Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Monday 27th - "Welcome to Asia"

1000hrs. We make our way to the car and prepare to hit the road.  The hotel receptionist says he's counted 67 people taking pictures since 7am, not bad at all.

Just as I prepare to climb back in the saddle, a sixty something American guy wonders over. "Are you guys really going to Vietnam?"   I explain that its a charity drive, and that yes we really do hope to make it that far.  He laughs and says "I've been there before, keep your windows up and don't stop for sh*t, you should be OK!"   A classic line from a Vietnam Veteran.

Istanbul traffic rears its ugly head yet again, it takes us over an hour to cross the bridge into Asia. But the fact we've actually made it to Asia proper makes up for everything. We pull up to the toll booths at the bridge, everyone else flashes a red colored plastic card at the machine. A card we don't have..

With a queue of cars behind us, I couldnt back out, so I accelerate through the red light and out onto the highway.  We repeat this episode twice more on the same day, so I may have a stack of traffic fines waiting for me at the exit border on Wednesday...

Meanwhile the pinking from the engine is definitely getting worse... Its a bad thing, so I pull over and retard the ignition some more. Its absolutely scorching outside, but the twin electric fans over the external oil cooler seem to be doing a great job of keeping the engine cool. After several more distributor adjustments that day I find the optimum position, and its running great again - No significant increase in running temperature either.

Roads are mountainous with some severe and very long inclines in 95+ degree heat.  Not much fun, especially for the poor old motor, but it seems to be coping OK.  

After another long day, 9 hours driving, we arrive at a motel somewhere in the middle of northern central Turkey.  The staff are fascinated by the car. Although they have no liquor licence, the manager procures us some cold beers but we have strict instructions to keep them hidden from view at all times.  This wasnt to be a problem, by the time he'd told us, the cans were already half empty..!

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