Team David Take On Europe For Charity

NoNeedForAChestWig

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I have a complaint! I have a complaint!

About half way through, when you pull into the driveway, approaching the camera, you didn't knock it over! WTF?! What kind of half-arsed TG knock off are you up to?!?

Also, that dazzle camouflage isn't going to help you win my challenge, I hope you realise that...

Oh, and by the way... good luck! :thumbsup:
 

Davetouch

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Haha yeah I wasn't so keen on driving over my camera. :p But you make Swissland seem so much more dangerous than I hope it is :lol: Cheers!
 

Davetouch

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Yeah we will do. We definitely don't want the car seized etc :) As long as we remember the speed limits are in KPH and not MPH :lol:

Anyway - we should be arriving down in Dover ready to leave the country in about 12 hours... :eek:
 

Davetouch

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So we've done it! Thank you to all that donated; it, suprisingly, couldn't have been possible without you :) If you still haven't yet, don't take this as an excuse not to; its amazing no matter how much we raise, target beaten or not. Currently at ?522.23. :D

Anyway, back to packing... :p

But first; have some thanks. UKSaabs being the other forum that donated en masse :)

 
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Matt2000

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You'll get a donation from me when I get my arse into gear. That's quite a striking look, but I love it. :D
 

Davetouch

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Cheers guys!

Quick update from me:

First day we chewed through a whole tank of fuel going from St Omer, to Paris (photos at the base of the Eiffel Tower was a challenge) and on to Luxembourg. Yesterday we went from Lux to Baden Baden before down to Zurich (swam in lake Zurich). Not been done for speeding yet :p

There are 20 cars doing it and it's immense fun. Challenges are varied - about 10 of them of various amounts of points each day :)

Anyway - got to get moving; on to Brescia today, via either Milan or the mountain roads...
 

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Well it was fine when we put the tent up and went for a dip, then the rain came while we were on our way back from town. Thankfully the tent does not leak.

As for now; a slightly longer update as now I have proper wi-fi and my laptop. Wonderful. Also in a hotel :lol:

I should point out also that the car is called Dave, as is our mascot colour-changing duck. This is what big Dave looks like; in full rally livery :p



(Spot little Dave :p)

Anyway; have some random photos...


Paris; literally we drove into Paris (getting lost along the way), paused for 5 mins once we found the Eiffel Tower, then promptly left for Luxembourg :p A long day that one (start point was St Omer).


In Luxembourg on the Adolphe Bridge. This photo was a challenge (not knowing where said bridge was didn't help until I spotted it on the bus station map after we arrived in Luxembourg.

Today's challenges included blag your way into the home of Inter and AC Milan. Successfully done.


As for the trip as a whole so far - very much excellent fun :p A lot has been learned; including how to drive in Paris, how to get lost, and why campsites are a bitch. Maybe I should start a series of books under those titles :lol:

The Saab is still running fine, and there is plenty left to report (including hopefully a full list of challenges set). However there are still 2 more days to go; tomorrow Spittal, then on to Bratislava. :)
 
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Davetouch

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So here's another update from my phone - free wifi and I can't be bothered to get the laptop out. Also I'll be home on Friday. Anyway...

WE MADE IT!! :D:D:D

From Brescia we went in convoy with another 2 cars (a multicoloured Mazda 323 and a White Sierra covered in writing) over the mountains (via Cortina - beautiful roads) on to Spittal. That day and yesterday we didn't bother with any of the challenges - we had great banter fun instead. From Spittal we simply blasted it down the motorway to Bratislava and found an amazing hotel for just 40? each. We walked in and thought 'we can't afford this' :lol:

It's astonishing how much better a motorway drive is in convoy, especially in cars you don't care about. :p We had a bit of bumper car games over the 2 days (not at speed though - just when pulling into places etc). The Mazda 'went for the gap that any normal person would know isn't wide enough' so now the Saab has a multicoloured scratch down the drivers side. It'll buff out. Also in the bumper cars I hit the back of the Sierra a bit too hard and cracked part of the front numberplate off with their tow bar. :p As I said - we had immense fun.

