It’s the Mongol Rally Launch Weekend Roundup Superblog! Lots of stories, pictures, stories about the head of a moose, and even a link to our first ever edited Mongol Rally footage video. Let’s go!
Before I make you read anything though, just watch our ~2 min YouTube clip of some random shots from Launch Weekend!
So we left the house of my parents in Almere, NL, early Friday morning to drive over to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Brussels as, you know, Uzbekistan doesn’t even have a consulate or embassy in my puny little country. When in Brussels, we saw another Mongol Rally car leaving a gas station, although we were so busy honking, pointing, and waving that neither side managed to take a photo amidst all the excitement. Anyway, back to the embassy. We had personally driven over to hand this guy our passports one week prior to us picking them up, yet when we arrived, he really hadn’t done anything for our visas just yet. He made a couple of calls, muttered something about students, Iran and Kazahkstan in French to whoever he happened to be calling, and then printed our visas there on the spot. He probably did a lot more than muttering, but to someone who hardly speaks French, that’s all that registered in my brain. For those of you that are still students and are scared of grown-up live as it seems so void of procrastinating: this guy literally hadn’t anything for our visas in a full week, although it only cost him 5 minutes max. Now that’s next level stuff. Anyways, happy-face shot of our very last visa.
On Friday afternoon we left Brussels and headed for Calais to grab a boat (ship? Heck I don’t know boat/ship etiquette and what word to use). Basically, the 10km preceding Calais until we eventually made it into the harbor was all just fenced off places and barbed wire to ward off migrants (we assume). Really weird scene, although we’re glad none of them stormed our car and tried to jump in the backseat (too soon?)
We were happy to leave France though because France is France and France is lame. I mean just look at this photo of Calais as we were sailing/boating/ferrying (boat etiquette people please tell me what word to use) off:
Not the prettiest of places. Quick little bridge here for you, because we did spot one of the prettiest Brits in the world right there on the ferry to Dover: Boris Johnson! Just look at the hair, no doubt it’s him.
True story though, some Dutch newspapers when covering the whole Brexit campaign, wrote about the sex appeal of Boris Johnson. I mean no offense, but Boris Johnson and sex appeal? I won’t say anything all too offense about him, but let’s just say it wouldn’t be too different to what Berlusconi said about Merckel, or what Trump said about Rand Paul.
On a sidenote: can’t wait for the U.S. presidential elections to really kick off, entertainment 24/7. How often will Trump talk about Willy and his “extracurricular” activities and how many more times will Hilary bark like a dog? Can’t wait.
Wandering off. Let’s get back on track. Friday night we slept in a little place called Folkestone, just some 10km away from Dover. We set up our tent on a camping on the cliffs overlooking the sea, and on Saturday we woke up with this sight:
Not too bad of a place for a morning coffee. Oh yea, we also heard about all the Turkey stuff on Friday night, so for some serious stuff check out our previous Turkey entry
On Saturday we left Folkestone and drove over to Goodwood Motor Circuit, UK, near Chichester. Small roads, cute houses, and of course ridiculous English names for small villages. Billinghurst, Houghton, Pulborough, Haywards Heath are just a very small selection of hilarious names of places in the south of England we came across. If the UK leaving the EU means they’ll stay within their own funny time capsule and never change anything about their culture, I think that is something we can all get behind.
We arrived at the camping early, around 1 o’clock, primarily so we would have some quality beer time. Some quick semi-male nudity and beer shots, so much testosterone:
Oh, and I wore a shirt of a beautiful man. I hope that me posting this picture for funny content will not cost us any sponsors retroactively.
*Abel’s shirt choice and unnatural obsession with dubious political leaders is by no means an expression of Team A Cruise of Qings and Team A Cruise of Qings totally distances itself from his ignorant shirt choice*
I’m no lawyer, but I think I just outlawyered all of you. Pretty much impossible for a sponsor to quit us now huh?
Just a bit later, the most famous man at this year’s Mongol Rally, Will Bazeley of Team Hiley Unlikely, drove up in his 1960 three wheel car. Wish I could tell you what brand or type of car this is, but I really have no clue. Oh and it has no reverse, but it is so light that he can pick up the backside and just maneuver the car if necessary.
There was a team that used the Mongol Rally as their honeymoon. Now that’s one way to assure a really quick divorce.
And then, one of the funniest things we’ve seen so far. A Norwegian team driving with an actual moose head on the back of their car. Must be funny when they had to call customer service for the ferry service to Dover to explain that their car exceeded the allowed length. “Yes, hello, we recently attached a moose head on the back of the car and therefore exceed the allowed 4.35 meters… but can we still apply for the personal vehicle ticket category?”
Then there were these British guys who basically printed and wrapped a novel in its entirety on their car. I did my best to read some of it, but didn’t really get far. Oh and yeah, they also have a boat on their roof with a huge British flag. Can’t get more colonial than that can it?
Before I go any further, here are some more photos of cars that I can’t be bothered to comment on.
And theennn there was this. What even is this thing? Is this even a car? I really don’t know
Ah well at least the color is pretty badass.
To get an idea what we did on Saturday night, just watch the YouTube clip at the start of this video. Accurately captures it all! Just so you know, we quit drinking early so we were totally legal to drive on Sunday morning (really). Drink early, peak early, sleep early. I think I just came up with a way better Mongol Rally team name than the one we chose? Ah well. We may not be that old yet, but I feel like we have already mastered the one and only actually handy old people technique.
On Sunday morning, we packed up all our stuff, and drove our car to the racetracks adjacent to the camping. We were welcomed by some guy in a ragged white suit with legit surfer hair (not blonde though, so that’s costing him points), who then proceeded to do a play-by-play for the subsequent Mongolian wrestling showcase. The Adventurists had basically brought out four actual Mongolian dudes who showed the crowd how to properly do some Mongolian wrestling, and even went head to head with some rally participants! A blog with even more male nudity? Lucky you!
These were some big, lumbering, dudes too. I decided to just film rather than participate so as not to get emasculated in front of a huge crowd. Check the video up top for some snippets. I must say that I loved their intimidation techniques; the moves by “Lion” (the name of this one guy) and those of “Running Falcon” (the name of some other Mongolian wrestler) were especially impressive. Although Lion was flapping his arms around like a bird in celebration quite often? Do they have lions that can fly in Mongolia? If so, we are screwed. Especially if they have rabies.
Then we did a group picture with all the participants. We are on the first row (I’m the one holding that green doll thing). Quick advice for photos with large groups: always go first row and volunteer to lay down. Way more screen space. Like, you see 10 times more of me than some people in the back. Amateurs. Although this advice may actually be way more valuable for people that, unlike me, do actually possess some traits of aesthetic beauty
Then we were headed to the racetracks, and officially launched!
That’s it for the Launch Weekend Roundup! We’ll keep doing blog posts and some video as often as we can. As in, we really have to squeeze in the time to do all of it besides actually doing the driving/camping etc. Basically I just sat shotgun all day today while Luca did all the driving so I could blog stuff and edit some video with the speed of a snail (I’ve never done all of that technical stuff before, we hope the quality gets better as we proceed!).
Oh, and the mood on the ferry towards Calais after we left Goodwood. Says it all.
We just left Heidelberg this morning and are now off to Prague to meet up with our good friend Spyros. Stay stuned!
Luca & Abel