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Photos at last!

I’ve uploaded a selection, which can be seen here http://www.flickr.com/photos/creamykiwi/sets/72157627860197608/ 

They are, after much coaxing and persuading, in order 🙂 They’re also roughly 8% of our total photos taken, but should give you the general idea!

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Day 6 – Sibiu, Romania to Brasov, Romania (rally endpoint)

So the final day dawned, while most of us were still trying to work out how the rally had crept up on us so fast in the first place. Start time had been changed to 11am as Brasov was closer than we’d thought. As we got to bed somewhere between 3 and 4 that morning, that was in no way a bad thing! We were up earlier than that to move cars around and such, then to drive to the start line – the very last one of the trip 😦

We drove more or less in convoy up through the mountains of Romania until we reached the Transfaragasan Highway (as loved and seen on Top Gear). This is a truly epic, windy, twisty road which climbs so high you go through clouds and out again. The tunnel at the top has cloud INSIDE it. It takes some degree of skill to get up it and down the other side without skidding round the corners, but the views as you climb higher and higher are beyond breathtaking. We took hundreds of photos and not one of them does the scenery justice – it quite literally takes your breath away. (although admittedly some of that might be oxygen deprivation – it was very high up!)

All teams met at the top in a car park which had a fabulous random selection of souvenir and food stalls… I started the day looking stylish and by the time we reached the top looked a lot like an escapee from a lunatic asylum, or like I’d got dressed in the dark… none of my layers matched and I was still wearing flip flops and it was SO DAMN COLD I didn’t care!!

Had a group photo taken at the top (in cloud so I’m not sure how epic it will actually turn out to be, but nice to have everyone all in the same place for once and prove we actually all did it together). We attracted the usual amount of attention while parked up, and had a wander for souvenirs and food… popular lunch choices were mozarella inside a corn pie thing, or half a chicken and curried potatoes – you can guess which I had! Many stray dogs wandering around up there, so I fed them the scraps of chicken (boneless) and potatoes that I couldn’t finish… could happily have taken some of them home, they were very friendly.

Brief for the day was that there were no challenges, plenty of time to play on the highway and intention of reaching Brasov for 5ish, final speech and prizes at 7pm and then dinner and celebrating… and Oktoberfest 🙂 So we drove… in convoy with Allegro and Rat Patrol, all the way over the pass and down the south side, stopped to cuddle some donkeys (I definitely would have brought one home if he’d fitted on Allegro’s roof rack) and all the way to where the road started to break up. Strapped a camera to Rusty’s windscreen and took a group self-portrait, then I got behind the wheel (eek!) and went all the way up and all the way down the other side. Rob is awesome and filmed it for me, it’s not a very exciting film for anyone but me, but squeeeee it was wonderful.

Strangely, although it would in theory be much more epic to throw the MR2 round the Transfaragasan, I can’t imagine enjoying any road as much as I enjoyed all the roads we did in Rusty… somehow having a crap car with hilarious suspension, which it isn’t the end of the world if you break it, and surrounded by like minded people (friends by that time) in equally crap cars… it lends an atmosphere to the drive that you just wouldn’t get by taking your average exciting sportscar out there. My fellow R2R-ers were in full agreement with this opinion, but the car enthusiasts back home think I’m/we’re mental. Go figure.

So we finished playing on the highway and drove gently down the other side, following Rat Patrol and waiting for Allegro to catch us up. The funniest breakdown of the entire trip then happened when we were least expecting it (and when we’d run out of camera battery/space on the one that does video, annoyingly) – we rounded a sharp corner and they suddenly pulled over in front of us. The car was still rolling slightly forward, and bits of paper came whooshing out high into the air. Graham and Andy then emerged, backwards, but taking ages to get out of the car, and loads of black things were everywhere, which I initially thought was shredded rubber.

Turns out the black things were flies which liked the green of the car’s paint, and the whooshing and difficulty getting out was because the compressed air cylinder in the back had started leaking, through the very thin pipe which had also had diesel in it from the mis-fuel earlier in the week. They both emerged and the car was still rolling, so I threw myself in the drivers side and promptly lost my head and forgot which one was the brake pedal, Rob got in the other side and tried to put it in gear but didn’t realise it was still running so that didn’t work either. Fabulous in a crisis… lol. I’m aware it doesn’t sound that funny now, but it was hysterical at the time!