The days have been lon and full of nothing but driving - one team drove to Venice for a challenge but didn't even get out the car. Another got attacked and threatened in Luxembourg (noone was hurt don't worry), and the end of rally party was awesome too - the local beer there is 12% but tasted no different to normal stuff. We found amusement by moving rally cars to the other side of an empty carpark. Serves them right for having shot handbrakes :p Also The vast majority of the vinyl has been peeled off and was added to the Sierra's DIY decorations - a car that got through 5l of oil over the course of the trip :lol:

We're currently in a campsite in Passau and will blast our way through Germany tomorrow aiming for Belgium tomorrow night, then on to Dunkerque and home on Friday. I'll get back to you with a top speed for SS Saab. :)

Anyway - immense fun, great banter, tiring days and long driving all added to an amazing amount raised (also what all the other teams raised) made this trip so much more than worthwhile. Thanks to everyone who donated - we've now raised nearly ?600 :O :D And if anyone wants a slightly used Saab... Not once thrashed or taken up mountains... It'll be available after the Ringmeet and a good polish. :lol:
 

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I'm not sure whether you are aware of this, but the 12% refers to the "Gravity", not the alcohol content. A 12% beer will usually not have much more than 4% alcohol content. This nomenclature is really only used in the former Czechoslovakia and to a lesser extent in Germany.
 

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Sweeeeeet adventure!
 

Davetouch

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Right then; its time for a big dump (of photos, not of other matter). I'll give a day to day run over, but unfortunately I don't have a list of all the challenges set. I can remember some, but not all.
The layout of the challenges was a points system. 2 points for a challenge deemed easy enough for anyone to complete, 5 for one that required a bit more thought, 10 for one that was very difficult to complete and 25 for a single challenge each day that only a fool would complete. A total of 55 points each day up for grabs, with bonus available for sideways thinking. The team with the most points each day won ?100, the team with the most points at the end of the rally won an extra ?500. We won nothing :p

The format for the rally was fairly simple. Each day every team had to 'check in' at a set location in Luxembourg, Zurich, Brescia, Spittal and Bratislava between 8-10pm. There you would provide evidence for that day's challenges and were given the next day's challenges. It was up to you to find accommodation (although we were given a list of recommended places, but with no guarantee they would be booked or any good) and your own pathway through Europe. This provided occasional problems showing how the trip was badly organised, but I'll get onto that.

Day 1: St Omer to Luxembourg

Well, not quite. We started by leaving at midnight with the aim of catching the 4am ferry. Fortunately we arrived to Dover at 1:49am, and was shoved on the 2am ferry. An easy drive to the startline in St Omer arriving about 2 hours before we had to be there. We waited around but this was better than waiting in Dover.

23 cars turned up in all, with a bit of a range. There were 2 cars that fell into the 'Older than the oldest team member' category, and a few that didn't fall into that or the 'Less than ?250' one, for example a 2004 Clio... Ruins the fun a bit I would've thought. Most cars were decorated with a big range of styles :lol: Some photos from the start meet; at the town hall in St Omer.

The dark brown/black Rover 200 won best decorated, for your info.

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The challenges included;
2pts) Get a photo of your team with the mayor of St Omer.
2pts) Get a photo of a Frenchman looking suitably French.
2pts) Get a Luxembourg stamp in your passport.
5pts) George Remi was an artist; honour him with a quick visit.
5pts) Get a wide shot of your car on the Adolphe Bridge.
25pts) Get the most iconic shot of all; in front of the Eiffel Tower.

We essentially decided to go to Paris. We (not having internet) didn't know who George Remi was, nor where the Adolphe Bridge was. 17.80? of tolls to Paris, 21.40? out of Paris to Luxembourg. We spent an hour or two in traffic on the way into the city, getting lost before the other Dave recognised a square, and shot down a back street to find a hotel he had stayed at a couple of years before. Directions and a map from them and we were quickly on our way to the Eiffel Tower. Swung it round and parked it at the base, 30 seconds for photos and back in the car to get out of Paris. We passed the white Sierra on the way out, but saw no-one else that day.

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Our first fill up on the continent came on the motorways out of Paris; 167.9 pl totalling 93.25?. That hurt. :lol:

So arriving in Luxembourg we found a carpark and had a wander around. I spotted on the bus station maps the word 'Adolphe' and found that the Adolphe Bridge was in fact in Luxembourg. Back to fetch the car and a shot was grabbed.

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Finally we headed off to the listed recommended campsite after checking in, and ran into our first problem. It was full. We were pointed to one 20km away (at 10pm, which wasn't funny). After getting lost in that town we eventually found it and set up camp in the dark.

