Saturday, March 19, 2011

Avé Avo

The Red Thread team spent last weekend poring over plans for the trip, sampling food and making movies. For the first time we all gathered in one place and renewed our commitment to the rally. Tom booked his flight to Frankfurt. The gutsy plan is for Mike to leave Goodwood and the Festival of Slow on July 23, swing by FRA, pick up Tom, then head straight to the Czech out party on the 25. From there it’s anyone’s guess as to how long things will take. Tom’s reckoning, as chief navigator, and the one tightest on vacation time, is three weeks to Ulaanbaatar, or roughly 500 miles a day. Mike was reckoning on four weeks and about 350 miles a day, our planned arrival coinciding with the Adventurist’s first Finish Line party. As they say assumption is the mother of all foul ups and this one is pretty important to straighten out. It might mean the difference between the team making the finish line together, or dropping off Tom for an Aeroflot flight home somewhere near Novosibirsk. There’s work to do. 
Travel plans aside, we spent a little time bonding and learning more about each other. Some lengthy video recording will be trimmed down to a web-digestible length shortly. We also broke bread together and as part of that team building activity we found food and advice in Portland’s best Near Eastern grocery, Anoush Deli. We introduced ourselves to Avo, the owner, and when he learned of our Mongolian ambitions, he said simply, “Take me with you.” He is our kind of guy. Upon inquiry, he gave us a tour of Moldovan and Transylvanian wines, along with delicious homemade dishes for an impromptu meze. Between the pinot noir, pepper relish and the mushroom perogies we feel assured that we won’t starve on the journey. The challenge will be finding food as good as Avo’s. 

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