They then disconnected the cylinder and set off for Brasov so they wouldn’t be driving in the dark, while we waited for Allegro to get down the hill, and cool their brakes down when they arrived where we were. We then drove and stopped in a field with a gorgeously scenic backdrop of the hills & mountains we’d just been driving in and had our last picnic lunch… sniffle. Took some detail shots of Rusty and some lovely panoramic ones of the scenery and the cars. And then it was time to pack off and drive to our endpoint… I think we were all as reluctant as each other to end the rally, but equally we were all looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

On arrival in Brasov the first thing we saw was the Hollywood-style sign in the hills, which was fairly awesome… then drove into the city and got a random passer-by to give us money for the parking meter. Romanian lei come in notes, but the parking meters only take coins. We’d not seen any coins at this point, so between the random passer-by and a taxi driver we managed to scrape together enough to park both cars for an hour. Walked into the unexpectedly beautiful town of Brasov and found the rest of the rally sitting drinking beer in the early evening sunshine.

Justin did the end of rally speech and presented awards… I clearly keep good company, Rob and Pete both got a trophy for high mileage (four rallies with StreetSafari) and Andy and Graham won overall 🙂

And then it was all over and we were free to party! So naturally, we went and found our hotel. On the second attempt we found one (our faces must have been a picture when the woman in the first one said she had no space and no reservations – then we spotted the name was different). At the right one, they knew we were coming but didn’t realise we were who we said we were when we arrived, and didn’t speak any English (it had been booked by a Romanian friend of Jenny’s). So after some frantic phone calling to the owner’s English-speaking daughter and gesturing and an attempt at French by me, which failed, we freshened up, and came back into town to meet the Rat Patrol boys for dinner.

Dinner was lovely but the cocktails were immensely strong… and we were all so sleepy that despite our intention to get very hammered and stay out really late, we were pretty much dozing off before dinner was over! Took a walk down to where Oktoberfest was, but it was eerily quiet and sure enough, by the time we arrived, it had closed for the night and everyone was leaving. Stopped in a random bar and found another bunch of teams celebrating, so had some more drinks there before heading home (in frankly terrifying taxis) for the night. The vodka measures were amazing, photos will show (I know, I know, photos coming on Flickr soon, I haven’t been at home long enough at once to let them all upload yet) that ‘vodka and coke’ equals a glass full of vodka and a can of coke to sip with it – there isn’t space in the glass to mix them! Although apparently sipping one then the other is the Russian way of drinking spirits, so maybe I can claim I was getting some more cultural experience?!

Then back to our apartment, and tentative plans for the following day, and sleep.

Day 5 – Budapest, Hungary to Sibiu, Romania

Started today by being up bright and early, leaving our hilarious hotel with the peepholes in the shower, and driving over to where we’d left Rat Patrol’s Rover earlier in the day. The boys set to work fixing the alternator with tin foil… I took the opportunity of being in a shop (buying the tin foil) to also buy the biggest bar of Milka I’ve ever seen and some more Coke. Mmm… so much sugar.

I took some photos while they were fixing it and tried to work out where we were on the map and where we were heading so I could navigate, and then we set off.Hungarystill wasn’t particularly exciting to drive through, and we drove in convoy and arrived at the border withRomaniarelatively quickly without too many problems. We pulled up at the border and handed over our ‘paperwork’ (you envisage all your legal stuff that goes with the car, your driving licence, international permit etc. What they want is a post it with your numberplate written on it) to the authorities to get our vignette forRomania. Even cheaper this time – 5 Euros for a week!

I was amazed at how uninterested everyone was in our passports on the whole trip– there was only one border where they wanted to see our passports and then the guy looking at them was so fascinated by Rusty that he didn’t even open them to check they were ours!

Anyway, about five minutes after we pulled in, half the rally turned up behind us. This was a bit of a mystery as they’d stayed the night in Szeged, well ahead of us… but they’d had a much more leisurely morning. Was nice to see everyone and reassure ourselves we were on the right road, and I also took the opportunity to get on Rusty’s bonnet and get photos taken – had been resisting because I didn’t want to break her bonnet, but when someone else managed it I figured she’d hold up to my weight! 🙂

Tried for a loo stop but failed, they were locked and even the boys were put off by the space behind the building which people had clearly used instead. They did offer to make a ring around me so I could go to the loo without being observed by the general public… I declined, I would definitely have got stage fright. Bless them.

