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Mongol Rally, Day 31: Having a cow over our bad luck

August 13, 2012|By Leon Logothetis
  • We thought the skull would bring us good luck. We were terribly wrong.
We thought the skull would bring us good luck. We were terribly wrong. (Leon Logothetis )

Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember, it didn't work for the rabbit.

--R.E. Shay

With my stolen iPhone probably already sold on the Mongolian black market, I felt as though I needed some extra luck to get me through the new day. Driving further toward Ulan Bator, my ultimate goal in this 10,000-mile Mongol Rally started started July 14 in Britain, I picked up what I thought was going to be my lucky charm. I was going to be proved very wrong very quickly.

I had heard how other ralliers were picking up the skulls of cows that litter the roads leading into the Gobi desert. Once they picked them up they tied the skulls to their car for luck. Sounded odd to me, but I needed a pick-me-up so I jumped on the bandwagon. The first skull I came across was ceremoniously tied to the front of my car. Within 30 minutes things started to go horribly wrong.

The run of bad luck began when our tire blew up. Neither my co-driver, Steve Priovolos, nor I had ever changed a car tire. With a little bit of help from our trusty book "Mechanics for Dummies," Steve pulled off a near-miracle, successfully changing his first tire.

Soon after the tire blew up the car started overheating. Again. This forced us to drive for 15 minutes and rest for five. This little dance lasted about two hours. Then we got stuck behind a bus that was stuck in some rather unsavory looking mud.

It quickly became evident that the poor cow we had taken from the side of the road was not a good luck charm after all. We untied it from the front of the car and buried it by the side of the road.

Our run of bad luck swiftly came to an end and we reached the Mongolian city of Altai. We are about 600 miles from Ulan Bator. Is it possible we'll really make it?

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