Team The Yurtles

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019


Day 20:

From: Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan

To: Khiva, Uzbekistan

Countries: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

It was 1am when we finally got on the road and we had a 6 hour drive ahead of us to Ashgabat. We had time to make up, so we took shifts and drove through the night, something our Turkish truck driver friends recommended against. The roads weren’t lit and most vehicles were without lights too. It wasn’t a fun drive but we made it through to Ashgabat - exhausted, but there. The next challenge was to find food, as we hadn’t eaten since lunch the previous day. We plugged in the address for a cafe that was allegedly open but, guess what?, it wasn’t! So we headed to another cafe and luckily ran into a supermarket before we got there. We stocked up on food and cold drinks before finding a restaurant for brunch. We went for the classic Shashlik, or Kebab, which was becoming a daily occurrence. Satisfied, we paid the bill and decided to visit the Russian Bazar to pick up a Turkmen sim card. After some more pointless bureaucracy, we finally had service, and hit the highway to head towards the gates of hell. As soon as we turned onto the highway we came across a huge convoy of mongol ralliers, including the two brits we had waited with in Baku. We chatted for a bit and then, due to the fact that we have the fastest car, sped on to Darvaza, where we had an early dinner and scoped out the route to the actual crater. The convoy caught up to us and we turned off the “highway” and onto the dirt track that allegedly would lead us to the the giant fire. With only a couple sand patches, getting to the crater wasn’t as hard as we had planned and we all parked up beside the fence separating us from the flames. We were all in awe as we got to know one another. We were informed that one of the teams had booked a local band from Ashgabat to come and play a gig while we camped there. Supposedly arriving at 8, the band showed up at 11, and started playing at around 1am. Eventually one of the ralliers, Phil, pulled out his guitar and started jamming live with the band members. All in all it was a great night and we returned to our tents more tired than ever, resigned about the few hours of sleep we would manage to get.

We woke up in the equivalent of a sauna the next morning. It turns out that while camping in the desert it gets really hot very quickly… We packed up our tent, threw everything in the car, and then headed out so that Henry could call the Visa Machine to check on the status of his Uzbek visa, which would dictate whether or not we could cross the border today or not. We were unable to contact the Visa Machine, a common theme, and figured we’d just head to the border and wait there as they’d probably have wifi. Nothing could have prepared us for the cognitive dissonance between distance and time for Turkmen highways. The distance seemed so short but the roads were so bad that we were barely able to accelerate past a crawl. After quite some time rattling our spines, and after purchasing a nice Turkmen melon along with the biggest chicken leg to ever exist, we had made it to the border town and UNESCO world heritage site, Konye Urgench. Famous for its gates and mausoleums, we wandered around before trying to find our extremely well-hidden hotel. Hungry as ever and in desperate need of a shower, we were glad to wash after a week of travel. While Henry was in the shower, Jonathan hopped in the car to find some cold beers for dinner. After, being led around town, Jonathan finally made it to a cafe that offered to pour him 2 pints in some water bottles, as it was apparently illegal to sell bottles of beer. With two cold beers, Jonathan returned to the hotel to start cooking. To our dismay or gas canister did not fit our stove top, so we had to improvise and we cooked our chicken on a wood fire in the backyard of our hotel. While we were cooking, one of the hotel attendants came over and started to chat with us. He had great English and it turned out he had studied as a translator in Ashgabat. He was great to talk to and gave us a lot of insight about Turkmenistan and its culture. With the Visa Machine being the most unprofessional organization we have ever worked with we were unable to get a response about Henry’s visa until the day that he would be deported. Thankfully, we got the visa before the border closed and were able to cross into Uzbekistan, but it was not ideal and all due to the visa machine dropping the ball. Never use the Visa Machine. They are trash.

With the visa sorted, we were keen to get out of Konye Urgench quickly as we had seen pretty much all there was to be seen, but not before Jonathan bought a traditional Turkmen telpek (a type of hat), however. With his hat firmly on his head, we were ready to begin yet another border crossing process. The drive to the border was short but bumpy and by some stroke of luck we passed through the Turkmen border relatively quickly. Once we made it to the Uzbek side, however, things started to slow down. 

