Mongol Rally, Day 28: Welcome to Mongolia - Leon Logothetis

August 11, 2012

Mongol Rally, Day 28: Welcome to Mongolia

“If you’re robbing a bank, and your pants suddenly fall down, I think it’s OK to laugh, and to let the hostages laugh too, because come on, life is funny.” –Jack Handey

Today I have good news and I have bad news. Ever the optimist, I will begin with the good news.  After waiting overnight we finally made it through to the Mongolian side of the border. So we have officially arrived in Mongolia, completing a 10,000-mile trek from London. If the blog ended at this moment everyone, including me, would be filled with joy. The blog doesn’t end here and that is the problem.

Here is the bad news.

As we crossed into Mongolia we saw about 20 Mongol Rally cars sitting in a pen to the side of the border crossing. This was not good. We spent about 30 minutes going through customs, getting our passports checked and double-checked. Then we were ushered into a small room. It was here that a mild-mannered Mongolian chap took my passport and the car registration documents. He neatly placed them on a large pile of other passports and said “you go outside.” I went outside and found myself herded like a cow into a pen with my fellow ralliers. It turns out that some of these chaps have been waiting here for more than 24 hours. No one knows why.

But wait. It gets worse. Rumors flying around are that the border closes for the weekend. If these rumors prove to be true I will be sitting in a Mongolian cow pen for a minimum of 72 hours.  As a rather unfortunate side note, our video camera was confiscated by an irate Mongolian border guard. We haven’t seen it since.

Mongolia, why have you forsaken me?