Having spent the night up in London before the launch, and made the infinitely wise decision to stay with friends in London rather the sleeping in the car (I didn’t speak to a single person who slept well in their car that night!), the day was finally upon us.
The Adventurists did their best to herd the cats that were the waiting teams, but the stewards were outnumbered by teams anxious to hit the road and the ordered queueing system turned into somewhat of a free for all to get over the starting line ramp. However for some teams even this was too much for their trusty steeds. At least one team was spotted on the exit to Battersea Park underneath their car reattaching various parts that the launch ramp had ripped from the soft underbelly of their car. The solution to taming the destructive power of the ramp was, in typical Mongol Rally style, to take a large hammer to it and keep hitting the offending part of the ramp until the desired effect had been achieved. You’d be surprised how often this works in other situations as well.
The launch weekend happened to coincide with one of the hottest weekends of the summer, which quickly deteriorated into a deluge as we made our way to Calais for our ferry (what!? i’m British, of course i’m going to comment on the weather…). Revisiting the video logs I made of the time, I can tell you that on the way down we ate a quiche and a packet of ginger nut biscuits, that the windscreen wipers on a Nissan Micra K10 do not have a fast enough setting for heavy rain and that we engaged in another famous British pass-time of queueing.
Farewell UK, see you again in 2 months…
James’ Mongol Rally Top Tip: “If the mirror in your car won’t point the right direction, you can wedge a plastic spoon between the mirror and the housing to hold it in the right place”