08/02/2011 10:21 am ET Updated Oct 01, 2011

Mongol Rally, Day 7: Illness Be Damned, We're Off to the Ukraine

Day 7 of the Mongol Rally, the 10,000-mile road trip from Britain to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, started off as badly as Day 6 ended. I couldn't seem to shake the curse of the Slovakian Burger, which kept me in bed all of Day 6 in a Croatian hotel room. I was planning another quiet day in bed until friend, cameraman and travel companion Steven Priovolos came in with some rather worrying calculations.

We had to be in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, in less than three days. That was about 1,400 miles from my sick bed in Croatia, all on very second-rate roads. Being sick became a nonstarter. We packed our bags and headed to Budapest, Hungary, before embarking on our epic 30-hour drive.

Somewhat miraculously (I think the digestive biscuits and seven liters of water had something to do with it), by the time I reached Budapest I was feeling better--so much so that I ventured on a walkabout  where I bumped into some fellow Mongol Rallyers. These chaps were on their way to Chernobyl, of nuclear catastrophe fame. No one lives at this northwestern Ukrainian place, and it's really not on anyone's list of best places to visit. But this is the Mongol Rally and people do inexplicable things everyday.

Like running out of money. Which we have. We are busted.

Tomorrow: Doing the trip on no dollars a day.