Just across the border everyone stopped again for food and money changing and various other things – we stopped briefly then headed off so that Graham and Andy would make it toSibiubefore dark. We drove, and we drove, and we drove… well actually Rob drove, he did all the driving that day because the further we got into Romania, the more scary the roads and drivers became, and I think I’d have had some kind of horrible accident. You need to be super-pushy and overconfident, and I am neither of those things behind the wheel of a car I don’t drive regularly.

Along the way we watched with our hearts in our mouths as local drivers overtook five or six cars at once on a blind bend, we wondered what the hell was happening as a lorry overtook us up a hill at 65mph, and three of us (the furry rat, Rat Patrol and Rusty) overtook the cars between us in perfect synchronicity… we also watched as a recently-crashed car was lifted across the road by a digger and dumped on the other side of the road in the hedge… in short, it was a hair-raising journey and I’m exceedingly grateful to Rob for driving daft distances and all day, I’m not sure how well I’d have coped with some of the situations the day threw at us.

Arrival inSibiuwas fairly fraught, the driving standard didn’t improve in the towns. We did however find our apartment (which lovely Jenny had booked) without too many problems and it was beautiful… with a balcony and a view and everything! Got ready, headed back out to find the bar everyone else was in. Got there, had SOS call from Team Allegro, who had had an extremely trying couple of days, and went to rescue them from the petrol station they were parked in. Then went and found a bunch of other teams who had gone into the town for dinner.(I was driving as Rob had been driving all day… probably one of the most hilarious journeys I’ve ever made, trying to follow the instructions of four different people at once, while driving on the wrong side of the road, in the dark, and dodging the mad local drivers. Good times)

The restaurant was nearly closing, but stayed open later than they usually would for us, which was nice… although there were a lot of us and most of us were drinking! Food was lovely and ridiculously cheap, and then we headed out into town to drink some more, after stopping for a group photo with the waitress from the bar as she headed home after her shift… she smiled a lot but I think we may have scared her slightly…

So eventually we were left with me, Rob, Jo, Chris, Andy and Graham. We found a pub and settled down to drink and eye up the girls… and drink some more, and sing (we failed to find a karaoke bar, sadly) and drink. Much fun was had and we stumbled outside at about half two, waiting for Andy and Rob who were talking to one of the girls we’d been admiring from afar. Turns out she was a prostitute and she was out with her (female) pimp. Joys…

Ambled back to Graham & Andy’s hotel and then left them there and drove home… got in at 3ish, they apparently stayed out till 5ish 😐 Clearly more stamina than me!

When we got home I spent quite a bit of time standing on the balcony looking at the view… sometimes there are moments that make you think everything is right with the world, and that was one of them. It was so pretty in the half-light… so pretty that I didn’t actually try and take a photo because it wouldn’t have done it justice.

Day 4 – Salzburg, Austria to Budapest, Hungary

Today was the start of the two-day open run where teams could do what they liked as long as they made it to Sibiu by the end of day 5.

We woke up and went out to the car park to sort out our back seat and air the tent which was still damp from camping in Switzerland. We’d overlooked the fact that the hotel car park was also the car park for some offices, and when the office workers started to arrive we got some very odd looks as the tent was spread out next to Rusty, Rusty obviously is no normal car, and we had the ironing board out with breakfast on it 🙂 I’m sure they thought we were camping in the car park. We did decide at this point that one should never go on holiday without an ironing board – it has so many unexpected uses (like a breakfast table!)

Had to say goodbye to Team Allegro and get the map ready (eek!) because we were parting company for these two days… they were doing the Serbia/Bosnia/Slovenia route whereas our insurance wouldn’t cover us so we were doing Hungary along with most other teams.

At the start point, which was a layby on a fairly busy road in Salzburg (eliciting lots of fabulously confused looks from other drivers as they went past) we met with everyone else, commiserated about Jo (Bucket of Doom)’s oil leakage, tried to work out what routes everyone was taking and where they were meeting, and picked up our challenge for the two days. To take as many pictures of prostitutes as possible. Good thing I brought my long lens, then!

I figured then would be a good time to get some sort of contact details for at least one of the other teams, so went and pounced on Graham & Andy of Rat Patrol as we’d been chatting to them on and off since we met them in Calais on Night 0. Rob found it highly entertaining I was trying to give my phone number to a couple of lads (not that there were many girls I could have given it to, in all fairness… appears banger rallying is muchly male-dominated) but they didn’t seem too taken aback.