Day 2: Luxembourg to Zurich

Challenges were (these are online, so I have them all):
2pts) Euros are no good here, make sure you get a full set of coins of the Swiss Franc.
2pts) Find a WAG in Baden-Baden
2pts) Undertake a human rights protest at the courts in Strasbourg for a suitably worthy cause
2pts) Take a team swim in Lake Zurich to celebrate your arrival at this fair city.
2pts) Switzerland the land of many official languages, four to be precise. Translate "Bratislava or Bust is an adventure I won't forget in a hurry. However I have lost my way, can you point me in the direction of Bratislava please?" into the official languages (2 points for each translation).
5pts) Obtain a picture of your team with a German in full Lederhosen.
5pts) Find the home of German Horology.
10pts) 10 points to the team with the biggest bar of Swiss Chocolate.
25pts) Milk a cow just like a swiss milk maid.

Setting off we headed for Baden-Baden, but got no points for our wagging dog's tail, but the jusge was being a bit harsh with these points as most people (us included) didn't manage to prove it was taken in Baden-Baden. Whatever, we were beginning to realise that the points weren't really worth it. The Zurich campsite was located right on the shore of Lake Zurich, so most people got those points anyway. :lol:

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Another guy did it in a mankini and got 5 bonus points. After checking in and grabbing some McDonalds we headed back to the campsite, where we had left the roof off our tent and it had rained. Great. But oh well we had a good chat with some guys and some wi-fi so we had a bit more info to get on with the next day.

Day 3: Zurich to Brescia

The challenges for this day are online as well:
2pts) Get busking, generate a crowd and some applause - bonus points for cash collected and video evidence provided.
2pts) Find a left hand drive version of your vehicle.
2pts) Give a lift to a hitchiker and be sure to find out their back story on the way.
2pts) Make a fashion statement in Milan.
2ps) Take the most artistic shot of your car in the Alps.
5pts) Who is the king of the jungle rally? Find a lion in the lioness of Italy.
5pts) Blag your way pitchside at the home of Inter and AC Milan.
10pts) Search out and bring back a picture of the Black Madonna.
25pts) Reach the summit of Mount Pilatus using a vehicle other than your own.

The first task of the day was the Black Madonna. After using the wi-fi at the campsite we found that there is one on the other side of Lake Zurich; less than 20 minutes away. So we went there first and found it with a quick chat to a local (me knowing a bit of German helped a lot on this trip - but we were screwed in Italy). The church certainly didn't look like one, and seemed more like a hospital inside. We passed another team on the way back round the lake towards the motorway. We stopped off in Liechtenstein for a short bit and I sent a couple of postcards. :p

This was the day most teams went over the Davos Stelvio pass. Looking back, we should have done this as well, but instead we hit the motorways out of Switzerland and Autoroutes in Italy towards Milan. It was great to blag our way inside San Siro, but again it was a 30 second photo job. We made a 'fashion statement' in the carpark of San Siro, but got no points for turning our clothes inside out. Those of you who spotted it above; after getting this day's challenges we went back to the carpark in Zurich to drive back to the campsite and found that a left hand drive Saab 9-3 (yes ours was a 900 but I'd put a 9-3 grill on it and I doubt the judge would have known the difference anyway :p) parked right next to us. Again after the help of wi-fi we found that the Lioness of Italy is Brescia, but we didn't get anything for my attempt at pointing at a Peugeot parked nearby. So much for continuity.

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That evening was a bad time. We all had entry to a club for a halfway party, so we decided to go and find the club (so we knew where it was) then go to a campsite before heading to check in. First we went and got lost in Brescia, then we went to the town that was listed on the address (Lonato Del Gardo) of the club and got lost, before getting lost in the sticks around the area near Lake Garda. After finally finding the club (here is a map of its retarded location) we headed for one of the campsites on the list. After finally finding it we found it to be a very nice 4 star Camping resort, and very full. We are now something like 35 minutes drive away from Brescia. After getting pretty pissed off (especially since the people at this campsite didn't help us in any way) we decided just to go to check in and try and find something there. This is where stuff started getting better in both the day and the whole trip. We met up with the guys in the multicoloured Mazda 323, and stuck with them to go and find somewhere to stay together. This was definitely the most badly planned part of the trip.

