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Mongol Rally, Day 3: The little dangers along life's rutted roads

July 17, 2012|By Leon Logothetis | Special to the Los Angeles Times
(Leon Logothetis )

Bite off more than you can chew. Then chew it.”

 Ella Williams

Traveling is for sissies. That’s the signature slogan of the Mongol Rally, the 10,000-mile road trip that Steve Priovolos and I started on Saturday near London with about 800 other people. I guess the Mongol Rally people think that on a "normal" trip, things probably don’t often go so terribly wrong.

I am beginning to realize (again) why the fine chaps at Mongol Rally headquarters think that. Of course things do go wrong on leisure trips, but on an adventure trip, the things that happen are...not  for the faint of heart. Bad stuff happens. It seems to happen to me and fairly often too.

On Day 8 of last year's rally, my trusty Nissan Micra was destroyed in a crash on a dusty Romanian road. Steve and I escaped largely unharmed.

This year I had driven 961 miles without a hitch. Unfortunately the 962nd mile wasn't as kind. I drove over a humongous pothole in my Daihatsu Terrios. This time, it was a dusty Czech road.

From that moment on, the car began making some interesting and, for me, inexplicable noises. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to fix a car. None. A further slice of misfortune is that Steve is similarly challenged in the car-fixing department.

I know what you're thinking: Why are you driving 10,000 miles without knowing anything about cars? Good question. Unfortunately (again) I don’t have a good answer. What I do know is that these noises, whatever they are, are coming from the front right wheel. If there is anyone who knows about cars (specifically, Daihatsus that have driven over humongous potholes) please email me at

While I wait to be saved by a random act of kindness, I think I may have realized something about myself. I may just be one of those sissies who wants to travel like a normal chap. Or maybe I am just having a moment....

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