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Friday, June 29, 2012

The Clock is Ticking....

And the Rally is fast approaching!

For those of you that wanted an update, here’s where we stand:
  • Still missing 2 visas – but our passports are in the Azeri embassy and we are getting our Mongolian visa rushed (thanks to Visa Machine invite letter screwups, we don’t have quite as much time as we would have liked). We are 99% sure we will be good to go by our flight out on July 10.
  • We have a car! Yay! Apparently it runs. We are waiting to hear back from someone on getting a sump guard installed so we actually make it to Mongolia. Looking forward to getting acquainted with our car soon! Thanks to my cousin Nithya for keeping an eye on it.
  • Car Decals are going to be printed next week – we are really excited and grateful that the Loudmouth Printhouse has agreed to do our decals for us! Very kind of them. More on Loudmouth Printhouse in a post to come. My cousin Nandini also designed some of our decals so our car looks extra cool!
  • Sebastien and I have started looking at our route more closely, but it’s still pretty fluid. We’ve figured out the way we want to go until we hit Istanbul. Now we just have to figure out how long and where we want to go in Central Asia.  This place is definitely on the list! Any suggestions for Turkey and the 'stans are appreciated!
  • Another important thing – we’ve made sure to schedule some socializing for the first week and try to meet up with friends we love but don’t get the chance to see much! We’re excited to meet up with friends in London, Antwerp and Prague, in addition to making new friends at the official Mongol Rally parties at Goodwood and Klenova Castle.
  • No, we still haven’t learned any Russian. But we have downloaded a “Learn Russian in the Car” cd, so hopefully we’ll be fluent by the time we get to the former Soviet Republics. Or big goal is to learn the Cyrillic alphabet before we leave so we can read road signs. Clearly, we’ll still get lost, but hopefully slightly LESS lost.
  • Shotskis – all components have been purchased, now I just need to put them together. They will be awesome!
  • Ensuring excellent hair on the road: My friend Nat is going to attempt to Japanese hair straighten my hair on Monday in the comfort of her home. This will ensure that I don’t have a massive unruly mane during the Rally. I did this once in Thailand before travelling in India, and it was awesome! Saved so much time getting ready and looked better in pictures ;) Think…reverse perm. Will report back on the outcome of this endeavour for vanity.
  • Our kit list – we’ve put together a bunch of the essentials: first aid kit, tent, sleeping bag, superglue, pepto, headlamps and wet ones (for those long stretches on dirt roads without a shower for 1,000km). I think we have a pretty good collection of stuff, but if you have any advice on what we definitely should not forget, please feel free to suggest!
  • Sponsors: We are super grateful to our sponsors so far, and are still accepting more! If anyone is interested, let us know and you will get some sweet advertising on our car, blog and Facebook page!
  • Fundraising update: We’ve raised a bit over $7,800 for our charities so far! We’re excited by the progress and hope to hit $10,000 by the end of the trip!

And now – it’s Canada Day long weekend and we are off to a beautiful cottage to celebrate and relax!

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