I recently received this motivational speech from Kiwi Ted
Fire it up, Big O!!
We are nearly there. It’s just a short 6,000 kms drive back to London. 13 days is plenty of time. We can do it!
Challenges are always the toughest towards the end. Remember when you didn’t think we’d make it to the start line but we did. Stay strong. The end is near.
Who could have predicted we would drive straight into a snow storm on the way out of Tehran. And the fact that the oil seal failed causing massive oil loss and eventually shafted the gearbox again. That wasn’t your fault but shit happens buddy. Perhaps you could have stopped sooner but we’ll gloss over that for now. Sleeping in the car outside the mechanics garage was far better than sleeping in the car in the middle of the nowhere, south of Tabriz. Well yes, it was -13c outside but hey you got the feeling back in your feet by the next afternoon. Harden up!!
You got to put your feet up in Tabriz for a couple of days while the mechanics determined that the gearbox had to go back to Tehran to be rebuilt again. The recovery truck ride south was fast and smooth until the recovery truck broke down. Now that was just bad luck. I was proud of you mucking in with all your tools to help the driver fix the water pipe problem. It was only a two hour delay at midnight. At least it wasn’t as cold as the night in the snow storm.
Hamed got Boris back and he took personal control to make sure everything was done properly this time. Being in Tehran was better than that rubbish 5 star hotel in Tabriz. And so what if it took another week to fix Boris. Better that he is all sorted before the final push.
The thirteen hour drive to the border is just a taste of what’s to come. We will eat up the miles, we will charge through the remaining countries, we will finish triumphantly on Saturday the 11th of January 2014, and we will celebrate with a couple of cold beers with our mates. Fire it up Big O!!
Just take a moment to reflect on a few of the obstacles you have overcome on this journey:
- You showed those Tajikistan government officials Kiwi’s could drink Vodka, well right up until you spewed everywhere at least.
- You survived floods, falling debris, bike wankers, and an Aussie’s testicles in your face in China. You thought it just about broke you but now it’s just a foggy memory.
- You managed to produce and star in a Bollywood dance video. Admittedly it was a little off message for the expedition but it was a pretty good effort for an amateur who can’t dance.
- You survived 3 weeks with those police escorts in Baluchistan. I know they were a pain in the ass but they were there for your benefit. We’ll keep your inability to lose them just between us shall we.
- You managed to talk your way out of several speed tickets, get yourself across several borders without the correct paperwork and avoid being arrested for filming without approval in Iran. That takes bullshit of the highest order.
And if you wavering in your own motivation pause to think about the others who are invested in this expedition:
- Remember the cricket in Afghanistan. It was an inspiring day. You told the kids you were going to drive back to the UK. You can’t let them down. Do it for the kids!!
- Don’t forget all of your supporters around the world that have been following your adventure and sending messages of support. They deserve to see a picture of you at the finish line for all the hours they could have been doing something useful with their lives.
- You also have a whole team in the UK willing you to finish. Think about them! They are relying on you not to besmirch their talented careers with a failed expedition.
- Boris has given up sections of his fuel tank, his rear springs, damage to several panels and the gearbox twice, for this expedition. What more can you ask of him?!
- And finally I’ve got a book and documentary deal riding on this expedition finishing so don’t screw it up!! It’ll be over my fluffy dead body before we fail this expedition.
Yours faithfully and remember, fire it up Big O!!
p.s She’ll be right mate
Kiwi Ted’s motivational speech was written when Boris had just had his gearbox rebuilt for the second time. We departed from Tehran at 2.30pm, by 11pm we had covered 500 kms as we past the spot where the second breakdown occurred. I could still see oil marks on the side of the road. Unfortunately disaster struck again less than 20 kms further along the road. The gearbox failed, again. Once more I flagged down a truck to give me a tow. I eventually made it to the same toll booth at Bostan Abad where I had been picked up by the rescue truck previously. I spent the night in the car, again. Amir, the same recovery truck driver picked me up in the morning, again.
I was living in my very own Groundhog Day.
The only difference was this time was I decided to head straight for the border. I had given it my best shot to fix the car in Iran but it was now time to go. Turkey was 300 kms away. I would have to try my luck there. Amir and I headed for the border. Seven hours later we arrived. I did my exit paperwork and I then proceeded to push Boris over the border into Turkey.
And now I have finally made it out of Iran there is just the small issue of finding a way to get Boris fixed. Except now I was back to square one. No working gearbox, no contacts in Turkey, two weeks behind schedule and no closer to solving the problem that had begun five weeks earlier when I arrived in Iran.
It would be a Happy New Year from Turkey.
Please Note: Just to avoid any confusion there will NOT be a welcome home party on January 11th in London. January 25th or February 1st are more likely propositions.