Day 34 - Nukus, Uzbekistan

Kublai Kooks - Mongol Rally 2017
Day 34 - August 18, 2017
Nukus, Uzbekistan
Countries: 25 KMs/Miles: 12886/8054
Breakdowns: 13 Time @ Borders: 44h 0m

After a free breakfast of eggs & hotdogs and some entertaining Russian slapstick on the TV, the Kooks head to the lobby to meet Shaik. With Mike feeling a knackered and Josh searching for a bank that accepts Mastercard, John, Geej and Andy meet grab Shaik and take Millie with YACKS in tow to the fabled mechanic who has risen many a car from the grave.

The lads pull up to the mechanic’s house and push YACKS into his garage so that he can better evaluate the damage. With spare parts strewn alongside the walls of his garage, he riffles through them to see if he by chance has an inner CV joint that will fit. No such luck. They will need to travel to the car bazaar. John, Shaik and the mechanic pile into Millie and off they go. With little else to do, Geej and Andy set up their camp table outside the garage with a couple chairs and begin banging out some administrative duties on their computers which seems to confound the odd passer-by.

When John and the others return, table and chairs are returned and Geej and Andy stare perplexed as John and the bush mechanic investigate the newly acquired CV joint determining whether it will pass the mustard.

In walks the mechanic’s overly friendly brother-in-law. The lads could smell the vodka on his breath a mile away with his wobbly stance and slurred speech making it clear that this guy was having a good time. While the local mechanic set out to grind the CV joint into the perfect fit, the drunk brother-in law peppered the Kooks with questions and hammering poor Sheik to translate his every word even though the majority of them were repeated.

Shortly, a friend of the brother-in-law arrives at the garage with beer and vodka in hand. The boys were in for an unexpected party is appears as the beer is distributed amongst everyone in the garage apart from the mechanic. The Kooks are then invited inside the mechanics house and soon a spread of break, fruit, tea and candies are spread before them by the mechanics gracious wife and daughters. The brother-in-law dishes out vodka shots and being people-pleasers, the boys kindly accept. As is custom in Uzbekistan, the prize of the toast goes to the eldest so Geej is singled out and makes a toast worthy of video documented by the hosts. So good was it, that an encore was requested and Geej was barely allowed a break in speech to take his drink.

With a mimicked slit of the throat, the brother-in-law let the Kooks know that he would kill a sheep, dragon, or cat for them. They were family now.

This continued for hours. Over 6 hours to be precise. The graciousness of these local hosts knew no bounds and the boys were given more food than their stomachs could handle while the mechanic grinded the CV joint to perfection. Geej was the sacrificial lamb when it came to the booze as the others had to drive and the brother-in-law was not taking ‘no’ for an answer until the beers and vodkas were polished clean.

Eventually, with the CV joint put back into place, the boys had to bid farewell to their new friends but not before some more selfies and ritual car signing. Shaik’s patience and help had not gone unnoticed and after a quick stop to weld the exhaust that was starting to resemble swiss cheese, the boys dropped him off at his house, gave him a Kooks t-shirt and offered to take him to dinner later that evening.

A few hours later, Shaik arrives back at the hotel donning his new Kook t-shirt for dinner. This kid was going places and the Kooks were forever indebted for the help they received from him. Dinner was not enough to repay his kindness but the Kooks are hopeful that he will eventually venture out of Uzbekistan to one of their countries so they can repay the favour in full.

With bellies full and YACKS appearing to be fully revived, the boys breathed a bit easier and decided to stay another night in Nukus before attempting their long drive through Uzbekistan. One of the better ‘Rally Days’ experienced thus far. End Transmission.