Friday, July 2, 2010

End of this Blog ... and plans for the Next

Thank you all for following our blog ... it was a very exciting trip for us ... and if you managed to enjoy any of the excitement ... then maintaining the blog will also have been worthwhile.

Peter 'n Karen
aka BlackHumour

The Next Blog:

Now that I have become a seasoned blogger (!), I have been granted the opportunity to ghost-write the blog for the adventure of our friends, Clive and Ces.   They are competing in the Peking to Paris Rally (known as P2P to insiders, hence our imitation A2A) through September and October of this year.

Because the trip is very arduous and the internet connectivity very dubious, Clive will leave daily commentaries on my voicemail, and do his best to email/mms/whatever some photos and footage.   Then while Clive and Ces are enduring heat, hardship, lack of sleep, discomfort, I will be doing my part ... dedicatedly updating the blog, while sipping a glass of wine in the comfort of my own balcony.

The itinerary for the P2P makes our trip seem like a Sunday afternoon spin. 

They will be in this 1938 Chevy ... bought and brought from RSA .... and then prepped, and prepped, and prepped ...

Note to Self:  Must the people we hang out with ... because our landlord while we lived in Chicago ... had also competed in the P2P ... in a Citroen 2CV!!!

Anyhow Clive's blog is at   Right now, it only has his previous rallies (beginner stuff like Tunisia to Egypt, and London to Morocco) mostly using a Lotus Cortina.   Oh yeah, he has a twin to our Lotus Elise, identical in yellow ... well, it was until he started tweaking it.

Our Next Blog

The next blog of a serious BlackHumour adventure will probably be of the TranSiberian Railway.   Karen has been planning this for quite some time ... and in 2011, she is scheduled to realise her long-held dream for the two of us to sit on a train all the way from St Petersburg to Beijing ... more of that in due course.

Day 21 - Cross back over the Alps to Home

Another long day in the saddle .... starting with 300 kms on those autobahns ... at our self-limited 160 kph ... hoping that we would meet traffic jams like we could see in the other lane ... it took us 10 minutes at 160 kph to pass the tailback ...

Eventually, we crossed through a little corner of Austria (only about 10 kms) and then into Switzerland, heading for Chur (which is the area where some folk still speak Romansch, the 4th official language in Switzerland).  Just after Chur, we turned South so that we could cross the Alps via the Spl├╝genpass and the Madessimo pass. 

This looks like what we're used to ...

And this is what it's like getting up there ...

This took us into Italy, through the high altitude village of Monte Spluga (1955m and one of my favourites) ...

 A view from my favourite cafe in Monte Spluga (and it has a spectacular cellar next door ... really amazing for a village that's only accessible for 3-4 months of the year) ...

From there, we took the nerve-wracking downhill section ... see the hairpin turns above and below ...

... to Lake Como, along its Western Shore ...

... then over a small hill to Lake Lugano ... and home.

After a quick shower ... the obligatory bottle of bubbles ... courtesy of Andrew and Pam ... complete with home made ribbon ...

and of course, a sunset, something that doesn't really exist up where we'd been in late June ...

Tips for Elise Travel # 4

Baby Wipes :

Actually, this tip must be attributed to my good friend and fellow Elise Co driver, Cecilia. Ces provided me with this tip before we embarked on the 2008 Roma-Italia Ralley, which Clive and Ces won in their Larry Lotus!! And we came 8th out of 40 something cars. Anyway, again, I digress…..

Baby wipes are very useful and can be stored neatly in the glove tray under the dashboard. The many uses include:

1. Wiping up after a spillage or leakage, ie coffee or leaky strawberry punnet

2. On very wet days, as we had when driving from Lofoten Island to Tromoso, wiping up the door sills due to rain leakage. Elie does leak quite a bit in heavy downpours. And once the door is opened, water will come in.

3. On very hot days, such as our last 2 days from Stockholm to Nueremburg, and Nueremburg to Lugano, wiping your hands after applying copious amounts of sunscreen. Also they can be quite cooling when applied to the face, neck, chest etc on these hot days.

4. Generally keeping the door sills and dashboard clean and shiny…….just like the driver & codriver!!

End of Tips for Elise Travel #4 and final tip.

And we have a properly animated itinerary from again ... since I've created it on the home computer, the earlier difficulty must relate to a revised setting on the travelling netbook.   Must try to create a single trip display for the full 9,000 kms!!

The final tally:

For those of you who must have the statistics, here's the total mileage ...

I'll post one more blog later this evening, which will talk about the likely next blogs, and when they might be ... but that's all for this particular post.

Final Day - Alps to Arctic

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