Monday, August 21, 2006

Chiming in at 8,753 miles

Once again Justin has gotten the better part of the recent blog mileage, but I should put in a few words. First off, thanks to Terry and his family, Pennie and Ron, Margaret and her host mother and Megan, Chris Chris and Bo in Krakow, the Ukrainian Mechanic who fixed our carburetor on a sunday afternoon, the mechanic in Barnaul who fixed our spring for free, and the other mechanics in Barnaul who fixed our spring for $16, and the mechanics in Irkusk who fixed our spring for $20, and the friends and family back home who ran support for us in terms of calling embassies and sorting our cell phone and putting up text messages on the blog site after we lost the phone, plus showed us support throughout the journey. Thanks for power bars and shot blox, and vodka, instant coffee, afternoon tea, clothing that wicks, tires that hold air, thanks to the irridium satellite phone network. Thanks for duct tape and WD-40. Thanks to all the Tatiannas at the british embassy in the ukraine, and to Cory at the US embassy in Mongolia. Thanks to Ian ("Speedlimit"), Tom ("Tommy Gun"), Yvonne ("Ivan"/"Evie"), James ("Glynnie"), Ben ("Prockie"), Tim ("Tiny"), and Cyrus ("Cy") for sticking it out with us in the long haul -- you guys are the best. Thanks for the green stamp and all the other stamps along the way. Thanks for the girls who helped translate for us at the accident site, and to Anna who got to the police station quickly and translated all night long. And special thanks to the loved ones who kept us in our thoughts and showed up in ours along the road.

So we're finally here / and shit yeah, it's cool!, as Guided By Voices say. And shouldn't it be? We have come an awful long way, and seen a huge number of amazing things. When we saw camels in the headlights at 4am just over the Kazak border, and it suddenly hit that we had really GONE somewhere. There are loose ends still to wrap up, plane journeys home, and potential criminal cases still to be sorted out. Some of the difficulties have placed a shadow on the finish, but it's still a pretty amazing finish, if just for showers and real breakfast and places to be where you don't drive anywhere for a while.

As for now, we have time finally to reflect on it all and to try to recollect everything that has happened. We have a couple days to relax in UB before returning home, and we have friends and family and bets and apartments and jobs to return to. Personally, I cannot wait (except maybe the job bit, but that's life and I will take it with the rest). The trip itself will need some time to process in full, but I think the label of "the Awesomest Thing to Ever Happen to Anyone, Ever" fully applies.

Or something like that.


Blogger Terry and Chrissy said...


Glad to see you are safe and well guys, we are all really proud of you over at JCC!!!

So I am DYING to know! Hows the car? what has happend to her now you are there? .... I am getting a little emotional now...


12:36 AM  
Blogger Emma said...

To continue the GBV theme:
Oh, yeah, I'm gonna drive my car. Oh, yeah I'm gonna go real far...

Congratulations, guys!

1:05 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Terry and Chrissy -- I will post pictures once I get them (I didn't have my camera but our convoy mates did), but day-before-yesterday the Micra was delivered to the Christina Noble Children's Foundation, who runs a charity site 30 minutes out of town. She was a little worse for wear at the end of the journey -- you had to give gas always or she stalled, and the suspension had taken on a distinctly russian character after the springs had mostly been replaced. One strut (left rear) poked ominously into the passenger compartment and scraped against the bodywork while travelling over bumps. But at the end of the day she performed like a hero, one of the true survivors of the rally, and carrying the refugees of other cars to boot! We are sure her tenure with the charity or whoever finds her next will be long and glorious.

3:57 AM  
Blogger Audrey_and_Paul said...

shit yeah it's cool.

i'm a tiny bit jealous, ok, now, a lot jealous you guys made it to ulan bataar. but very seriously happy for you. couldn'ta happened to nicer guys. i'll send you an email when our photos are fully up, and the ones of yous guys are there. hope that you make it to new york one day soon so that the drinking can be continued.

6:38 PM  

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