Day 1 Start: Sydney to Parkes
Day 2 Parkes to Cobar
Day 3 Cobar to Broken Hill
Day 4 Broken Hill to Renmark
Day 5 Renmark to Barossa
Day 6 Barossa to Port Augusta
Day 7 Flinders Ranges
Day 8 Port Augusta to Border Village
Day 9 Border Village to Kalgoorlie
Day 10 Kalgoorlie to York
Day 11 York to Perth
Day 12 Perth
Day 13 Flying to Turkey
Day 14 Ankara
Day 15 Istanbul
Day 16 Istanbul
Day 17 Istanbul to Bulgaria
Day 18 Bulgaria to Nis (Serbia)
Day 19 Nis to Belgrade
Day 20 Belgrade to Rijeka (Croatia)
Day 21 Rijeka
Day 22 Rijelka to Brescia (Italy)
Day 23 Brescia to Nice (France)
Day 24 Nice
Day 25 Lyon
Day 26 Lyon to Orleans
Day 27 Le Mans and a ferry ride to the UK
Day 28 Ferry ride en route to Vale (Wales)
Day 29 Vale (Wales)
Day 30 Finish at Old Windsor
Istanbul to Sliven, Bulgaria
A big day really:
So, after the briefing, down to the car and my door doesn’t open! Seems someone has yanked on it and broken the mechanism. I put my glasses and the car keys on the roof while trying to sort out the door. They probably lasted there until we accelerated into the not insignificant Istanbul traffic.
The border crossing seemed to have four parts to it. We sailed through the first. At the 2nd one it turned out that when the car was checked in at Ankara they had entered the number plate incorrectly. There was a 2nd ‘H’ on the end. This seemed to be an enormous problem for the guy and he eventually had to call his manager.
We then moved to the next spot and he had the same issue but his solution was to send us back to the other point.
Eventually they sorted this out and we moved to the Bulgarian side. These guys wouldn’t accept that our rego was legitimate. They wanted the original copy (we had a photocopy only) and they wanted proof that it has insurance. They spent a lot of time discussing it and making phone calls. But eventually we were through.
Meanwhile, the Chris Palmer Mustang wasn’t allowed across the border because it didn’t have proof of its rego, so they loaded it onto a trailer and took it across (presumably treated it as cargo).
left: a rally official with paperwork issues at the border - parked and waiting until it's sorted out.
a town further down the road we were stopped by a policeman at what looked like
a RBT, but after he pointed at the headlights and looked happier when
Mark turned them on, we worked out that he wanted them on.
He then spoke one word loudly GO!
Looking at other traffic it may be the law here that you have to have them on.
We decided to drive the route of the stages today to see the conditions and maybe fiddle with shock absorber settings. Roads were wet as it had been raining fairly heavily. The roads must be above the snow line in winter as there are signs for snow chains being required. The road had many black patches which seem to have no grip at all. If you open the throttle you get either wheel spin or the car snaps sideways, understeer is endemic, and braking is only slightly better than we had imagined.
We are really wishing we had the softer rally springs to put back in. We have backed the shocks off several clicks but that’s not making a huge difference. But, it’s not only we who struggled. We have since learned that Joost in his Porsch and Ondrej in the Z have panel and suspension damage from offs. And the section was being run as transport!!
... Joost spun and hit a post.
... Francis Tuttle, the Porsche maestro, is looking for a tyre groover to improve the Porsche's grip in the wet.
Day summary: I have a new stamp in my passport. I’m in Bulgaria. I wonder if they have red wine.
|Next: Day 18: Onto Serbia