Mongol Rally Day 1

Chingford, London (GBR)

July 14, 2014

We sleep till 10:30am until a TXT message from Mary Jane wakes us up. She and her daughter Tia is going to be here in 30 mins.

Mary Jane is a Godsend to us. We have never met before and she helps us tremendously in sorting out the complicated car paperworks. We essentially bought our car online blind from and we need a local address to register the car, tax it, and also fix it.

We scramble to wake up, make coffee, do some exercise…etc. Mary Jane and her daughter Tia arrives. Today they are going to take us to her close friend of 20 years- David the Mechanics. Being such a sweet lady, Mary Jane makes a detour to pick up a beautiful cake for David and his crew. During our ride we learn that her family are all from the Chingford area and it is great to have some real local telling us stories and history of the town, including the really cool looking Walthamstow Stadium where the Brit-Pop band Blur shot their Park Life album cover.


David the Mechanics is a solid awesome bloke. He installs the sump guard for us, gives us 4 spark plugs, changes the oil and air filter for our Suzuki Alto, all for a “Mary Jane’s special discount” of 220 GBP! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Londoners, if you have any car needs please visit Fairway Motors at Chingford!!! David, we hope you like the Hudson Valley Manhattan Rye whisky ;-) Let us knwo what you think!


When the car is being fixed, Mary Jane takes us to the post office and get the car taxed (6 months for 99 GBP). We are amazed at the efficiency, if we were in the US, the same process in DMV will probably takes 3 hours at least. Here, it takes only 10 mins including time for waiting in line.

Then we go to Halford’s and pick up some car supplies- simple car tool kit, emergency tire seal, Europe motoring kit…etc. When we check out we encounter our first hurdle- they don’t take our credit cards!!! Americans’ credit cards does not have a chip for punching in the pin code so our cards are refused. Fortunately we have some cash in hands. Hope this will not happen to us often.


After that, we go back to the garage and the car is all fixed. It is the time to say goodbye. Mary Jane, we cannot express our THANK YOU enough for all of your help. As a token of gratitude we bought her a bottle of Widow Jane bourbon from Brooklyn. Hope you like them Mary Jane! And Tia you have to wait two more years to try it hahaha, hope the bottle last!

We drive the car back to the campsite, and start putting the stickers on. Thanks to sponsorship, we have a super cool looking rally car! The stickers are super easy to put on, but needs to be patient and precise during the process. It takes about 15 mins with two persons to put one side of sticker on. Here’s a fun video of us installing one of the stickers.

Tomorrow, we are going to Gatwick airport and pick Young up, then we hit the road to the famous White Cliffs of Dover.













Posted on July 14, 2014 in Mongol Rally

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