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019


Day 16-19: 

From: Baku, Azerbaijan

To: Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan

Countries: Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan

We woke up at 8am and our long running standard of being ever-tired continued. We packed up quickly and started driving to the port to see where we could buy tickets. We had some coordinates that were allegedly correct, so we headed that direction, getting to drive a portion of the F1 circuit along the way. After some asking around, we were told we were in the wrong place and were given directions (in Russian) to another port. Heading now the opposite direction we came, we arrived at a bigger building, which we entered. Upon hearing our English, a captain directed us to his boss, who explained that we would have to buy tickets in Alat, but that there was a boat coming in that night at 8:30. With that info, we booked it down some 70km to Alat, but not before we were first stopped by the police. Jonathan was flagged down and greeted by a police officer who already knew his name. Having been lead into the office, it was explained that we had been doing 92 in a 70 (which doesn’t seem right…). The fine was 130 Manat (~$65) but after lots of linguistic confusion we were allowed to go without having to pay. Big score. We made it to Alat and had our nice Georgian wine taken at the entry point with the promise it would be given back. We then drove around looking for a ticket office, which was extremely frustrating, as nothing is labelled anywhere. Thankfully, we ran into some other ralliers and they told us how to get to the ticket office we needed to be at. We drove over and parked next to some motorbikes, which, upon further inspection, bore Mexican license plates - a nice little addition to our list of plates. As we entered the ticket office we were confronted by another mongol rally group, who were taking the ferry to Aktau, Kazakhstan. The guy in charge told us to come back in an hour, so we headed to the only food source and air conditioned facility in the port. Enjoying a nice coke, we spent took our time, before returning to deal with the ferry. Finally we were able to go through the necessary steps and gladly paid a $50 service fee to not have to run around the port and translate documents from Azerbaijani. With time to kill, we headed back to our car, now surrounded by ralliers, and got to know our neighbours. We bought out our plov dish and offered it around.

At 5am boarding began. We sleepily drove our car onto the ferry and then onto a lift, which hoisted us to the second deck. We were then shown to our cabin, which we shared with a very tall Turkish man, and immediately passed out. Not too long into our slumber (2 hours to be exact), we were loudly awakened by the chef calling us to breakfast. We ignored the invitation to breakfast but she came back and made sure that we woke up and showed up to breakfast. Breakfast consisted of bread, the saltiest cheese on earth, and condiments. Jonathan did not eat breakfast! With breakfast done, we headed back to sleep, to be awoken once more for lunch. Lunch consisted of noodles and a piece of chicken. Jonathan did not eat lunch! Still tired, we lounged about in our cabin for a while, before Jonathan decided to explore the ship and Henry watched a bit of TV. Jonathan saw land and asked some of the people outside where we were, to which they replied “Baku”. This means that from the time we left the port, at 10 until the time we laid anchor, at 7, we had only managed to travel back to the place we had originally started. To pass the time, we hung out in the mess hall, which was air conditioned. There we met the Turkish truck driver, Tayfun, who wanted Jonathan to take photos of him. We went around the ship and he posed with Henry before inviting us to see the cab of his truck. Finished, we returned to the air conditioned mess hall to watch more films in Turkish. Frustrated, the boat sat outside Baku for some hours, before heading across the Caspian, spelling at least another 21 hours for us. We were lucky, however, to have Baku be the backdrop for our Caspian Sea sunset, which we admired from the comfort of our beach chairs before heading to dinner. Dinner was a nice surprise as we were welcomed with cold Fanta’s and relatively tasty food! Jonathan did eat dinner! Later that night, we set our camp chairs out on the bow and enjoyed the cool evening.

The next morning we were again awoken by someone summoning us for breakfast, but he was not as persistent as his predecessor, and we successfully slept through breakfast. After having slept in a bit, Jonathan explored the boat, while Henry slept some more. Eventually, we were both awake and it was time for lunch. This time we had plov, a team favourite, and lentil(?) soup, with a warm coke - not too shabby. We had some downtime after lunch and watched some movies, before wandering around the boat again and eventually settling down on the bow to watch the ships go by. We finally saw land and were excited as ever, however, this dream was quickly ruined when a fellow passenger proclaimed that it would be another 4 hours until we reached Turkmenbashi, and this didn’t even include disembarking or customs…

Annoyed that we had to wait 4 hours, we were devastated when we heard the anchor drop. Jonathan asked the guys on the boat when we’d get to Turkmenbashi and they replied “Iki Gün”. Iki Gün means two days in Turkish… This was our worst case scenario… We already had days to make up and now we were stuck on this infernal ship for another two days! We laughed as much as we could but ultimately resigned ourselves to the boat craziness that would sink in. What really rubbed salt in the wound was that the ship that left after us, with the two teams we had met earlier, got to the port before us.

