Female Team Chased Out of Town By Police; ‘Lost’ Team Finding Way Back From Thailand Beach
The past few weeks have seen a lot of teams crossing through Central Asia. Many of them have been on the Pamir Highway, a road crossing through rugged, high-elevation terrain mostly in Tajikistan and at times hugging the Afghanistan border. Several teams took photographs at the turnoff sign for Afghanistan and others at the Ak-Baital Pass 4655m elevation (15,272ft) sign in the Pamirs near the Tajikistan-China border.
One of the most exciting events was when the team Little Missadventurists was invited to a Turkmen wedding in a small village - a totally random occurrence. The all-female team was quietly hustled inside an enclosed party. Photos and videos showed an exciting cultural experience. The girls were the center of attention amid great fanfare and dancing.
Suddenly the police arrived and the situation changed drastically. They found themselves being hidden by guests to make a secret escape, after which they were chased completely out of town by the police. The experience was a unique window into the Turkmen culture as well as the repressiveness of conservative police-state Turkmenistan.
Using the Mongol Rally's map, we have been watching the Fiesta Vikings, who are carving out the most interesting route by far. Unfortunately, they have not posted any pictures or updates, but we can paint an interesting picture just from watching the map!
Although the race is from Prague, Czech Republic to Ulan-Ude, Russian, the team meandered completely off-track. They headed southeast out of Iran, through Pakistan, across all of north India, through Myanmar and then down through Thailand. They stayed several days in Bangkok and then several days at Pattaya Beach! Then around September 7 they headed back north, crossed through Laos, into China and are currently in the Sichuan Province in Southwest China. Will they make it all the way to Ulan-Ude Russia before the competition ends on September 18?
Many other teams were in the home stretch across Mongolia in various states of disrepair. Finally, there was a crowd of many cars amassing at the finish line in Ulan-Ude, Russia.
Since the rally will be ending in a few days, this will be the end of The Best Quest's coverage.