The day was finally upon me. And what a day it was. Musing about driving across a third of the Earth's surface in a car that will probably explode before I reach my destination in the Mongol Rally, the London-to-Ulan-Bator trek, is one thing. Actually going ahead with it is another. On Saturday, I took a leap of faith and drove off from Goodwood (about 65 miles from London) racing track in England.
Along with more than 400 other adventurous teams, we did a lap of honor around the course and revved our little engines in a cacophony of sound. There were banged up old ambulances, three-wheeled cars, motorbikes and anything else you can think of, all eager to do battle with the elements and the Turkmenistan border police.
After a few hours of driving, I found my way to the channel tunnel and left behind the rolling green hills of Britain.
By the end of my first day, I completed 193 miles. This leaves approximately 9,807 miles to go. To some, this may seem daunting. For me, it hasn't sunk in yet.
Oh, and finding a hotel seems to be quite a challenge. I am writing this post from the road because the picturesque Belgian town of Tournay seems unwilling to embrace this tired and disheveled Englishman. Today has been the beginning of something epic, but truth be told, I just want to avert a rat-infested hotel room and find a nice bed to collapse into.
Tomorrow: Approaching the "Czech point," the last check-in before heading off into the unknown.