After decorating our car at a police detour stop, we journeyed toward the Festival of Slow. Mind you, this did not come without complications. As many of you heard via facebook and twitter, Jeff’s flight was delayed in Rochester, which made him miss his connection flight in Philadelphia. 21 hours later and an argument with US Airlines, Jeff was routed to London via British Airlines. This seemed as though everything was sorted out…except his bag with all his team equipment, including the necessary tent, which we would call home for the next five weeks. Jeff arrived at Heathrow with no bags and journeyed to the Festival of Slow, the starting line of the Mongol Rally.
The Festival of Slow proved to be a perfect example of how ridiculous this trip will be. With each vehicle decked out in their own depiction of their odd personas, we saw everything from the Baywatch cast atop a Fire Engine, a decapitated dummy mounted to a car roof, a van completely covered in purple fur, and a South Korean team with more video equipment than NBC. What surprised us the most was our rival team, “The Rubber Ducks” from the UK. But we showed all teams by blaring our patriotic music, waving our American flag and tossing duckies to our adoring fans.
With help from a caring British couple at this event, named Liz and Will, Jeff battled US Airways in retrieving the bag they lost. After a few choice words and Jeff charming a lovely air baggage woman named Varna, he was able to set up a secret meeting via a coffee shop phone and a back entrance into Terminal 1 at Heathrow. Now the Rubber Duckies AND their gear is on route to the Dover Ferry! With a quick stop to a British pub for some fish, chips and a conversation with some Cockney gents and lasses, we are on our way!