The next day we were loudly woken up for breakfast, again, but somehow arrived late. Thankfully, they still decided to feed us and we chowed down on some packed sausages. With the prospect of two days left, we had a lot of time on our hands to catch up on sleep and watch some movies. We went back to our cabin, where Henry fell asleep and Jonathan watched some TV. Bored, Jonathan decided to break out his hammock and relax on the upper deck to the amusement of the Turkish Truck Drivers. After taking a nice nap in his Hammock, Jonathan awoke to the sound of loud Turkish music, which he went to go an investigate. It turns out that the ship was leaving today, having fixed the “boat problem”, and our Turkish compatriots were keen to celebrate with a dance party. Naively thinking that we would be there soon, we packed all of our things, turned on the car, and waited in the AC. Oh, how wrong we were. We waited and we waited and we waited some more - hungry as ever but not going anywhere. Finally, we were allowed off and thus began the complicated immigration process of Turkmenistan. The amount of stamps that we had to get was unbelievable. We went from office to office getting the same piece of paper scrutinized and then approved. It was madness. To make matters worse, you can only exit from a specific point and the point we had asked for was omitted and a point nearby, but out of the way, was instead given to us. This meant more driving… While Jonathan dealt with the car paperwork, Henry went with our Turkish friends to exchange money. They had a very lucrative deal and got us a 17-1 exchange rate, when the banks exchange 3-1. With stacks of Manat and everything stamped we pulled up to the exit and were eager to get underway. Again, too naive were we. We were asked to present our blue paper - which had never received - and everything slowly fell apart. We were informed that it would be impossible to exit without this paper (which turned out to be a parking slip) and Jonathan was ordered to walk to a huge marble building up the road in order to rectify this. As Jonathan waited in the empty building, he marveled at the photo of the president hung in every single office. Finally, the officer arrived and the process of stamping started once more. After paying once more, we got the blue slip and could finally leave. 

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019


Day 15:

From: Tbilisi, Georgia

To: Baku, Azerbaijan

Countries: Georgia, Azerbaijan

Having slept in a little too late we abandoned our plans to fully explore Tbilisi. However, we luckily passed by the church we had wanted to visit as we were driving out, which was lucky. We made our way to the border, which was an uneventful but nice drive, and stopped to buy a bottle of Georgian wine before we crossed the border. With everything looking too good to be true, we pulled up to the border with only three cars ahead of us. As we pulled up to the guard, he told us to open our trunk, which we explained we couldn’t, so he decided to have us reverse and unpack everything. Having unpacked everything, we called him over to clear us, but he laughed and sat back down. After some arbitrary amount of time, he looked at us and nodded, without inspecting anything. Thankfully, while we waited, we had the fortune of meeting some cyclists, a Dutch couple - cycling from Georgia to Japan, and a German guy - cycling from Germany to Thailand. Again, the multi-nationality documents proved to be complicated, but eventually we were processed. We made our way to the Azeri side of the border where we were stopped and told to unload everything - again. After X-Raying everything, Jonathan’s knife was pulled out of the bag and it was declared that it might be a problem; however, the guards came through and let us keep it. While we waited for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn we chatted to the German cyclist, Jonas, who turned out to be younger than us. We asked if he had any stickers that he wanted to put on our car and he surprised us by pulling out a BMW badge which we taped over our Renault badge to the amusement of the officers. He also gave us some homemade Georgian wine he was gifted, which we have yet to enjoy. The more and more paperwork being needed, Jonas headed out, while we dealt with what we had to deal with. Finally, we were given the green light and we drove out onto the pristine roads of northern Azerbaijan. The scenery was great and the drivers were less insane than Georgia - we were soaking it up. We made good time and made it into Baku just as the sun was setting, lighting up the surrounding mountains. We headed to meet Henry’s schoolfriend, Sahib, who graciously invited us to a delicious dinner at his family’s house and then took us around Baku and showed us the sites with his friend. Even more exhausted than usual, we crashed into bed, dreading the early morning wake up to deal with the ferry crossing.

