Our good friend Jocelyn called the route book incident perfectly, so I thought I would provide a few more stories from our Peking to Paris adventure.
Bathroom situations, or, as Marti refers to it, "A bit of a wee"
So... I've learned to carry my own toilet paper. Apparently it's not a thing in China, Mongolia and Russia, and I should have been doing tons of squats before I left. I had a few too many teetering moments where I thought, "If I fall in, I'm not sure Tony will rescue me out of this 6 foot hole." The outhouse hygiene was so bad at one stop I had to ask Walid to stand guard while I went on the back side.
On our second day in Mongolia the fuel stop actually had a bathroom inside the building. Of course there was a window facing the road, but at this point I didn't care. I went to exit the bathroom and found I was locked in! There was another rally competitor on the other side and he was trying to help, but no luck. Thank goodness for the window... Up on the ledge and out I climbed.
Only Tony! Once again, we were aiming for max lateness and I missed the turn into the hotel and went right to the parking lot... only to find out that the MTC (main time control) was in the lobby of the hotel. The shuttle buses to take us had just left, and we had to wait for the next.
At this point, we had 12 minutes to beat maximum lateness and keep the gold, and I am not calm, cool OR collected.
The next shuttle arrived. We load up, and it took off... only to get stopped in traffic. Tony told the driver to let him out in the middle of the road, and he will run as only Tony will do.
Tony arrived with 3 minutes to spare and got us checked in. I arrived shortly after to find him barely breathing; apparently he inhaled most of the Gobi desert on that day's drive!
Not exactly my strong suit. I was a damsel in distress going into the campsites on many occasion.
As noted earlier, we were last into camp on most nights. That is not to say there weren't other late arrivals with many car issues too, of course! Tony would head with the car to the ER area and I would set up our tent.
Now, I am the girl who had to YouTube "how to set up a tent" on the night before our car was shipped. Nigel and Richard had to come to my rescue on the first two occasions. (If you know me, you know I've had other issues with setting up cabanas on beaches and having the whole beach watching and laughing at the hilarity.)
On our second camping night, we actually arrived during daylight. That said, it stayed light until 9, then 10, then 11 p.m.
I was off to the shower with my microfiber towel and ready for the experience. There were not hooks in the tent showers, they don't have roofs, and they are a foot off the ground. I was prepared, though; I had my waterproof bag with clothes, shampoo, etc. I put my shoes just outside the shower (because of course I had forgotten my flip flops in the tent that I brought for this EXACT thing). I hung my pants over the top and began my shower. There was warm water but it was windy, so it was quite chilly.
I finish my shower and reached into my bag for my towel... only to realize I left it on the bench! I called out to see if there is anyone who could help, and the woman in the next shower went out to grab it for me, even though she was half-dressed herself. Rescued once again. Survivalist, I am not!
We keep laughing at ourselves, so we're doing great!
XO, Jill, Tony and Java
PS: We're almost to the finish line; follow our progress on the live tracker!