Sink or Float – Mongol Rally

September 12, 2011 2 Comments »

river mongolia

Getting ready to go into the abyss with a little help from a local

When I was a kid I used to have this thing called a ‘bubble’; it was made of Styrofoam in the shape of an oval about a foot long.  It was used for swimming…actually it kept me from sinking.  The bubble was strapped around my waste and basically kept me afloat in the pool. I loved the water and I loved my bubble.

As we sat looking at the river crossing with a wind and rain storm at our backs, kids begging for candy around us, and a local guy assuring us we could make it – all I could think about was my old bubble. I thought to myself – I wish our car had a bubble.

This river crossing was much deeper than the ones we did the day before, but we had to tackle it. The local (possibly drunk) guy felt like we could make it without a tow, so we decided to trust his instinct. After all – locals know best. Even drunk locals probably know better than 3 North Americans that knew nothing about river crossings!

However, right when we were trying to sort out our best route to cross, a powerful wind/dust storm came up and the whole sky turned brownish gray. It was pandemonium as we tried to communicate with the local guy, and could barely see 4 feet in front of us! Deb once again took the driving position as Dave and I waded to the other side and waited for her with our fingers crossed. Dave and the local guy tried to direct her a bit around the rocks but I just stood there hoping for the best and wishing for a bubble.

We actually did many river crossings and we got better at every one. We learned to mainly trust the locals. If they said you could make it – then you could. They knew the exact complex routes that you should take to get across – and trust me – they weren’t always the most obvious or straight forward routes.

Dave and Deb put together a great video compilation of all of our recorded river crossings. The one at the end is the one I’m referring to today. Enjoy…with or without a bubble…

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