When i arrived in Mongolia last february, it was overwhelming because I had no idea what to expect. This time, it was overwhelming because i knew exactly what to expect. It’s been so long between bouts, I was worried what may have gone wrong. Was Rikki’s visa going to work? Was the truck ok? Would we be able to get it ready in time? Fear and excitement are extremely close on the emotional spectrum, and no one ever tells you that realising your dreams, is a very daunting undertaking.
i needn’t have worried. now, four days after arriving, the fear is all rinsed out, and has been replaced by pure, unadulterated excitement. we’ve got visas til the end of July, the truck is very close to ready, and the moment I saw it, I fell in love with her all over again.
Rikki didn’t mess around when I left Mongolia last year, Gorki has come a long way. The solar panels are in, extractor fans, the kitchen is installed, new engine installed, (he broke the last one – ha-ha) there’s a new gas hatch at the back, brand new wheels on the beast … too many improvements to list here, but it’s looking really good. Seeing how far along the truck was, made me realise that this time, as opposed to a fantasy, this trip is a reality.
I’ve really got to take my hat off to Rikki. This is a massive job, and it’s not like a Weetbix ‘insert tab A into slot B’ sort of project, it’s a unique truck, built to his own specifications and desires. Being self employed, it’s hard to find motivation sometimes, and when there’s no salary, it’s even harder, but he’s slogged away, and the results are amazing. It’s the coolest truck I could conceive of travelling in, and I’ve been in the back of many a hippy bus. Compared to most, this will be like living on a super yacht.
I can’t wait to start living in it again, get on the road, pick up the translator, get out of the cities, and start covering some off road miles.
We think we’ll be hitting the road for another little test in a week or so. We have to sort out some electrical things in the cab (when I say we, what I really mean is … ), the water systems (which are designed just not installed), and hopefully a prototype of our tent too, before we head out of town.
I’ve been busy helping out where I can, building storage boxes, painting trailers, and spending money. I bought a motorbike off this nice Aussie kid called Liam, who’d just ridden it right across China on it, we’re gonna take it with us for, mini excursions. It’s the first time I’ve owned a motorbike, and yes, i feel like the Fonz. (Yes mum, I’m wearing my helmet, and that Swandri jacket you bought me is perfect for riding in)
All in all, very excited, feels like we’re on the verge of something magnificent, and I wish you could all be here with us. But until you save up enough for a ticket, you’re gonna have to make do with a few photo’s and listening to me tell you how cool our life is.
Come on – summer’s lovely here in Mongolia, drop your crappy nine to five, and come join me and Rik for a bit of Gobi galavanting!