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Mongol Rally, Day 30: 'Suspension on car is no!'

August 13, 2012|By Leon Legothetis

“Modern man is the missing link between apes and human beings.”

-- Anonymous

When you drive across one-third of the Earth’s surface, what could possibly go wrong? Well, it turns out, quite a lot, actually. The first mishap of the day happened as we tried to cross a river in the Mongolian desert. Crossing a river where there is no bridge is rather unwise. Unfortunately, we learned this the hard way. We misjudged the depth and the car started flooding with water.

This should have been the worst of it. But of course it wasn’t. A few miles down the road the car started overheating and stopped. Steve and I have no idea why things happen in cars so we were left by the side of the dirt road. Stranded. Luckily for us a Scottish man came by. Yes, he was Scottish. And no, he was not on the Mongol Rally. He explained how the water from the river had probably infiltrated the electrical circuits of the car and we were finished. Lovely.

Luckily for us he was wrong. We were not finished. But the car was still overheating when we started it. The Scotsman left. We stayed. An hour after the car seemingly gave in, we started the engine and it finally worked. Things were looking up. But not for long.

As we limped into the Mongolian town of Khovd we headed straight for a mechanic. The overheating problem seemed to have disappeared, but the noises of the past few weeks were back. With a vengeance. The mechanic diagnosed the problem as follows: “Suspension on car is no!” Lovely. Our back suspension is finished.

To cap it all off as we were waiting for the mechanic to diagnose and possibly kill off our car, my phone was stolen with all my pictures of the 10,000-mile rally. Not good news.

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