On the Road Again

by achuggabug

14 August, 2012; 16:03

Right now, I can only say, I’m riding an extremely satisfying “we just got our car fixed and it only cost us $100” high. Against my expectations, our mechanics found a clutch pad from an Opel (Chevy) that fits our transmission, and we are on the road again.

We got up this morning and hoofed it to the shop at nine, but we could only find out that it probably wouldn’t be ready until two. Without anything to do to fill the time, the three of us walked around a bit but didn’t find anything worth seeing so we headed back to the hotel. We sat around for a while, and, as Michael took a nap, Chase and I headed down to the restaurant for some lunch. Despite our best efforts to order a repeat of our meal from last yesterday, we ended up getting soup and meatballs. Dumb luck found us again, and it was excellent; and it only cost us $6.

Not tired enough to join in the nap, Chase and I decided to walk to the shop and check on the progress. They told us three, so we decided to walk down to the mall that Chase and Michael found last night. It was a little more than an hour’s walk, and it felt good to get out on my feet again. We milled around the mall looking for some Wi-fi, but when we found it it was too slow for us both to use. Realizing we were already going to be late getting back to the shop, we headed back.

When we got to the shop, we were surprised to find out that Michael had already come and picked it up. Andrei offered us a ride down the road to the hotel, but Michael wasn’t there. We pulled back out into traffic not knowing where to look, but as we pulled past the shop, we saw him coming down the road. We stopped at a gas station and loaded up. Andrei gave Michael a bit of a scolding for driving around in town; he said the police would be looking to pull us over, but, since we haven’t had problems yet, we’re hoping that luck holds.

With our new Kanye CD (not my idea), we’re on our way toward Astana. We won’t get to stop and see the city of the future, but we plan to drive reasonably late into the night and get close. We’ll try to hit an internet cafe in the city tomorrow where I’ll book my flight home, and then it’s on to the Russian border. The next day, if the border crossing isn’t the hardest thing we’ve ever done, we’re hoping to cover Russia in a day and be ready to enter Mongolia on the 17th. Then, it’s a five to seven day drive to Ulan Bator and the successful completion of the 2012 Mongol Rally. The Arkansas Chuggabugs are on the way!