Our Mongol Rally 2009 is officially over.
We crossed the finish line about 5pm this evening, and received our certificates, so I suppose that means we've completely done what we set out to do. We're 1500 miles over our scheduled mileage, we've had a hatful of experiences, one sensor failure, two spring failures, three tyre failures, and crucially, the best set of story-topping anecdotes a pub-goer could wish for.
Thanks to everyone who sponsored us - we visited Eamon at Christina Noble today and emptied our cars out, and it really does seem like they're doing an incredibly good job. They're having a "sponsor a child" day tomorrow, where the local urchins come in to collect their allowance - for every $30 given to the foundation, $25 goes directly to the kids. We'd love to visit their Ger village (which acts as a kind of mixed orphanage/school arrangement) but we're leaving for China at 8am tomorrow morning, so it's not going to be possible. Hopefully I'll be back and will be able to help out in a more practical sense.
In fact, I'm running out of different ways to be nice about human nature in general, which could be due to the fact that I'm sat in the bar having been on the receiving end of a surprising amount of Chinggis beer. Our landlady for the past three nights has taken "motherly" to new levels - her brother is giving us a free taxi to the station at 7am, and has charged us $8 each per night for a whole apartment with kitchen. The Adventurists have been amazing, despite being hit with an unexpected $400,000 customs bill. Pebley Beach Cirencester deserve a special mention for being for being on our side throughout and shipping our sensor flawlessly to Samarkand, the story of which is well documented earlier in this blog. Even the cops are on our side; we got stopped for an illegal U-turn 100 yards from the finish line, but they got bored after 15 minutes and let us go without a fine.
We've bloody done it. Unusually for me, I'm a bit lost for words. What now?!