Friday, July 20, 2012

Part II: Parts, Plans, and Proper Documentation

We woke up the next morning surrounded by goats, some so close to Michael and Tom's tent that they could probably reach out and touch them. It was also drizzling annoyingly. More annoyingly was the fact that, due to some constructional confusion, Byron and Alex's tent was very damp, especially all of Alex's stuff. Waking up cold and wet is a huge demotivator, so it was lucky we had some warm showers nearby. After fiddling with the Perodua's makeshift roof rack with the goal of avoiding a repeat jailbreak, we went off to finish some errands.

We quickly found an auto parts shop called Camberley Auto Factors, which gave us a great discount, and a few more stickers for the car. Our second sponsorship! We also stopped by a carpet store to grab some carpet fragments, which seem useless now, but in the deserts of Kazakhstan and Mongolia, we think we'll be able to use them for getting out of deep sand or mud. Our next stop was a dollar store (well, a “Pound Land”) to grab some simple gifts for Mongolian kids. It's common in Mongolia to give out gifts when meeting new people, and according to Tony, the Mongol Rally Guru himself, hitting it off with the kids pretty much seals the deal for an entire community (plus this whole trip is about charity, right?).

After getting some gifts and topping up on groceries we hunted down some wild English WiFi, an elusive creature to say the least, to refresh our route given the paperwork delays that we hoped were coming to an end that evening with the delivery of the Royal Mail. It just so happens that the closest free access point was at a local McDonalds. We frantically hatched a plan (that involved cutting some of the European part of the adventure) and called Spence hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.

VICTORY! The registration had gotten to his house! We were loudly celebrating in the streets of Salisbury. He had even already driven to the nearest train station. We blitzed through the streets, and had the registration in our hands. We thanks Spence a thousand times, he signed our car, something we've been doing with people we meet, and quickly arranged accommodations for the night near Dover, the port of call for car ferries in southeast England. But, before we took off to the coast we had to say one last goodbye to our mentor and friend Tony. We took notice of his love of whiskey at the pub and surprised him with a small bottle of Bell's as a thank-you gift for all his guidance and material support. He signed the car, we punched in the directions to our temporary Dover-based domicile, and set off with all deliberate haste. We were finally on our way!

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