Day 48 - Kazakhstan to Russia

Kublai Kooks - Mongol Rally 2017
Day 48 – September 1, 2017
Biysk, Russia
Countries: 28 KMs/Miles: 17565/10978
Breakdowns: 15 Time @ Borders: 50h 30m

The next morning the Kooks and Brothers be Trippin' met downstairs for breakfast. They were served up a ridiculous 7 course meal as they talked a bit more about some alternatives for John. Everyone was still hurting. They reconvened in one of the rooms and it was decided. John would end his trip in Kazakhstan and go drown his sorrows in Budapest before heading home. That was it. The news was just as bad for Brothers be Trippin' with their option to get their visa sorted shattered. That very morning the US and Russia had started stupid political tactics with Russia kicking out the American embassy. The timing couldn't be worse. There is simply so much organising and things that can go wrong on the rally and when things go wrong they can go wrong in a big way.

Packing up Millie John got to say goodbye to the car he had taken so far. The Kooks had a big group hug and said goodbye to the messiah. He had been an absolute star as a team member. The Kooks as a crew had worked so well for what was basically a bunch of strangers getting together and driving halfway around the world. It was sad to see one more of their team members fall away and at such a crucial time. They tried to look on the bright side and all of the memories they had formed so far and what the group had achieved. Driving away John got the standard Dixie Horn send off and the three remaining Kooks headed off to try and catch Geej and the convoy.

Back at the border there was hardly anyone around. They knew the drill. At the Russian border there was a tense moment when they weren't going to accept the car passport. Mike had taken over the ownership of Millie but didn't have the paperwork yet. They didn't seem to be happy with the NZ passport and British vehicle. Finally the guy came back and stamped them in. Finally they were in Russia. Their mood lifted and they were determined to finish this god damn rally for the fallen comrades that could be there with them.

It was time for them to catch the convoy and Geej and to do that they needed to put some time in behind the wheel. With two long driving days they could catch the convoy in Ulgii. The roads had improved to what most people would consider a 7.5/10 but for the Kooks the roads seemed like straight 10s. It was heaven. After a couple hundred kilometres the roads turned into motorway. This was the first time the Kooks had been on motorway since Turkey! The horse and cart must fly up and down these roads.

A wrong turn from Andy put them in the centre of a big town which seemed to be having a big spring concert in the middle of town. The Kooks waded through the crowds receiving a lot of strange stares. The friendly personality that had greeted them in the Stans seemed to have faded. They managed to find a spot to dive into some pizza before making the final push.

They had been informed of a spot the convoy had stayed at the night before and decided they would head there. Surely they had done their research and found a perfect spot for a. Inch of ralliers. As they headed into town the roads slowly turned into dirt roads and the fog began to fill in. It was looking a little rapey for the Kooks liking and they began to wonder where they had been lead too.

When they pulled up to the spot the gates were closed. It looked like a large old rundown house. After ringing the bell the door was opened by two women in robes. Was this the right place? Apparently. The place looked a little run down but for $10 a night the Kooks weren't complaining. They were shown up to their room and given linen and robes. The place all looked a bit strange to them. Now the Kooks are no experts in this but after a brief discussion it was decided that the place was definitely a brothel. Not sure what sort of convoy they were trying to catch up with! It was 1am and time for bed. End transmission