Mongol Rally, Day 8: The End of the Road, Our Car and Nearly Me

The driver was speeding down a one-way street the wrong way. Our little Nissan Micra didn't stand a chance.
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"What fates impose, that men must needs abide: it boots not to resist both wind and tide." -William Shakespeare

It is with acute sadness that I write this.

Steven Priovolos, my friend and cameraman and I had about a 625-mile drive from Budapest, Hungary, to the capital of Moldova, Chisinau, on the next leg of our 10,000-mile road trip from Britain to Mongolia. After 12 hours on the road, we found ourselves driving happily through the leafy Romanian town of Campulung Moldovenesc.

Then fate intervened.

As dusk approached a black Volvo 4X4 veered suddenly toward us from a side street. The driver was speeding down a one-way street the wrong way.

Our little Nissan Micra didn't stand a chance.

Steve's quick reactions meant the full force of the Volvo slammed into the front of the car, not the passenger side, where I was sitting. Had he not braked quickly, I would not be writing this blog.

When the dust settled, an eerie calm had descended. Our car was destroyed. I mumbled for Steve to call an ambulance when I felt a shooting pain up my chest.

I was whisked away to the emergency room where they calmed me down and took X-rays. I was kept under observation for a few hours. The doctor insisted I stay overnight. I insisted otherwise. I released myself, and we found a local motel to recover in because the X-rays showed no lasting damage.

The car was not as lucky.

With morning came the realization that our journey was done. Our brush with death was a sign that fate had other plans for us. Reaching Mongolia was not one of them. With a heavy heart, we have abandoned our goal: Making it from Britain to Ulan Bator, with more than 400 other teams. Steve will travel to London and I am heading to Vienna to receive a thorough checkup.

We are lucky to be alive.

Coming next: What I learned from my summer vacation.

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