The Rally might be over for more than two and a half months, and we might have returned to our lives, but there is still a piece missing. We sent the car back from Mongolia to Lithuania by train. It had arrived some days ago and now all that is left is for me to go and get it back!
I arrived at Kaunas (Lithuania) after an 8 hour trip and with some help I managed to reach the warehouse outside of the city with all the Mongol Rally cars. It was already dark and freezing cold when I got there. I was really happy that we will finally have our red devil back in Zurich! After waiting a long time for all the papers to be ready, the guy gave me the keys and showed me where the car is. But, somehow I knew that this day was not going to end so easily. I tried to turn on the engine… Nothing.
After a quick check I realized that our car battery was stolen. I looked around me, desperate, and thinking about my options. The guy from the warehouse started laughing, and told me that nearby there is a yard full of cars for scrapping. I went there trying to search for a functional battery. Opening the hood from a crashed car is whole different story. After some back and fourths around the scrap yard I found one working. Unfortunately it was too big for our car and I had to tighten up with metal wires upon the chassis. It was already 20:00 when I finished the fluids and engine check, but I wanted to drive as much as I could till Warsaw.
After all, you know how much I like the night-shift driving. But the problems did not stop there. Some kilometers down the road, the gasoline indicator fell almost to zero. I found a secured area and stopped. Suddenly that feeling from Kazakhstan and Mongolia came back. BE ALERT!! The scenery was really dark, foggy and you could feel the cold to the bone. And a few passing-by cars with strange faces inside (you know what I mean) stopping from time to time just to check on you. I quickly started checking for a fuel leak and thank God I didn’t find one. Then I decided to abort the Warsaw plan and go back to Kaunas.
I found that place really lovely. Life here seems to pass without stress. People despite the cold and poverty are warm and always willing to help you. After speaking with locals about Kaunas I learnt that it was constantly a war zone. Just Napoleon destroyed the city twice. Not to mention the Russians and Germans. There are a lot of museums and some of the greatest are the War museums. By walking inside the old town I realized that even though it’s Wednesday night and even though it’s really cold the people are having fun. All the bars were inside stone buildings. What I liked is that you can hardly trace stores of well known brand names. Just many local shops, so small you can hardly walk inside. At least that’s the impression I got by looking at them. That inspired me to walk around and get lost inside the alleys of the old city.
Tomorrow I am driving to Warsaw. Probably I will be there by midnight and I won’t have the time to walk around the city. By Sunday I have to be back home. With our 4th team-mate. Our wonderful Nissan Micra.