So off we went… Rob driving, me navigating. This was the first day we’d actually had to use the map to get anywhere, because we’d been following Allegro almost all the way. Took us bloody ages to get out of Salzburg, via the Salzburgring (which I’m sure would have been a perfectly good substitute for the Nurburgring, lol) and we’d planned to go via a lake or two. This ended up being a very slow way of starting the day but I’m SO glad we did – the lakes we drove past were some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen… beyond beautiful (and I shall certainly be back to Austria to see them again sometime). We drove up the long side of the Attersee, took a few wrong turns but nothing too terrible, and then ambled out of town on the roads parallel with the motorways in the hope they’d be more interesting to drive.

They weren’t… they were mostly through industrial estates and they weren’t that fast either, so just before Linz we decided to take the motorway instead. This cost 10 Euro but was well worth it – motorway driving is also quite dull but was effective at getting us where we wanted to be.

Passed Vienna, and thought about stopping for lunch, but carried on for a bit and over the border into Hungary. We did consider detouring slightly past Bratislava but couldn’t work out how to get the vignette for their motorways and when we stopped (for Burger King again – didn’t do so well with local cuisine as we’d planned, whoops) it was already relatively late in the day.

So we crossed into Hungary and pulled into Budapest around 7pm. Everything was still very much German-speaking, the signs, the people and everything. Not so unexpected in Austria perhaps, but the bit of Italy we went through was all German-speaking, and the border and petrol stations in Hungary spoke to us in German before any other language – bizarre. Maybe we look German… it definitely wasn’t my pidgin-German I attempted to speak to them! (Although I did manage to have a couple of conversations without speaking any English, which did wonders for my confidence).

This was the first day the tiredness truly caught up with us, we were yawning and dozing almost the entire journey. When we arrived in Budapest, we stopped to consider our next moves… the recommendation was to plough on to Arad, another 60 miles or so away, so that the following day wasn’t such a long slog. However, Rat Patrol were 40km or so behind us, it was getting dark, we were knackered and we really fancied having proper food and a night out for once. So having decided to stay the night in Budapest, we waited for them to catch up with us, met them in a car park and set about finding a hotel.

The hostel we tried first didn’t have any rooms left, so we embarked on an hour’s drive to find a hotel that ‘you can’t miss it, it’s really obvious’. Its neon sign was off, and it took us FOREVER to find it. Before we got there, Rat Patrol pulled over with no lights behind us… I figured they probably weren’t planning to spend the night there so we pulled up and Rob went over to help them. Unsurprisingly, they’d run out of electricity again… so they tried to bumpstart it backwards, in the dark, down a hill, into oncoming traffic. I filmed them doing it and the soundtrack is full of panicky noises and swearing… I genuinely thought they were going to have some kind of horrible crash.

Despite the bravery, we failed to get the Rover started again so parked it up in a side road, marked where it was and set off again with all four of us in Rusty. Checked into our hotel (after booking it online in the reception to get the cheaper rate… we’d be such awesome students) and finally headed back into town for dinner. I had steak and chips… and it was LUSH. So nice to sit down and have proper dinner and talk like civilised people… we’d done a lot of snacking and on-the-hoof eating so it felt like proper luxury! Graham and Andy had spent 5 hours the previous day siphoning the 83 euros of diesel out of their petrol car and making it run again, so they’d eaten by the roadside too.

After dinner we wandered through the town, it’s much more beautiful than I’d expected, especially at night… had a hilarious altercation with a guy who was trying really hard to entice us into a strip club, with the best patter ever – it was all about sexual equality and opportunities, with naked yoga… and the girls sounded fairly obliging. The best part was when he told us he was a commercial pilot, and got his licence out to prove it – and then told the lads if they could ask him three aviation or engineering related questions that he couldn’t answer, he would let me in for free and give me free drinks. Haha – sounded like a great plan to me! We did eventually decline, as we didn’t fancy being stung for expensive champagne once we were in the door, and it was 1am and we needed to sleep ready for the long drive to Sibiu the next day. Yep, we’re so rock n roll!

(this was also the night I went to get something out of Rusty, got sidetracked chatting to a stray cat and then forgot to take a photo of said cat – bad squishy).

Day 3 – Chur, Switzerland to Salzburg, Austria

Next morning we fed some very sweet tiny little birds with the remains of my pain au chocolat and laughed watching them fight over the pieces and zoom off into the distance when they got a piece… hilarious! Then struck camp, took lots of photos of the surrounding area, wished we had time to go up to the top in a cable car and went off to meet the others.