Buy: Rolling Hills of Azerbaijan, Azeri Oil Prices, Homemade Dinners

Hold: Sleeping in the Car, Azeri Drivers, Georgian Wine

Sell: Borders, Constant Heat, 

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019


Day 14:

Tired, as always, we cruised up the coast of the Black Sea towards the Georgian border. On our way, we passed kilometers of trucks queuing and we prepared ourselves for the worst. Thankfully, they were just waiting to be weighed, and there was a separate infinitely shorter line for cars. The problem being that the word “line” is very loosely defined to the Georgians. After battling a small war with several other cars for peak line position, we settled in for the long wait. With two other rally teams with us, we chatted about routes and told stories of days past, until we finally made it through the Turkey side. Moving onto the Georgian side, Henry was told he needed to walk across the border, leaving Jonathan to handle the crossing. The guard was very confused to see a British registration, a German passport, and a Floridian drivers license - and this complicated the process. Having made it through, we bought the necessary insurance and continued into Batumi for lunch. A very modern city, we walked along the beach, which was dotted with clubs playing relaxed techno music. Strangely enough, Batumi has a hotel that has a Ferris wheel in the middle of it. Satisfied from lunch, we headed into the mountains where we were confronted with the insane Georgian drivers who are keen on overtaking on blind corners and by any means possible. At one point our two lane highway had four lanes of traffic all trying to pass each other. Other than the drivers, we had to look out for the never ending supply of cows that wandered across the road. After a long day of driving we made it into Tbilisi, where we went out for a tasty dinner and then passed out, exhausted from the day.

Buy: Khachapuri, Georgian Mountains, BlCk Sea

Hold: Weird Currencies and Georgian Language

Sell: Georgian Drivers, Broken Trunk (again), Road-Cows

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019


*** We're sorry we haven't been updating frequently! We have very limited access to internet! We will try and get the majority of the posts out soon! ***

Day 13:

From: Cappadocia, Turkey

To: Trabzon, Turkey

Countries: Turkey

Having enjoyed looking at our photos from the day before, we finished our beers and headed to bed early. At 5:20, our alarms sounded, but we stayed in bed until 5:40, when we reluctantly dragged ourselves outside to the car. We drove the short distance back to our sunset spot, the Red Valley, and sat and contemplated quietly as we watched the marvel of the hot-air balloons dotting the sky. Having sat for long enough, we decided to drive back to the hotel and capitalize on our one hour before breakfast opened to sleep. After enjoying a breakfast full of foods filled with things we didn’t expect we hopped in the car and put in the coordinates for Trabzon, our next stop. For this, we had to drive through Central Anatolia, a steppe devoid of trees with a sort of alien landscape. Next, we crossed the mountains to get to the coast, which provided us with lots of fun windy roads with stunning vistas. Trabzon traffic has now taking the front seat of worst traffic, surpassing Istanbul. Steep hills, crazy pedestrians, and impatient bus drivers added to the frenzy of trying to find a parking spot. Pulling up to our hotel, it was clear the doorman was less than impressed with our excuse of a car and they told us they would park it far underground. Not before, however, the head doorman signed the inside of our car! Hungry as ever, we hit the town to get some more delicious Turkish food, which we enjoyed on the shores of the Black Sea as the sun set. We explored the streets, still bustling on a Sunday evening, and remarked on the differences between here and the previous cities in Turkey we had visited, which had been much more touristy. We decided to make use of the amenities provided to us for the night and went for a swim and sauna session. Relaxed, we were ready for bed and hoping the nightmare Turkey-Georgia border crossing would not become a reality tomorrow.

Buy: Sauna and Complimentary Tea,

Hold: Doormen and Fog

Sell: Gravel Roads, Trabzon Pedestrians, Early Mornings

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019


Days 11-12: Crossing Into Asia

From: Istanbul, Turkey

To: Cappadocia, Turkey

Countries: Turkey

Here's a summary of Days 11-12:

First thing in the morning we met a schoolmate of Henry's, Andrea, who is a local and offered to show us around. We headed for the Hagia Sophia first after being dropped off "5 minutes" away from the landmark, which turned out to be a 20 minute walk. We explored the incredible piece of history before trying to head to the Blue Mosque - which we were denied entrance to - but were offered to "quickly" convert to Islam to have a peek inside. Heading on to the cistern, which was unfortunately under construction, we walked about the dark passageways admiring the escape from the heat. Next, we decided to head to the Spice Market, where we wandered the chaos with all our senses fully engaged. We approached a vendor who offered us countless samples of Turkish Delight and we were happy to pick up a small box. Hungry, Andrea recommended an amazing Turkish restaurant with an incredible view of the Bosphorus and even more incredible food. After, we took a taxi to our boat terminal where we bid Andrea farewell and hopped on our site-seeing tour of the Bosphorus. Impressed but hot, we were ready to return to our hotel, but not before a quick Turkish coffee. We enjoyed a splendid dinner with Mrs. Oz (a classmate of Henry's father) and enjoyed a night of Turkish cuisine and music. Feeling very content, we fell asleep ready for the long drive tomorrow. The next morning, we made our way to Mrs. Oz's hotel where our car was valet parked. We were informed that the valet driver was having difficulty retrieving our car due to the fact that the steering wheel was on the other side, and we all understood his frustration. Ready to embark, we braced ourselves for the Istanbul traffic to come, which did not fall short of any of its expectations. Hectic, we crossed the Bosphorus into Asia and headed towards Cappadocia without any trouble. With a take-out dinner in our car, we headed to the Red Valley to watch the sunset. Having climbed to the highest surrounding peak, we set up our camp chairs and enjoyed our dinner, all while watching the colours paint the eccentric rock formations. We returned to our hotel to unwind for the night and come to terms with the fact that we are going to try and wake up at 5AM tomorrow morning.

