We have just started to get the website going, so not sure what is quite happening as everything is getting so real.
We have also got the charities page working! (sooo happy, took way to long!!) so if you would like to donate some money to our charity that would be a great help, thank you.
The Tumbling Dice
Posted by Ed at 12th August 2010 at 13:14
Just a quick update that samarkand in uzbekistan is awesome. the registan which is the main sight to see is incredible. its a huge mosque/madrassa (school/university) built in the 15th century. we went up one of the minarets and got an amazing view of the city. heading to kyrgyzstan tomorrow if we can make it. made need another 20 litres of fuel which could be interesting as there is a petrol shortage here and we have to buy it off the black market as all the petrol stations are closed. still incredibly hot but were surviving.
Tumbling Dice x
Posted by Ed at 2nd August 2010 at 09:16
Massive Update... sorry
Posted by Hugo at 11th August 2010 at 14:52
Ok... so here we go
Well we last left you in russia in st petersburg.. well that ended in tears. after all that effort getting there we could not see the winter palace and the Hermitage... because it was closed on Mondays, so that was the worst detour ever. so with that we left and headed to Moscow, with a book which teaches you Russian (well the alphabet is what we want) and we did about 450k, and then fell asleep in a petrol station. we woke up and got to the outskirts of moscow.. and after sitting in traffic for an hour and moved 1mile... we were like stuff this we are going to volgograd!! We then got lost.... very badly lost... for pretty much the ehole day. we drove 400 miles and actually move forward about 200km... which was a realisation that Russia is MASSIVE!! we cant comprehend how weird it is driving round and round, having no idea where we are, and just seeing for miles. very weird. eventually we ended up back where we were 3 hours previously and just said the name, Tambov, for where we were going. luckily a man heard us and he said follow me. he drove us to the right road and we made it to volgograd with no further problems.
however in volgograd we drove for 2 hours out of the city in the wrong direction. we wanted to go south and we were driving north west. not good. eventually we found the right road, and headed for Astrakhan when in the morning we met up with 4 other teams. so we were in convoy with them when we got to the border but had to wait for 2 hours til we could cross. then when trying to get over the second half of the border into uzbekistan the border guard went for supper and we were left there for half an hour doing nothing.. great fun in 45 degrees heat. we then camped next to a train track and had a party, for getting through and for meeting up with everyone else and it was one of the other ralliers birthday. the next day Hugo was very very Hungover.. not for drinking the most but for being the most pathetic.. That was the day we had our first offical break down. Our exhaust had broken slighty the night before so we got a unhealthy sound, like a harley davidson. however after about 100 mile the muffler was hanging down grinding on the road, so we had to take it off and go to a garage to get it fixed.
We reached Atyrau, just north of the caspian sea with the broken exhaust. Luckily for us we were not the only one who need the mechanic. In fact all the cars need a mechanic from fixing a tyre to reattaching shock obsorbers to figuring out why the engine had no power. after a couple of hours all the cars bar one were good and running. That night we went to a hotel and had a shower, first in 5 days. we wenty out to dinner and slightly cheated and went to TGI Fridays (inside joke) the bill ended up to 38,750 K which is about 250$ for 10 people.. not bad.
Next day, the convoy of 5 split up into 3 and 2. we were with a crazy welshman called gareth humphries (very welsh) and an american, Dan (a true yank). they were the ones with the problem with their shock obsorbers. they have a suzuki jimny which is crap. its broken down 7 times. each time is a proper break down. they make our problems look pathetic.
just before the uzbek border, we met up with 4 lads from st andrews whom george bb is good friends with and they joined our convoy. that night we camped in the middle of the desert. literally in the middle of nowhere. ed tried to sleep on top of the car but nearly fell off 3 times so decided the tent was a better idea. with them, we headed to uzbekistan and this border is in the middle of the desert. it took 4 hours to cross the border after going through several shacks (which were the border offices). this is where the road ran out and we were driving on dirt tracks. we exchanged 50 bucks into 105,000 Uzbek sums. crazy exchange rate. but it made us feel rich having a huge wad of cash.
from the border we headed for nukus and found somewhere to sleep as we all badly needed a shower because we were all covered in sand. we had a few beers with gareth, dan and the st andrews boys (fred, fred, giles and digby). we lost the st andrews boys in nukus, when trying to find a garage for dan and gareth as they broke down again. this time it was only a flat tyre. that night we found a really cool little restaurant on the side of the road in the desert. for four meals, 8 beers and 2 bottles of vodka, it was only 20 bucks and a free bed. next day, at about 6.30 am, we headed to bhukara which is awesome. full of history and really beautiful. we bumped into loads of mongol teams there. but the problem with uzbekistan at the moment is there is a petrol shortage. it took us 6 hours in bhukara to find petrol. and once found, it was expensive and not good quality. but it was petrol. knackered after those problems, we had a few beers by a large fountain/pond, which ed swam across!! not exactly the cleanest water, which was highlighted by the stench afterwards.
we are now in samaqand which is also awesome, staying in a nice hotel and recuperating before our next leg.
Tumbling Dice x