Sunday, 5 August 2007

Update #19 - Backrally Boys are back

It's Friday afternoon and I get a strange call from a number I have never seen before (+173 2555 1212) has anyone of you ? Well I answered the phone and had Richard on the line. Yeah. They're still alive. However, the phone line was a bit crappy, so I'm not too sure I got everything right. So don't blame me. After their endless trip through the desert, they finally reached the border between Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan. Leaving the country was pretty easy as they were allowed to bypass the queue and just leave. However entering Uzbekistan wasn't as easy. So it took them 9 hours. Waiting in all the heat is not that comfy, and I guess that's why Martin experienced some circulation problems (he is fine again). After passing the border, the convoy of 4 cars was extended by a local women and her Belgian husband, both driving a Mercedes C-Class (I guess I wouldn't dare to do that in that country). Those were the best guides you could imagine. As you would have to take lots of precautions in that area. You would drive for hours without any village / gas station / people in between, so it's vital to have enough water and gas for the trip. Then the cars showed their first weaknesses, Martin and Richard had 2 blown tires and Team Ruhrpott lost their exhaust pipe. The tires were changed easily: Richard "Schwarzenegger" Süselbeck and Martin "Stallone" Saternus just lifted the car by hand and the super-mechanic from the english team switched the tires in formula 1 fashion. Unfortunately Martin then also lost the engine cooler, so they could only proceed slowly (they also ran into some other guys from the rally Prague-Samarkant (how many rallys are running in parallel ???), but they were already on their way back (2-way rally ?????)) . Luckily they made the hard trip, just to run into the next police blockade. The woman from the Mercedes however, was very very convincing and arranged a nice spot to rest and get some sleep for the drivers: all could sleep at the exact point they were, surrounded by lots of police cars, guarding them :) Ain't that everybody's dream ? Then finally, the convoy arrived in Chiwa (may as well be called Khiva). Richard approached the woman at the counter: "Do you speak english" while she replied, "Sure I do !". How could he think otherwise... Well, as they were all dirty, tired, broken as hell they were more than happy to find a nice spot to stay and recover.

On the next day, they enjoyed a huge breakfast, did some sightseeing in the lovely city center, took out everything from the car - being astouned where all the stuff they were looking for now re-appeared again - neatly packed all the stuff again and then head off - destination Bukhara. As we are talking on the phone they were 100 km before Bukhara (probably somewhere close to 40°15'43 N, 63°17'47 E). If anyone wants to join them on their tour. I just found nice flights from Frankurt-Tashkent, run by Uzbekistan Airways. Wouldn't it be cool to say hi ? ;)

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