Months ago, when we were planning the trip, there were doubts if any of the ambulances would actually get here. There were plenty of people that thought we would never make it to Dover, and we also thought that getting 4 out of the 6 ambulances here would be a good result! To get all 6 here is an amazing result, especially considering some of the border/paperwork problems that we ran into.
These ambulances were designed to be used on the good roads of London where the greatest challenge is a speed bump. They have also had a hard life, being driven to the limits of their capabilities saving lives in London for the last 11 years. Although nearly every vehicle had a problem along the way there was nothing that the team members (and local garages!) weren’t able to fix. The reliability of my (team Kasotiri) vehicle did cause me some stress. As we approached Mongolia I simply could not believe that we hadn’t had a serious mechanical failure due to the terrible roads and constant driving. The stress came from expecting one at any minute, luckily for us it never came!
The ambulances now belong to charity Go Help who will find new life saving roles for them in Mongolia; I hope they do our exploits justice. After 5 weeks on the road and living largely in the back of the vehicles some team members have built up a bond with their ambulances. I was very sad to say goodbye to the “Mongolian Monster”, or “Mongmo” as she’d become known. On the plus side Go Help’s mechanic seemed very impressed and immediately started taking bits off to see how they worked! I’m really looking forward to an update on how they’re doing in a few months.
All of the team members are now gradually dispersing, either heading home or on to further travels so we met up for one last evening together. We partied until the early hours at Strings, an American themed nightclub with a Filipino house band that played the Cranberries. Mongolia is a very random place…