28 Jul, 2009
Posted by: Scott In: Pre-Rally
Collin arrived in the UK on the morning of July 15th without much incident (other than him losing his directions to a cleaning lady on the subway and having to find a library in London where he could check his e-mail and print them out again). He was pretty jet-lagged and ended up sleeping most of the day. We went out in the evening for a few rounds with a friend, Fran, from Ireland, that lives in Australia and I met because of Japan and was now in London on a one day stopover before flying to China.
The next day I said goodbye to my friend Roman, who had very kindly offered to put me up for the five weeks I was in London. Collin and I traveled about 45 minutes east to a small city on the sea called Canvey Island. There my friend Dave and his wife Oyuna had offered to host us for the night so we could pck everything away and get the car ready for the impending departure (Dave had earlier helped me pick up the car and was storing it at his house). We had one last home-cooked meal and discussed the trip with Dave and his son-in-law Amar (who is originally from Mongolia).
The next day was a scramble to finish up car preparations. As I had never packed everything in the car before I had no idea if all of our positions would fit or not–luckily everything did. The day was also very important as I was waiting with fingers crossed for my passport and car title to be shipped over from the US. Without either the trip would be impossible. Luckily both arrived right before we headed off to the pre-launch campground site in Goodwood, around 5:00PM.
It took us almost five hours to reach the campsite. We were delayed by rush hour traffic, a few wrong turns, and a minor car problem (we think a stone got stuck in the brakes when I did a power-slide manuever across a three-lane highway in order to catch an exit). We got to Goodwood around 10:00PM to see that although a good number of teams were already set up in the field we were definitely not the last to arrive. We proceeded to unpack our tent and join in the revelry, meeting some of the other teams. One unfortunate group, the Jersey Boys, had had an accident right in front of the camp grounds and the front of their car was totaled (although the engine was alright). They had plans to get towed to a local mechanic the next morning. Some other interesting teams consisted of a bright pink-and-green ice cream trcuk shipped from the states, a fire engine covered in fur, and a van/ambulance driven by a few Welsh police officers and their friend. Exhausted, we finally got to sleep around 3:00AM, although we were frequently awakened throughout the night by neighboring merrymakers.
Pictures have been posted in the gallery.