Week One in Status Updates: London to Istanbul

Turns out we don’t have nearly as much time or Internet access as we had hoped we’d have on the Rally, so our blog has ended up a bit neglected. However, we have been able to post quick updates through Facebook and Twitter relatively often. We’ve decided to put up weekly archives of all our status updates here…and when we do have time, we’ll write up a bunch of proper blog posts about everything we’ve seen and done and post them retroactively!

July 18th – East Sussex, England

Our car made it to England! Now to teach it how to drive on the left side of the road…

July 19th – Battle, England

So, the speedometer on the Fiat broke…and the starter has been having problems…we haven’t even left yet and the fun has already started!

July 20th – Battle, England

Took our car to the mechanic to get the Speedometer/Odometer fixed. Long story short, the Speedometer/Odometer are not fixed.

July 21st – Battle, England

Chris arrives in rainy England in the next few minutes, and Jeff arrives tomorrow. Rubber Duckies, assemble!

Email we got from our resident Kyrgyzstan expert, Emma Buckthal: “FYI, the standard expected bribe in Kyrg is 50 soms (about $1.50). Any more than that and they’re ripping you off.” You learn something new every day.

July 22nd – Goodwood, England

Jeff’s flight to London got delayed, and he’s stuck in Philadelphia ’til tomorrow. We can only assume he’s currently sitting in front of the Liberty Bell eating cheesesteak.

Camping outside of the Goodwood racetrack, the site of tomorrow’s “Festival of Slow.” But we’re still down a team member!

July 23rd – Goodwood, England to the English Channel

We’ve got Jeff! Our Mongol Rally team is complete! Well…except for Jeff’s luggage/half our gear which was LOST in transit…

At the starting line of the Mongol Rally with out decorated Rubber Ducky mobile. This is going to be epic.

WE’RE OFF! THE MONGOL RALLY HAS BEGUN!!! We’ll check in with you all soon, but we have luggage to find and a ferry to catch!

Raced to Heathrow Airport and pulled some strings to get Jeff’s bag, and then made our ferry with about 2 minutes to spare. Now we’re floating to France. One heck of a day one on the Rally!

July 24th – Dunkerque, France to Prague, Czech Republic

Camped out by the highway and woke up to find we camped on the site of of a zombie apocalypse. Broken glass, howling winds and creepy abandoned buildings. Time to get out of here!

July 25th – Prague, Czech Republic

We long-hauled it all the way to Prague…camped again, and are spending the day exploring this amazing city. Internet is rough in places, wish we could update more. Czech Out tonight.

En route to the Czech Out party at Klenova Castle!

Celebrating Pete and Jeff’s birthday today in the Czech Republic…we both turned 26 at midnight in Klenova Castle!

July 26th – Klenova Castle to Romania

Rough morning after two of our three rubber duckies turned 26 in a thousand year old Bohemian Castle. Maybe it was that absinthe that finally did us in. But what a blast!

Rally Day 4. We’ve officially Czeched Out, and now we’re off to the Sedlec Ossuary…a cathedral built out of 40,000 human bones (WTF).

Blazed through the rest of the Czech Republic and a little slice of Slovakia…now hungry in Hungary. Time to get some dinner.

July 27th – Romania

Crossed the border into Romania, and turned time back by a few centuries. Cobble-stone roads, farmers walking their cows in the street and horse-drawn carriages.

The Mongol Rally is officially a “business trip.” We stopped by the Ecolution hemp factory in Kluj, Romania on our way through and picked up some samples for Pete’s family’s atlatl business. An odd detour, but that’s what this trip’s about!

Lovely day driving the winding roads of rural Romania/Transylvania. We’re now camping on the beach on the edge of the Black Sea.

5:30AM. Watching the sun rise on the Black Sea in Romania after driving all night.

July 28th – Vama Veche, Romania

We miscalculated our schedule and arrived @ the Black Sea a day early. Damn! Now we have to hang out on this amazing Romanian beach all day.

Haven’t met a vampire in Romania despite driving through Transylvania…but that doesn’t mean Romanians sleep at night. At a beach party in Vama Veche that will go until the sun rises tomorrow!

Romanians love “Tubthumping” (played 3x since we got here) and “You Shook Me All Night Long” (played 5x).

Tomorrow, we bid farewell to Romania and head through Bulgaria to Istanbul (not Constantinople). But first: an all-night beach party in Vama Veche, on the Black Sea coast.

July 29th – Bulgaria and Istanbul

Stopped for lunch in Burgas, Bulgaria, ordering things we have no idea how to pronounce. Officially in Cyrillic territory.

Istanbul. Not Constantinople.

July 30th – Istanbul

Made it to Turkey and spent last night hopelessly lost in Istanbul until some helpful locals led us to our hostel. Now spending a half day here and hitting the road East.

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