Everyone was in flip flops and shorts, apart from one lad in a nurse’s uniform) and it was ridiculously cold while we were waiting to start. Two pairs of leggings and two pairs of socks and I still wasn’t warm… until someone discovered that the patches where the sun was were actually quite hot.

The Audi and Rat Patrol and a couple of other teams’ cars were having their usual bonnet-up start to the day, so we did useful things like re-doing the whitewalling on Rusty’s tyres (wish i’d come up with the way another team did it on the last morning, laid on the bonnet, sprayed in one place and someone else drove slowly so the wheels rotated under the paint) and entertained ourselves by distributing the spare 80s porn (yep, we brought the ones we didn’t use on the bumpers with us) sneakily on people’s windscreens and in their back seats.

Switzerland’s motorways are beautifully maintained, but carry a toll of 40 euros or so to use for the day, and are really not that exciting to drive. So we decided, again using AllegroNav, to convoy across Switzerland, through the tip of Italy and into Austria on the scenic proper roads through the mountains and valleys, only using the motorway right at the end to get to Salzburg.

Which was a fabulous idea, and it was wonderful to pop to Italy for lunch. Unfortunately we mistimed it somewhat and arirved in the town we fancied having lunch in just as all their kitchens had closed. Whoops. But in true rally spirit, we found a shop nearby, bought ridiculous things (Maxibon ice creams, rosemary infused breadsticks and more normal lunch stuff too) and ate on the go. Stopped in Merano to stretch our legs and eat properly, and then off we went again.

We drove some absolutely epic roads, although we gave Stelvio a miss this time. There were a few stops across the way for extreme ironing (and some ironing on the bonnets of the Allegro and Rusty too). Later in the day we drove (I drove!!) a twisty, turny, steep, time-controlled (eep) pass – was challenging but I really enjoyed it, until we came to a swift halt in front of a very large cow. The cow was not impressed and it took us quite a while to get past it. Which wouldn’t have been a problem, but the pass is single-track and every half an hour they let people in from the other side (assuming you’ll have had time to drive all the way through it rather than faffing about with a giant cow).

However, we escaped without any mishaps, Rusty sounded a bit weird at the end which I assumed was my driving… we discovered a couple of days later that she didn’t have a tailpipe any more so thiink we probably lost it on the pass!

More driving ensued as twilight fell, and we kept driving, and driving, and driving… eventually arriving in Salzburg close to midnight. (We’d not done the day’s challenge, which was to get 7 photos of each team with more than 10 people in it, because we just didn’t have time to stop that much). We’d planned to check into the etap hotel for the night, but the machine rejected all our cards several times. Time to repair to Burger King and re-think. It’s amazing what chips can do for your mood in the middle of the night!

Eventually found a different hotel for a similar price, and crashed out there – we were all so tired by then I’m amazed we got as far as bed without any major arguments!

Day 2 – Nurburg, Germany to Chur, Switzerland

Struck camp and tried to put the tent on the back seat to dry out as it had absolutely chucked it down in the night. Ambled off to meet everyone at the Ring, took lots of photos and got our challenge for the day. Then off we headed to Chur.

We were using AllegroNav and not really navigating ourselves at all, but today was mostly about motorways and getting there. We had our first breakdown – Allegro’s brakes were pulling so we stopped in a layby and fixed them. Well, I say we… the boys took the wheel off and did things to the car, Jenny and I stood around and supervised with the aid of chocolate digestives. (although I should point out Jenny is perfectly capable of fixing the car too!)

We did eventually make it to Chur and the bar where everyone else was, but realised after trying to park that we didn’t have any Swiss francs… first time I’ve wished a country just used Euros! We parked underground (always a challenge with our roof racks and our CB whip) and ambled over to have a drink with everyone, then headed off to try and find our campsite.

We’d contacted the campsite but they said not to book, to just turn up and camp. But when we rocked up at half ten, it was very quiet and dark and there was no one on reception. So we took matters into our own hands and drove up a very bumpy hill (with Rusty’s super-loud broken backbox making sure lots of people heard us, lol), parked in the top field and stopped. Rob and I had bought McDonalds on the way there, and Team Allegro were cooking something Quorn-related. So I can quite understand why the people in the beautifully maintained static caravan next to the top field looked out, saw these mad cars and some giggly people eating Maccy D’s off them, and promptly rang the owner of the site.

