Kublai Kooks - Mongol Rally 2017
Day 8 - July 23, 2017
Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia
Country count: 10
KM/Mile count: 2946/1831
Breakdown count: 6
"Get up! The ferry is about to unload!" Awesome way to start the day. Panic packing. Just grab anything from the room whether its yours or not. Just as the Kooks all jumped in the cars, they were being waved off the ship into Helsinki, Finland. A bright sunny morning lay before them but, sadly, only a quick stopover as their next ferry would take them to Estonia later in the day.
The boys found parking near the old centre and waved good-bye to John as he went to meet up with some old friends for the day. The rest grabbed coffee and hiked around town visiting some old churches and monuments. It was a bit of a struggle today but a pint or four should fix that so the team headed down to a restaurant district where a friend of Mikey's, from a previous trip was working. Its always nice to catch up with people you've had adventures with. Especially in their home countries. They've been lucky enough to be able to do that so far. But have missed a few:(
They sat around swapping travel stories and having laughs while Joel found a new pen pal. Think these fellas are going to miss Scandinavia but the afternoon was upon them and it was time the head back on the open water to Estonia. The land of ?! Joel was the only one who had been to this part of the world (randomly just three weeks earlier on a lacrosse trip), the rest of the gang were going in fresh and most likely with low expectations.
And right of the boat they couldn't have been more surprised. This place looked, well, normal. Modern. Orderly. Nice even. It goes to show you how even a group of worldly gentlemen who have collectively covered a good portion of the world can have no idea what really lays around the next bend. Definitely a fun part of this trip.
Pulling into the Mad Monkey hostel right in the heart of Tallinn, their parking spot was conveniently beside a sex shop where the Kooks found their new mascot, Davo. This would be the first place they would start unpacking their roof racks and throwing everything in the cars. Reports of robberies from other ralliers had started coming in and it would suck to lose their threaded tires. After Mikey checked them in and tried to arrange some much needed laundry, the boy enjoyed a beer and a shot and got ready to explore this cool looking town. Out the door the went and hit the cobblestone streets.
At their first stop, the boys were drawn into this dark medieval looking restaurant. Only candle lit and in the side of a castle, this place looked as if it had been there for 500 years. They ordered a couple bowls of hearty soup, sausages, pickles, and ceramic crafts of old school pumped beer. Hands reaching everywhere, just pass around the bowls and jugs. The Kooks had become good at sharing everything. Eat, drink, and be merry!
Next they found their way to a little pub selling many Estonian brews which the enjoyed. Simply delicious. The medieval flare continued at every turn and the town became a bit spooky as the sun went down. Creepy sculptures and gas lit lamps lined the streets as the team found there way to a viewpoint, entonces, up a steep narrow spiral stares to the top of a castle to sample some muld wine more craft beer. The whole night was filled with too much laughter. Estonia, F**K YA!
Back at the hostel after midnight, the party had picked up and things were lively. The Kooks fit right in and revelled in mixing with fellow backpackers and finally having time to talk to the opposite sex. Who would become a wizard tonight? Usually Mikey but he had to take it "easy" as he had first driving shift in the morning. Same with Andy, though his chance to get a some needed REM time was foiled by an abdominal snore-man. Noise cancelling earphones where no match for this beast. There's really nothing worse in a hostel dorm room. That and a creaking bed, if its not yours. Another sleepless night for Andy but a chance to talk to MT.
Geej, who was booked in the same room, walk in later, heard the noise, saw a still wide awake Andy and decided to find another room to sleep, but to no avail - contracted the Spanish flu. The rest of the Kooks decided to do a little clubbing. Joel leading the way first, the triangle decor of the first place didn't appeal to him so he took off but looking for something classier. John and Joshy coincidentally running into him later on. Anyone for a hot tub? Anyone up for being berated by a scary Russian? Any seen Josh?
Everyone left unsatisfied that night and some were looking for a refund. They fellas announced their return by giving a one horn salute. Thanks guys. The next wake up call will come in a matter of hours. Oops again! Tomorrow will be hell. End transmission.