A huge thank you to Mrs. Oz and Andrea for their hospitality and generosity during our stay in Turkey!

Buy: Cappadocia Sunsets, Kebabs,  Charm of Istanbul

Hold: Ayran and Car Wash People

Sell: Turkish Drivers and Stupid Kamikaze Birds 

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019


Days 8 - 10: Picking Up Speed

From: Budapest, Hungary

To: Istanbul, Turkey (Stops: Sofia, Bulgaria; Thessaloniki, Greece)

Countries: Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Greece, Turkey

Here's a summary of Days 8-10:

We woke up super early to go and see the Széchenyi Baths, which were nice and warm, but quite empty early in the morning. Feeling refreshed, we hit the road onwards to Belgrade, Serbia - the former capital of the Yugoslavia. With half the city under construction, and our maps not being up to date, driving in Belgrade got hectic. We saw the church of Saint Sava, which was stunning, and had some nice Balkan food in the heart of the city. Full, we hopped back in the car to press on to Bulgaria. Bulgaria was our first long border experience, and we sat and we sat, playing stupid games to pass the time. We made it into Sofia quite late which meant that our AirBnB host, Georgi, had already started drinking. One of the nicest people we've met, Georgi showed us his G-Wagen, proclaiming that he was "a boss", and brought us a bottle of wine. We went out to the pedestrian zone to find some dinner at midnight and were surprised to find a fair amount of people still out and about. Georgi had warned us the night before that we needed to move our car by 8:30, which we had planned to do, but we slept through our alarms and at 9:38, we found out that our car had already been towed. It turns out that our limited skills in Bulgarian linguistics didn't allow us to see that we had parked in one of four spots reserved for the bank, making the penalties much harsher. Thankfully, the price to get our car back was only €30, and Georgi called us a cab to get to the impound lot. With our car back, we looked forward to heading out of the crazy city and on to new countries. It was a lovely morning and we wound around the scenic Bulgarian backcountry up to the Macedonian border. With only a few cars, we made good time through the border but were stopped at the Macedonian gate for not having Macedonian insurance. A little bit of business in no-mans-land later, and we were sorted. We began the steep, windy, and fun descent into Macedonia, a country whose beauty we weren't prepared for. We cruised through the fields as we headed for the Kosovo border enjoying the clear blue skies and calm scenery. As we reached the Kosovo border, a friendly man pulled up and asked us about our trip, which we explained. He asked us what we would be doing in Kosovo and we explained that we would just be crossing the border for lunch. He suggested that we head to Prishtina, the capital, which was just 40 minutes away and we decided to follow his advice. What luck we did, because Kosovo has not only some of the greatest roads we've driven, but also some of the friendliest people we've met. We had a very tasty lunch and then hopped back in the car to make our long slog to Greece. The road to Greece was uneventful and we again arrived quite late. No matter, however, since our host was very friendly and assured us that we would face no problems parking, as we did in Bulgaria. After heading out for some tasty Greek food, we returned to get the much needed sleep we needed. Waking up early the next morning, we followed the advice of our host and pressed for Kavala for lunch. The advice paid off and we found ourselves eating a tasty lunch with warm locals in a cozy little beach town on the sea. Feeling relaxed, we lazily made it back to the car where we were drawn in by the seas warm temperatures, but decided to press on to Turkey for the sake of time. The Turkish border took long, as expected, but without any snags or hitches. The roads in Turkey are hectic and hilly, which is not great for our car, but we enjoyed the ocean views that accompanied us along the way. After a quick Chinese Fire Drill, Jonathan was in the drivers seat, ready to take on Istanbul traffic, and Henry was navigating. Istanbul is quite a handful, and there is no doubt that several people want us dead, but we made it to the hotel unscathed and excited to explore the city tomorrow!

