Mongol Rally, Day 7: Burger be darned; it's off to Donetsk, Ukraine - Leon Logothetis

August 1, 2011

Mongol Rally, Day 7: Burger be darned; it’s off to Donetsk, Ukraine

Thomas Somers, Greg Forsfall, Leon Logothetis and Aaron livsey: Logothetis’ fellow Rallyers who are going to Chernobyl, in the former Soviet Union. (Leon Logothetis / special to the Los Angeles Times / July 29, 2011)

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, about 1,400 miles from my sick bed in Croatia, all to be driven 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.

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