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Mongol Rally – reasons to be cheerful (and fearful?)

Mongol Rally – reasons to be cheerful (and fearful?)

Trepido, trepidas, trepidat.

Trepidamus, trepidatis, trepidant.

From the first declension Latin verb Trepidare.

(To hurry with alarm, be in confusion, be agitated, be disturbed).

All of the above currently apply to me.

“Be disturbed”

A good friend of mine recently paid a visit to the UK from his home in Canada.

He came to Scotland via Cardiff, where he collected a second hand ambulance which he had bought for £3,000 on ebay.

He and three others had decided to take part in the 2010 Mongol Rally in said ambulance.

Over whisky one night he pointed out that the ambulance has five seats…

And, to cut a short story even shorter, I am now officially an Ambecile.

The Ambeciles is an aptly named team of five people about to do a stupidly exciting thing in an ambulance.

Consider my hitherto quiet life well and truly “disturbed”.

“Be agitated”

There is a lot to do.

The ambulance needs a fair bit of servicing before it’s ready to hit the road.

(Forgetting for a moment that roads will be a luxury for large parts of the journey).

We need sponsors to cover the cost of the vehicle and the journey.

We need partners to help us with equipment.

And we’re raising money for several charities.

All of this to be fitted in around work and family life.

(Oh, and by the way, my wife and I are both Ambeciles. We’re splitting the journey between us.)

So agitation is indeed the order of the day.

Agitation in terms of excitement and anticipation.

Agitating in terms of generating interest and support.

Followed this summer by the physical agitation of the ambulance by hostile terrains.

“Be in confusion”

My passport is away for three months with The Adventurists (organisers of the rally).

They kindly do all the dirty donkey work associated with getting visas for the countries en route.

So far they have secured my visa for Kyrgyzstan, and my passport is currently at the Uzbekistan consulate.

I’m joining the team in Volgograd (former Stalingrad) in Russia and, in addition to the countries already mentioned, will be travelling through Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on the way to Mongolia.

This is a Google Earth image of the rough route.

Some of these places I’d never actually heard of.

Let alone considered visiting.

To be in confusion?

Well it is all pleasantly bewildering.

Or maybe ignorance is misguided bliss.

“To hurry with alarm”

With any luck we’ll be making good speed (hurrying) in a vehicle that is equipped with flashing blue lights and a siren (with alarms).

Trepidare is obviously the Latin root of the modern English words trepidation and intrepid.

My feelings right now are a cocktail of both.

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