Buy: Makedon and The Mediterranean,

Hold: Broken Boot and Sardines

Sell: Flies, Bulgarian Towing Service, Istanbul Traffic

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019


Day 7: The Rally Begins

From: D.P.G.R.A., Czechia

To: Budapest, Hungary

Countries: Czechia, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary

Here's a summary of Day 7:

The day has finally come. The official start to the 2019 Mongol Rally. Having woken up early to a loud procession of band instruments parading between our cars, we covered our car in stickers to make everything "official" and headed to the farewell speech. Mr.Tom, the president of D.P.G.R.A., bid us goodbye and good luck and we returned to our car eager to start the rally. A frenzy of horns now enveloped the entire campground as everyone was antsy to pass through the gates and begin the crazy journey. Finally, we were on our way, honking at bystanders who cheered us on. Our car, faster than most, quickly left the pack and we found ourselves cruising solo to our midway point, Bratislava. After a quick bite to eat, we were back on the road to Budapest, which has turned out to be a beautiful city. Having missed the time to go to the famous baths, we've decided to pull the trigger and wake up early tomorrow morning to see them. All in all, "Day 1" has been a success!

Buy: Budapest, Parking Spot Luck

Hold: Bratislava

Sell: Massive Bugs, New Languages, Vignette Places

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019


Day 4-6: Final Preparations

From: Bad Homburg, Germany

To: D.P.G.R.A., Czechia

Countries: Germany, Poland, Czechia

Here's a summary of Days 4-6:

Having woken up later than planned, as usual, Melody and Emily helped us put on our first team-logo sticker. Fully armed with the might of our Yurtle sitting on the bonnet, we began our drive to Berlin. We arrived in the evening, where we met up with some fellow ralliers for pre-rally beers. Since we wanted to make it to Prague the same night, we had to cut the festivities short and were back on the road. As he had never been, we decided to route through Poland, which turned out to be a bumpy decision (as Henry said it would be...). However, it was not all for nothing as we found a 24 hour grill at a truck stop serving very tasty Kiełbasa. We arrived very late in Prague at 3am, but had the chance to explore the city the next day with Jonathan's family. After having walked around, we decided to work on some last minute rally prep work and then hit the town to try its world famous beer. With everything bought and packed, the only thing we had to do was get ourselves over to the Democratic People's Glorious Republic of Adventurstan (D.P.G.R.A.), located just outside of Prague. As we got into the car, the sky turned black and all of Czechia proceeded to turn into a swamp. Having made it to the grounds, we parked our car, registered, and let the festivities begin. Jonathan found a gas mask, our car was further stickered, and we met many other rally-crazy people. Having slept in the car, we woke up early (and thirsty) ready for day 7.

Buy: Keiłbasa, Ice Cream, D.P.G.R.A.

Hold: Oil

Sell: Rain, Polish Roads, Berlin Parking

Jonathan Strauch
Of The Yurtles
On the Mongol Rally 2019

Day 3 - Stocking Up

From: Bad Homburg, Germany

To: Bad Homburg, Germany

Countries: Germany

Here's a summary of Day 3:

After hardcore passing out the night before, we slept in until almost 1 PM. After a good breakfast and a vague plan of what we needed to achieve for the day, we headed to the town to pick up some supplies. Unbeknownst to us, Germany seems to be facing a camp chair shortage, as all the shops we visited were completely sold out. Thankfully, however, we were able to stock up on lots of other essentials, such as cookware, a pillow, and buckets. A quick trip to Ikea left us empty handed for camp chairs, but well covered with stylish straw hats. With most of the essentials picked up, we headed home to teach Henry how to properly drive a manual. We headed to the forest for some quiet roads and began to practice, with varying levels of success. Hungry, we headed home. As we arrived, we decided to try and remove the back seats, which turned out to be a wearying task that required an angle grinder (see second picture) to shear off the bolts that Renault so poorly (or well?) put together. Now even hungrier than ever, we headed to the Kronenhof for some good German beer and dinner with good friends.

We cannot thank the Michael family enough for their support, as always, a pleasure visiting!

Buy: Straw Hats, Angle Grinder, and Beer

Hold: Henry's Clutch Ability and Good Weather,

Sell: The Camp Chair Shortage, and Renault Bolts



Two map-crazy university students who have a craving for adventure that only far-flung countries accessed by shit cars can quell.

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