Day 29: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia
"You have broken both rear coil springs in three places and your shock absorbers are ruined, you will not make it to mongolia"... not the best thing to hear after spending the night in a field of wild marijuana in Kazakhstan...
This blog comes to you from a hotel in Russia at 3am local time... the wifi has only just been located and its the last chance we have to update you all before we push for the finish line across mongolia! It's going to be short and sweet.
We crossed through the Kyrgyz - Kazakhstan border ... this took a long time. It was like district 9- cages of people and immigrants climbing over metal fences to get into or out of the country. The drivers were separated from passengers for extra checks.. getting out 3 hours later. We had a burger (odd!) then pushed through the night for a hostel in Almaty (the capital of Borat-land). James (from Lion Rampant) went looking for the hostel once the convoy had stopped only to emerge 5 minutes later sprinting back to the cars being chased by a group of stray dogs.
James also was stopped for speeding earlier and had to pay $100 which they bartered down to $10. Well done James.
Nothing to report in the daytime..we had some watermelon fights between cars at 60mph which was fun. We covered about half of Kazakhstan until sunset where we pushed the cars over the lip of a sheltered crater (to protect from car theives) only to find that there was WILD MARIJUANA growing all around the cars and tents... literally like weeds.
Jamie and Matt were bitten by some unknown spiders, the bites are still swelling so we are unsure what to do about them. Perhaps hospital if they get worse.
Driving again... CLANG. "Oh sh*t" CLANG BANG CLANG CLANG CLANG...etc. "Oh bugger". Stephen from 'Kahn touch this' the mechanic swapped with Matt in the car to have a listen... the video says it all... rear shocks and coils had gone. Oil everywhere. This meant that if we carried on and the spring crumbled our car would fall down on either the ground or the wheel and render the machine useless. Luckily there was a mechanic close by, they sent Jamie off to buy the correct springs and shock absorbers. After paying $100 for them we realised they were the wrong size.. so we returned them and the garage lent us some springs that kindof fit and cut our shock absorbers down to size. Now the car rides about 5 inches too high at the back and it looks hilarious...
We were over the moon considering 4 hours earlier we had sustained a fatal injury to our rally car. We stayed in a cheap hotel for the night in Semey after covering 700km.
Woke early to head for the Russian Border. The process was again pretty unnecessarily drawn out and long... but we did get a few vodka buying tips from the Russian border guards who seemed more dissappointed than pleased when we delcared that we had no guns in our vehicle. We ploughed on to the nearest settlement for 350km. Bobby was stopped for 'speeding' then mysteriously let go... We ate a pizza for the first time in 3 weeks. Amazing.
Tomorrow we are pushing for the Western Mongolian border 600km away. From there we will battle through some of the worst (and best) driving terrain on Earth for 7 days to reach the finish line in Ulaan Bataar. Wish us the best of luck, we will need it!
The Boys x