Kublai Kooks - Mongol Rally 2017
Day 42 - August 26, 2017
Countries: 27 KMs/Miles: 15450/9656
Breakdowns: 14 Time @ Borders: 46h 30m
John had been doing a lot of work over the past few days so Andy and Mike decided they would head back to the car bazaar to get the remaining items on the list. It was another stinking hot day and being a weekend the place was absolutely rammed. Having navigated the maze the day before Mike knew where to go and immediately went to our man to get the new springs. After he disappeared for 20 minutes he finally came back with different springs than yesterday. They were going to have to do and hopefully John could make them work.
The next stop was a new spare tire. Andy got whisked away to buy a new one at a separate shop and landed a steal with a used Bridgestone tire with plenty of tread on it. The wheel balancing machine revealed that the rim was all over the place. Coughing up more money the boy went out the back where there was a lot of loud hammering heard, while Mike and Andy changed stories with the other workers. Finally done the boys grabbed a few other pieces before trekking back to the hostel. A successful day at the car market. See, there was always tomorrow 😉
John and Josh had tried to find a tent with little luck, whilst Geej was looking sharp after getting a haircut. It was lunch time and the Kooks had found the best shop which sold the closest thing they could find to a pie. Healthy eating as always! John put in the front suspension for Millie and the Kooks were good to go. Finally they would be leaving Bukhara and with both of the cars looking like monster trucks. After running from pot holes Andy was determined to start aiming for them to show them who is boss.
The border was only a few kilometres down the road and they were soon out of Kyrgyzstan and into Kazakhstan. The guards barely looked in the cars and they flew through in less than an hour. By far the shortest crossing they had come across.
Sitting at the border the Kazakhstan flag was waving above them with all of the boys picturing Borat – “A very nice to meet you. My name a Borat. I like you, do you like me?” but what they got was very different. No one sounds anything like Borat, no one looks remotely like him, and no one is wearing a mankini. There is definitely heavy Mongolian history here. Somehow Hollywood had got Kazakhstan completely wrong – go figure!
The Kooks met another team with a Skoda Fabia whilst getting insurance and traded stories. It sounded like they were having a hard time as well after butchering their car on the Pamir Highway and several dodgy mechanics. On the road the Kooks were ticking off some kilometres and loving the nice, flat roads. It was dark and the heavy slow trucks were dragging the trip out, but at least they were moving.
About 80km out of Almaty there is a crunch noise that comes from the front left tire of Yacks and Mike is forced to quickly swerve off the road. John has a feel around in the pitch black and deduces that the CV joint that had been put together in Nukus has spat the dummy and has fallen to pieces. Time to get the tow rope out again.
The tow is horrific. The cars have been raised up so Mike can barely see any of the tow rope. He also needs to keep his foot on the accelerator to ensure that Yacks doesn’t stall, in order to have the engine assist with putting the brakes on. However, when he does brake the engine automatically goes to idle as a safety feature so he has to work like a tap dancer on the pedals. Its hell for the boys and coming into town they decide it’s a good idea to pull over and find a hotel near there. Luckily for the boys there is a cheap hotel right around the corner, and better yet it’s next to a big car parts sales area.
Another long day for the Kooks fixing cars, border crossings, breaking down, towing, and getting in late. Standard. End transmission.