. For me, the people we met have made this trip: the locals who smile, laugh, wave enthusiastically or offer food, drink, advice or directions; the mechanics, the garage owners, their English speaking friends summoned by phone to assist. We’ve picked up social media followers from all over, fellow diners from restaurants, drivers in traffic and supermarket shoppers. We’ve been hosted and toasted and I just hope that in future I will be as welcoming to foreigners back home.
I can’t recall a cross word between the three of us, only the banter and laughter that has accompanied the shared experiences and made us a team. The Mongol Mongrels may not all of stood together on that Ulan-Ude podium but it was important to us that we arrived in Mongolia together, the rally’s spiritual home. This is, after all the Mongol Rally.
Of the fellow ralliers met along the way I’ve got nothing but respect; a really decent bunch of people representing about three dozen countries all with the same goal. Convoys form, friendships are made and best of all we help one another.
The Mongol Rally is no holiday, I need a holiday to recover from it(!) but the past 4 weeks have been epic and don’t invite me for dinner if you don’t want to hear about it!
My view of the countries we visited is hugely positive and as a Russian woman said to me: ‘There are no bad nations, only bad people’.