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!

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