Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Blimey - how neglected is this?

I've been so lazy yet so much has been happening over the past few weeks. My eldest has changed schools, I've changed jobs, my wife has effectively doubled her hours at work and my youngest has turned 9! On the Triumph side of things I've completed the Ten Countries Run with my good friends Carl "Shakey" Shakespeare and Colin "The Scrapman" Wake in Carl's Dolomite Sprint.
This event is awesome, 40+ Triumphs driving all over Europe including over the alps and round the Nurburgring (well that was the plan anyway). We did the 10 countries but fell foul of Swiss border routine and ended up stranded in Italy for several hours. We missed the Ring :-(
I'll write the whole story up one day but basically it was all going great until a slight navigation error in Italy put us behind. There was a lunch stop in Lesa, great lunch and one of only a handful of "must do" organised stops. We went charging down the motorway missed an exit, that meant we were off into tunnel land, for several miles - like about 25+ with no exits or opportunities to turn around. Added to that was the ignomy of having to pay a toll at the end before we turned around - we turned an hour in hand to circa 2 hours behind - major unhappiness.
Anyway, that mean that we got to Splugen and the run up to the Stelvio rather late in the day, in fact so late that we did Stelvio in darkness. Not too much of an issues as we followed a local in an AMG Merc who was thrashing up the pass - great! So we get up there OK and start our descent only to find the road closed - gate down and padlocked. No one around to ask so we decide to carry on, down the other side of Stelvio.
We found this was the case with several roads and border crossings - I think we spent 6 to 7 hours going up and down various roads and passes - you see they have sign posts at the foot of the pass saying "The Pass is Open" but it ain't!
Anyway, that kinda screwed all thoughts of doing the Ring but we enjoyed the non-stop 15 hours up through the remaining countries and into Belgium o rejoing everyone at Brugges in good time for a shower a beer or two and a BBQ!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Egypt and the Pyramids - this camel bound policeman had just offered to take our photo - for a fee of course! I couldn't beleive the way you just turn up, park almost touching the pyramid and get out to be hassled non-stop by hawkers and policement alike. As I explained to the kids, I don't want to give anyone my camera and I sure as hell don't want to get into an arguement with a bloke with a gun - camel mounted or otherwise :-)

I couldn't resist this one - Silverstone in July - Dave Pearson realising that whilst he can fix any Triumph you care to throw at him (and that's not an uncommon event) he has just realised that he's got an erection problem - no poles for the tent meant that he couldn't get it up - again, not an uncommon event :-0

Phew - back to the real world

Well loads happening, I came back off holiday to find that I still have a job, great ;-)
My eldest starts a new school tomorrow, we ran out of patience with the local Comprehensive.
I start the Ten Countries Run at the end of the week - just a drive in the country really. 2500 miles of pretty much non-stop motoring in a 30+ year old Triumph. I'm doing the run with a couple of mates in a Dolomite Sprint - Carl Shakespeare and Colin Wake who I've known for several years now. Colin aka the Scrapman has provided me with loads of parts for my cars and gave me the tip off that lead me to buying the Sixfire for Claudia. Carl's a fellow TSSC Hants & Berks Area member and has looked after us on numerous camping trips as he has all the gear! We of course were crap and forgot everything so he kept us safe - OK well it was his partner Becky really!
I had tried to get Dave Pearson of Canley classics interested but he just couldn't commit, so I jumped ship. Fortunately he eventually succumbed to my constant nagging and is doing it with Dave Walker in the Canley Classics Vitesse rally car - well done the two Daves!
If you want to check out our progress take a look at the SMS diary pages here www.canleyclassics.com/10CRdiary this worked really well the last time and should allow anyone interested to pick up live news of the event.
Right, I'm off back to work :-)