June 11th - 16th June
Surely this is too scenic to be Russia ?
|The Russian border|
|Confirming we have crossed the border|
|Heading through the Altai|
|Still passing broken down cars|
|Delightful Kochevnik camp|
|Inside our yurt|
|Roof struts of our yurt|
|Dinner outside the galley|
|Dave working on Gidget's spring|
go and shower, and to provide sustenance to Dave the mechanic as he worked on replacing Gidget's rear spring ! Keeping these support crews "lubricated" is MOST important, and whether it be
|Shiv's Peugeot being worked on|
|Sunset in Kochevnik|
Once the spring was replaced and Gidget ready to roll, it was dark and there was only time for a quick bite before we retired to our yurt for the night !
|Ashton doing a Gerard Brown|
|Steamer working up its head of steam|
|What a way to start a day !|
|Drive through the morning sunshine|
|Along the morning drive|
|The P76 and others|
|View from the car park|
with stalls selling all sorts of local handicrafts and bits and pieces. Fortunately there was also a good (ie not a hole in the ground !) toilet, and right
|The markets on the hill|
|Julie Holroyd tries a Russian hat|
|Ashton interviewed in Russian|
swimming pools and other attractions which were being well used since it was a hot sunny evening. As usual the crowds decended on us, and Ashton even got interviewed - In Russian, which was interesting for all of us, including Ashton ! Now much of the dirt sections were behind us, we tried to clean air filters, and removed the undertray in order to straighten it out a bit. Additionally Ashton had spotted a couple of cracks in the rear chassis members, and eventually managed to locate a local welder who could do the job, although it took forever to get the welder in the same place as the car at the same time ! A very heavy rainstorm later in the evening didn't help matters !
|Everyone is buying Russian hats !|
|The swimming Aqua Romeo|
|The storm closes in|
|Morning MTC at the start|
Day 12. Aya to Novokuznetsk. 437 kms. In the morning we moved the cars down to the other
end of the resort complex, and once our start times came up, we went out under the officially Liqui Moly "start" arch, and headed back to the main road. Gidget was again a bit grumpy as we left, although once out on the open road where she was able to clear her throat, she was much better.
|Houses along the way|
|A few butterflies met their end|
|Interesting T Shirt !|
totally mystifying us !
|Dirt section through the forest|
There were several dirt stages during the day that were off to the side of the main road, however we elected to miss them purely to reduce the risk of further damage to our rear springs before we reached the rest day in Novosibirsk, when we hoped to get some new and stronger springs made up. This cost us a lot of time penalties, but, like many others, we were in conservation mode, with the primary aim of reaching Paris now more important than position. After all, we had only done 4700 kms so far - There were still almost 10,000 kms to go !!
|Chatting up the girls at the lunch stop|
|Ashton signing autographs|
|Steve chatting the girls up|
|Janel tries to find her way to her car|
some of the others, we got ready and were soon on our way. It was again a mixture of road surfaces as we headed to Novokuznetsk, but once we are arrived in town, and negotiated our way through the traffic and trams, nothing could have
|Novokuznetsk finish line|
|Crowds in the car park|
|Ashton getting his dinner|
The dinner buffet was excellent, and we even had musical entertainment during the meal, but it wasn't long before we were off to bed to get some well earned sleep. 12 days in to the rally, so only a 3rd of the way, but already there were a lot of weary people as well as weary cars. That is why they call this event an Endurance Rally !
|Rally office in the hotel lobby|
|Getting ready to leave in the morning|
|Policeman lets us out in the morning|
|Novosibirsk car park|
Day 14. Novosibirsk Rest Day. 0 kms !
|Gidget on the hoist|
|Straightening out the skid plate|
While the undertray was off, Ashton checked everything else under there, and found that one of the two bolts which hold the gearbox retaining strap in place had fallen out. A search was made to find a bolt with the same thread, to no avail, so the holes in the gearbox were retapped to suit a slightly larger thread, and new bolts installed.
|Working on the springs|
|New springs in progress|
|One eye in place|
|We have matching headlights again|
|Heading out for dinner in Novosibirsk|
As for the springs ? Gidget was now sitting a good inch or more higher at the back than she ever had been previously, and all the rubbing of the tyres inside the guards every time we went over the smallest bump, was gone. So it was looking very promising, as long as the join in the springs done by the mechanics stayed
|She lives to fight another day !|
And guess what we found when we got back to the hotel ? A certain Aqua Romeo, dried out, with new oils and all vital fluids, ship shape (sorry Matteo !) and ready to go ! An amazing recovery, and she kept running all the way to Paris !
Rest of the photos for Russia 1 can be found here :- https://photos.app.goo.gl/5Jxpvon3fDQnJkHSA