Kublai Kooks - Mongol Rally 2017
Day 29 - August 13, 2017
Seman, Iran to Bojnord, Iran
Countries: 23 KMs/Miles: 11878/7381
Breakdowns: 10 Time @ Borders: 35h 53m
The boys all awoke hoping to leave the Seman they went to bed in far behind. Another long drive to the next town to the boarder. Boring but beautiful! And today would be the day of Geej's long awaited chance to get behind the wheel and hit the open road. With John sitting shotgun he ground those gears like a pro. Third to first to fifth giving Millie fits and leaving John in need of a drink. The desert mountains surrounded them and the roads stretched beyond the horizon. Nice and relaxed.
To break up the drive the fellas stopped on the side of the road to buy pistachios and grapes that grew in the area. And when they stopped for petrol, these impulse shoppers made one of the most important purchases that any car needs when driving 500km in one stretch. A portable shisha pipe! John wasting no time grabbing the camping stove and trying to heat up the coals in passenger seat while Geej tried to steady the car. How could this possibly go wrong?! The last thing you want to hear when learning to drive a manual is, "F**k, F**k, F**k, the car is on fire!"
And down the highway they went pulling in to town for lunch and giving Geej throwing Geej into the lions den of chaotic city driving and roundabouts. A filling kabab lunch was followed by a trip to the post office which had eluded them thus far. Not a whole lot of people buy postcards here so trying to even buy stamps felt more like trying to take out a bank loan, even with Reza's "help". And not even finding cards anywhere, friend's and family would have to settle with ones from another country. A Chernobyl postcard mailed from Iran. Who wouldn't want that?
Back on the open road, their guide now sequestered to the back seat, the boys filled their time climbing out the out their windows at top speed. Andy and John peacocking for all the passing cars and trying to get the perfect shot. The honking and waving continued throughout and another snack stop allowed the kids working the till to get photos with these adventures. These pics almost becoming collector items when half the team almost kicked the bucket as Geej played chicken with the oncoming traffic. Still undefeated! My Kook, my Kook, my Kook!
In to the busy town they came finding their hotel with relative ease this time. Across the street a nice green space complete with a small amusement park. So many of these towns had had Ferris wheels in them. A groupie on a motorbike followed them in to the parking lot and as the fellas checked in, Andy chatted him up. He turned out to be a mechanic and had saw their Mongol Rally sticker. Speaking perfect English, he said he'd helped a lot Rally teams in the past and had shop across the street. Just what the doctor ordered. They could get YACKS alignment and possibly a wheel bearing replaced.
They settled in and spent a bit of time researching their next boarder crossing into Turkmenistan. Then off the Mohsen Qomi's auto repair shop a couple blocks away smack in the middle of a bunch of small mechanic garages. He called over his alignment expert buddy and under the light of a street lamp In the end, they didn't have the proper equipment to fix it up to John's standards. The boys had to make their border crossing tomorrow no matter what and couldn't take any chances. After clearing up a misunderstanding Reza had caused, Mohsen invited the in for coffee, tea, and local sweets. Hell of a nice guy and tries of help any tourist coming through the city.
His recommendation of a kabab shop a couple hundred meters away was perfect. Cheap and cheerful. That's all the Kooks ever need in a place. A round of non-alcoholic beers were ordered. The last they'd have on this trip. They'd be back on the piss soon enough. Another attempt to light their shisha pipe back at their penthouse quite ended in failure but no worries. Tomorrow the shackles will be off. And dad will be out of their hair. Free at last. End transmission.