He was lovely when he turned up though bless him, showed us where the facilities were and said we could pay in the morning. So we put our tents up using our cars’ headlights as illumination, set alarms for the next morning and went to bed. It was FREEZING… the campsite was halfway up a mountain and while beautifully picturesque, it’s used as a ski resort in winter.

I did get a kick out of telling people back home (via twitter and facebook, how else) that I was camping in the Swiss mountains though… I should probably get a life one of these days 😛 And the only disappointment was that M-C was in Thailand, not Switzerland, so there was no chance of visiting her while I was there.

Day 1 – Calais, France to Nurburg, Germany via Belgium

So we all met up this morning at daft o clock on what looked like an abandoned drag track near the pier. I’m fairly sure it was just a car park actually, but that doesn’t sound quite so interesting.

Did a bit of socialising, met some of the other teams (and allayed some of my fears as some of them are also new and have never rallied before, or have never done a European one before) – they all seemed really nice and the cars were awesome. Various states of (dis)repair and there are only two of us (Rusty and Team Allegro) with roof racks, but some of the teams have put in masses and masses of effort and I’m muchly impressed.

*pics*

Think Rusty’s holding her own though – the porn-covered bumpers are already infamous and have attracted lots of people taking photos (randoms as well as rally teams, lol). This morning was the first time I really felt sad that she won’t come home with us.

Anyway, we set off (eventually) via the organiser giving us today’s challenge, which was Picture Poker. Cue me taking ridiculous amounts of photos, but only just managing to scrape a hand together at the end. We went for a full house, which was two diamonds and three kings, made up of a renault diamond, a yellow vw beetle (which was designated as a wild card. fortunate really, or we’d not have succeeded), and three photos of things that were a bit like kings. (rice, crown bottle caps and coffee, i think). I don’t think we’re going to win that one – when we checked in we were third of three.

So anyway, we set off, and drove through Calais, out onto the motorway and up through to Belgium. Arrived at a beer shop just before it shut, and bumped into another team there… bought much beer and some Advocaat in a jar and headed back up the road. Stopped for lunch at a petrol station and tried to dissuade some hitchhikers from joining us. Forgive my lack of wit in this post, I have been drinking and am trying to record what happened before I forget in the madness of tomorrow.

After lunch I drove for the first time (I’ve driven Rusty before, but I’ve never driven abroad or on the wrong side of the road, bar a couple of ventures the wrong way around roundabouts in my teens in the middle of the night) and after a few wobbles it was actually ok! Rob was a very patient and calm passenger, but it did feel a bit like learning to drive again, having to remember to look the other way before moving lanes, and keeping my distance while remembering to read in km not mph. Very bizarre. But I’m muchly proud I did it – drove proper roads in Germany on the way to the Nurburgring as well as on the motorway so hopefully I’m well set for the rest of the trip now.

Saying that, although the driving was fun, I was concentrating so hard I didn’t get much of a chance to see stuff while I was drivng (whcih nearly resulted in us losing the campsite this evening, but that’s another story) so I think I’ll probably be more passenger-with-many-cameras and let Rob drive. We’re using Team Allegro as a satnav at the moment and just following them, as they are veterans of lots of rallies and know exactly what they’re doing. Which means we don’t have to rely on my mapreading, which can only be a good thing.

A few hours’ driving later and we arrived at the Nurburgring, where two other cars were already there and another bunch of cars from a different rally (which I have since found out is being done by my old friend Kathryn’s boyfriend – random!). Unfortunately about ten minutes before our arrival, someone from their rally had spun on the track and oil had been spilt and they closed the track for the day 😦 (I lied on twitter and facebook incidentally, the rumour at the time was that it was a kit car).

So we stood around and chatted for a while, grabbed the last photo for the day’s challenge as a Renault left the car park (our own Renault now has a volvo grille and is banned from challenge photos anyway) and then went to hand in our challenges and come back to the campsite. Where I am currently typing this, having eaten some surprisingly tasty chicken sausages, and having drunk quite a lot of rum and coke. I will spellcheck when I have internet and can upload this.

So there we go – Atlantic Booze Cruisers (that’s me, Rob and Rusty) and Team Allegro (Jenny, Craig, Pete and Vicky the Allegro) are happily ensconced between our tents, chatting and drinking. And blogging, but soon I won’t be.

We did it – we finished day 1!!

Carla xx

PS Added on return, when I’m doing all the rest of the blogs because I was rubbish while I was actually away – it chucked it down when we’d all gone to bed, but the tent was surprisingly dry and cosy. You can tell I’m not a seasoned camper, can’t you?!