The arrival to our starting destination was a success of sorts. We hurdled many obstacles and traveled for 32 hours straight to arrive, but were able to do so successfully.
The first leg of our journey started and the Salt Lake International Airport at 630 in the morning. Our flight to New York City was delayed by what was deemed as 'weather issues.' After waiting for over an hour to board, we were on our way. This was to be the first of several delays, however, all attributed to our new president, Mr. Obama! It was frustrating to have to sit for two extra hours on the tarmac waiting for all the backup to filter through the system at JFK. Consequently, we missed our connecting flight and were scrambling to make sure we wouldn't be stuck in NYC before our trip truly began. Upon arriving at the Aer Lingus counter, we were told that we would be able to get onto a plane leaving an hour later, this was a relief to say the least!
By this point I had not eaten anything substantial in almost 20 hours and we all decided to buy a pizza from Sbarro! I never knew pizza tasted so good. We then boarded a plane at 8pm EST to London, England via Dublin Ireland. The plan ride was not much better than before as I was not able to get much rest and ended up watching a few movies on the in flight entertainment monitor. They did serve a decent dinner of chicken and rice, but still did not seem like enough to fulfill the voracious hunger that we all shared from lugging 100 pounds of luggage around JFK. The nice thing about landing in Dublin was that we did not have to recheck luggage and our layover was only an hour.
We soon arrived in London where more fun travel came about. I was able to get my luggage just fine and get to the subway system. About half way through the tunnel to the subway, we had to start lugging 100 lbs. of baggage each to the actual train. Going up stairs and down long hallways proved how out of shape I really am! We did make it to the first subway and while in route to our first stop we met a nice gentlemen and his wife who funny enough had lived in Mongolia for several years. He shared several of his experiences and suggestions about what to do and what to take on our little adventure. The most note worthy of his suggestions was to clearly pronounce to the local Mongolians who our leader was. They would then likely present that person with a local delicacy, a horses' eyeball, to be consumed to promote inner strength and wisdom! Needless to say, I am not looking forward to being leader at this point.
After four more hours of train travel, being rejected at Burger King for not having a credit card with the new pin/chip system here in the UK, and a taxi ride to the hotel, we were finally all together with our cars and as a team. We spent the next several hours finding food at a local Indian restaurant, prepping the gear for our set off this morning, and finally getting some much needed rest!
I am not feeling much better after sleeping for 11 hours and look forward to taking off towards Mongolia from Goodwood, England this afternoon. I am not sure when I will be able to post again, but I will keep good notes on what takes place in order to post them as soon as I gain internet connection along route!