Last day away
Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
109Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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Spent the day roaming round town. Went and paid the insurance on the car for the voyage. Then wennt into town to buy some stamps for the postcards. Major exercise. Its amazing how inefficient a state run service becomes, theres no incentive to make it run smoothly. We then went to see the submarine that they have on the sea front
had lunch in a cappuccino bar, spent an age watching a lady who came in, ordered for 2, and spent the next hour waiting for her companion to arrive. She picked at her salad, left the tea in the pot getting cold. I wanted to stay until either she gave up, or he/she arrived late and got chewed out, but we gave up first. She might still be there for all we know!
Came back to the hotel to put the stamps on the postcards. You can tell we had a pressure day, cant you!
Skyped family, packed up and kileld time until dinner. Its hard to waste time when you want to get going. But now its the last night. In the morning we take a 2 hour taxi drive to the airport, a 14 hour flight to London via Moscow and then hopefuilly we'll be met by Alison to take us home
Martin made some very kind comments yesterday (in comparison to the rude things he says to my face) but the truth is that we both needed eachother. This sort of thing has to be done as a team, or else it falls apart, and he has certainly done most of the work. So thanks to Martin for everything.
Mileage since Garim reset 6884km
Martin's moving on moment:
So -its done.This will be my last entry to the blog,at least for this leg. What are the main things that stand out from the journey? That I have almost no feeling of achievement from having done it,perhaps not an unusual reaction.
I was surprised that during the event i was more fearful than I had imagined I would be and despite setting out with the thought that if all went wrong with the car I would walk away from it I knew that I couldn't.I actually joked with somebody when we were crossing over to France that it was like dragging two tons of scrap metal around half the world.Stanley became our refuge but also a huge responsibility.Without the car we could fly somewhere,re-arrange visas and be quite flexible.We had arranged things such that we were always unable to go back the way we came.In my darkest moments on the Caspian Sea there was actually no way to turn around to get home.We could never work out an alternative to what if?
The isolation and uniqueness of our presence was also a surprise
Imagine two Mongolians arriving in Bedford market square on a camel and asking for a hotel.Stanley is at least 40 years older than any vehicle a great number of the people we met had seen.
As you get older you also feel a lot more vulnerable and certainly physically things are a lot tougher.Just dealing with driving a heavy old car and trhen sorting out staying alive knocks you up a bit.
The achievement will mean a lot to a few and nothing to many.For me its hard to take in at the moment.There's no book in it but one day when someone is complaining about getting stuck in a traffic jam or that they found a flat tyre when they came out of the office,I'll think - but hopefully won't say.......