Stephen and I decided to retrace some of the tracks we covered on the 2013 P to P rally, but this time the route takes us to the northern regions of Russia and to St Petersburg and into Estonia, then through Poland and ending up back in Paris France.
Denise had a very hard though interesting drive in India and Nepal. Covering just 4447kms it’s the hardest rally that we’ve undertaken. Both on the car and on our bodies.
Denise is back in the workshop in Mt Maunganui undergoing a complete running gear surveillance. Under Stephens strict supervision all the parts that can be inspected will be either replaced or upgraded. The motor is out, the steering box and differential are at the “doctors”.
Everything will be inspected for wear and tear and if necessary crack tested and realigned and refitted.
Stephen has this very strong aversion to having to repair anything at anytime during these trips into the northern wilderness.
Spares are (with previous experiences) now at a minimum. Likely to be less than half the weight carried with the 2013 P to P rally.
This is important from a power to weight factor and fuel consumption.
We will fit new 9 ply tyres as these were worn out on the short Himilayan Challenge. (These tires endured the entire 2013, 12000kms P to P) Bearings, brakes, springs and shocks are all in the firing line for a tune-up.
The car will need to be ready for shipping around end of March so the pressure is on to have Denise ready before that time.
This rally is one for thirty five days and has 120 team cars.
Pioneer and vintage cars up to year 1931, Vintageant cars 1932-1947.
Classic cars1947-1975 up to 2 litres, our class, and classic cars of the same era over 2 litres.
Quite a line up and many that have previously rallied Peking to Paris.
Some really great people that will be good to catch up with once more.
This rally begins in Beijing, CHINA on the 2nd of June.
Heading north to MONGOLIA where we will camp out for 4 nights. Then into RUSSIA camping 2 more nights. 5 nights in Russia and 4nights in KAZAKHSTAN.
Then back into Russia for another 8 days.
1 day in FINLAND, ESTONIA, LATVIA the 3 days in POLAND.
Then end is then in sight as we travel through GERMANY, BELGIUM and then into Paris FRANCE to the finish.
The total distance is not yet confirmed but will be in the order of 13,000km.
Because of our previous experience rallying this region of the world we know that the days will be long and hard over rough country terrain without roads, especially through the Gobi desert in Mongolia.
That’s the fun and interesting part as it’s rough, barren and hot. Cold, freezing nights sleeping on the desert floor.
The most important factors that we have always adhered to is car dependability.
We know that there is nothing worse than to repair a problem at the roadside in the dark, cold or whilst it’s raining. Nor at any other time.
There will be the necessary maintenance of wheel bearings, shocks, rubbers etc.
We found in the past that it’s not just speed, as we haven’t got all that much, but steady as she goes.
Stephen has gone to incredible lengths to ensure reliability. He checks, checks and double checks everything!
We will carry sufficient replacement parts/spares that we have found are unavailable in these countries.
Planning the visas, foreign drivers licences, insurance and shipping is all underway.
We will undergo medical checkups and have booster injections against the various diseases and infections. Flights to and from the start and home again are being planned after the visas are obtained.
Lots to do still.
A test run in NZ will also be undertaken, just in case………?
As in the past we will keep this, graveltravel.nz up and report on progress as it happens between now and the start date. Then there will be a full daily update of our progress during the rally.
Thanks to all of you who have followed our exploits and sent words of encouragement. We can’t always respond so a thank you now we hope will suffice.