***NOTE FROM ENO: Four friends and travelers, Nate Parish, Denali Gillaspie, Hannah Karlsson, and Nina Watkins, formed a team called Potentially Platonic Pals and embarked on the Mongol Rally (they started July 13th) – a car rally that began in Goodwood Circuit, UK and finished in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Known as the “greatest adventure in the world”, the Mongol Rally is not a traditional race but an exciting, perilous, limit-pushing adventure for all participants. This is the final update from this venturous team letting us know that they have finally reached Mongolia, sent in by Nate. Well done Potentially Platonic Pals!!***
“We crossed the finish line! The Mongol Rally is complete!
Ten days ago we were literally dragged across the finish line. When we reached the Mongolian border, we were met by a beautiful landscape of steppe and mountains with horses and white dots punctuating the side of the mountains. We learned quickly that these white dots were called “gers” and are the preferred living space of the nomadic herders of Mongolia. We even had a chance to stay three nights with a family of 15 or so people all sleeping in the same ger. During these three days, we saw authentic Mongolian life. We rose wild horses, cut grass for the winter, and even held a beautiful golden eagle. The father of this house was a rebounded eagle hunter.
Mongolia had many unexpected events for us, including breaking down with still 1000 miles to the finish line. Luckily we had befriended a Swiss and German team who were kind enough to tow us the 100 miles to the town, where we hoped a mechanic could help us out. Now you must know that getting towed by rope through dirt roads that your car would have trouble on driving even with out the engine problems is a lot easier said than done. We scraped our belly and burnt our brakes but we reached altay and headed for the mechanic. After we thought they had fixed it we headed out and made it 60 miles before breaking down and setting up camp. We again returned to altay and again thought we had fixed the problem and again after 60 miles broke down. We had to say our goodbye to our friends who had a deadline to reach Arvyheer and we were clearly going to keep them from reaching that deadline. Little did we know, however, we would end up getting there first. While being stuck on the side of the road a 15 person passenger van filled with over 20 persons stopped, and we managed to secure passage with them to Arvyheer. How? They towed us…non stop through the night. Again we were being dragged across terrain that a 4×4 would have had difficulty getting through. By this time, it was night and we had been at it for 22 hours straight.
Needless to say we were relieved when we met our friends and were back to getting towed by familiar faces. 4 days later we reached Ulaanaabar, delivered the keys and said good bye to what has been an unforgettable trip. But something has lingered, and Hannah and I have caught a bug that can’t be cured by going home so we have hopped on a train and are headed to Beijing!! Our travels will continue till January with Africa and New Zealand to follow! Feel free to continue following us at ppp2013.tumblr.com, and thanks ENO for the amazing hammocks that have been and will continue to be our home for the months to come!!”