Ulaanbataar finish line:Today C-YA, carrying Andrew and Jeff crossed the official finish line! It was great to share this moment with our travelling partners, Team Quokkastan, Peter Le Souef and Mark Edwards in the Quokkavan! We made it!!!!!
It was a feeling of triumph but also sadness, because our adventure is over and also we have said goodbye to our faithful Toyota Hilux, C-YA!
We arrived early in the morning at the GoHelp office in UB central business district. At the office we added our marks to the finishers on the chart, the 12th to finish. The official paperwork was completed to hand over C-YA to the charity.
KOA also drew in the Charity Rally book, putting our feelings and emotions into colours!
It was a short drive to the finish line where there was lots of shouting, shaking hands, high fives and presentation of our trophies! A few minutes after us the Swiss Charity Rally team drove through as well. It was terrific to share their triumph as well!
We were then taken to see the Book Bus, one of the projects run by the charity to bring books and knowledge to the children of Mongolia!
Tonight we meet with two other Charity Rally teams at a local Irish Pub (Yes, they are everywhere!) to celebrate the finish.
Tomorrow morning, Andrew and Jeff jump on planes to return home!
The adventure is over but the memories will linger. To have 4 friends spend over 7 weeks together, to be in close contact, the gut disturbances, the rough roads, the incredible scenery, the long days of driving, the basic accommodation and still look forward to the next experience and share it together is an incredible feat. We all feel very privileged to have done this together. It has created a special bond between us.
To anyone contemplating such a journey, do it !. We did not have one moment of personal danger. Everyone we have met has been friendly and helpful. In fact, most went above and beyond the expected. The Kazak cafe owner who brought out samples of all the food he had, so we could choose, the Russian cafe staff who used google translate to explain what the various dishes were, the Mongol herders who came from no-where to welcome us, the home-stay families who made us feel amongst friends instantly, it makes you feel humble that these complete strangers are so welcoming.
To Peter and Mark who travelled with us, thank you. It was great to have you there. The nightly banter, the walkie-talkie chat, the help with the river crossings, Mark’s culinary skills, Pete’s ability to find beer anywhere, we do not think we could have had better travelling companions.
And finally Andrew and Jeff. Over 7 weeks 30 cms apart, hours everyday. Still friends, a lot of respect for each other’s abilities! Magic!!!!
Thanks to our sponsors also. Travel Directors, for all the visas and bookings of accommodation. It was a huge amount of work. Also a big thanks to Scarboro Toyota. C-YA did not miss a beat. Not even a flat tire! What a great car!
Lastly, to all our blog and facebook followers. We have read all your comments! We hope you have enjoyed sharing this with us!
C-YA Andrew and Jeff
Mongolia Charity Rally 2015