With them and their satnav we went to the club with the aim of finding nearby places to stay. When we arrived at the club, the white Sierra did too, so they joined us and after at least an hour, and 4 hotels that didn't exist, we eventually found somewhere to stay in Desenzano, very near the shore of Lake Garda. One of the best nights sleep ever. :)

We just went out with those guys to have some Pizza and beer instead of trekking it to the club. Most other teams did the same.

Day 4: Brescia(ish) to Spittal

Now in convoy with the other 2 cars, who had met up over the Alps on Day 3, points were pointless. We did none of the challenges on either Day 4 or 5. Nevertheless I still have the challenge sheet from Day 4 so:

2pts) Take a nap in a bed shop.
2pts) Get a picture of the strangest road sign you can find.
2pts) Find and join a coach tour group. Bonus points for successfully leading the group to an interesting tourist location.
2pts) Visit the site of where light bulbs were first used in Slovenia.
2pts) Storm the ramparts of an Austrian Castle en-route to Spittal.
5pts) Find a red Ferrari and get a picture of members of the team in the car.
5pts) Get a photo of the oldest building you can find in Spittal with proof of age.
10pts) Re-enact a scene from Romeo and Juliet at Casa di Guiletta and gather an audience.
25pts) Blag a ride on a Gondola and sing at the top of your voice 'Just one Cornetto' on the riverways of Venice.

A few other teams hit the motorways to Venice, etc etc. We instead went over the mountains stopping for lunch at Cornetto d'Ampezzo. :) A very beautiful route with plenty of switchbacks. The other guys said it was a better drive (though the scenery wasn't as nice) than the Stelvio pass. However I still do regret not going to the Stelvio pass; but there's plenty of time in life for that. Maybe an FG meet in a year or two to Stelvio or Transwhatever pass? :lol: We did find that the brakes caught fire on the way down, but of course the others decided not to tell us :p

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This is also when all the damage to the Saab was done. We started a bit of bumper cars between us. We paused in some service station with the Saab and Sierra alongside each other and the Mazda behind. When it came to setting off the Mazda drove between us (the gap that any sane person would know doesn't exist) and crunched in the front wing of the Saab. I have to remove all the vinyl etc and have a good look at it but I think they took a bit of the lacquer off, which as proven by the bonnet isn't something I'm at all happy with. The bumpers can take it but the sides can't, and unlike them my plan included selling the car for a vast profit. :(

The listed campsite in Spittal was where we went, and there were a couple of other teams there too. We popped into town to check in and had some McDonalds followed by a game of hide and seek in an empty shopping mall. That was excellent fun :lol: I won by sort of getting lost myself.

After that we went back to the campsite, and played with another team that were renowned for not having much banter. We put a toad in their tent and removed one of their wheels. They'd already replaced the wheel by the time we got up. :lol: Twas a bit of fun after some beers.

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Day 5: Spittal to Bratislava

The challenges for those that are interested; we obviously ignored them again. :p

2pts) Tacky tourists! Find the most outrageous Kate and Wills souvenir.
2pts) Obtain a picture of the world famous Lipizzaner Stallion.
2pts) The hills are alive with the sound of music! Find a suitable Austrian hill and sing your favourite Julie Andrews inspired song.
2pts) Convince a fellow traveller in the rally to leave their car and join you for the day?s adventure.
2pts) Alex Salmond happens to be in Bratislava at the time of your visit ? go and meet him and get a picture of him and the view.
5pts) Go to the birth place of a prominent European leader.
5pts) Blag some apple strudels from its birthplace.
10pts) Inspector Cluseau needs you to locate and name the four famous bronze statues in Bratislava.
25pts) Keeping up foreign relations ? find an Austrian nun to join you in your singing of the Sound of Music.

Well this was the final day. About 300 miles we just blasted it on the motorways. Great fun driving in convoy - if you ever get the chance it is something to make a motorway trip much better.

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Even more enjoyable was the fact that the Sierra was dying. It was constantly followed by a cloud of blue smoke as it got through 5l of oil in 5 days. They intended to leave it in Bratislava so no worries there. But it left the front of the Saab splattered in oil just from following them. :lol:

This was also, in addition to some on day 4, when the Vinyl began to 'fall' off. Or rather someone started and it became addictive. :lol: So there is now a load of vinyl dotted on other cars, including the smiley face (that my mum made for us) on the rear wheel of the Sierra.

Once we arrived in Bratislava we found an underground carpark, walked outside and into the nearest hotel just to see how much they'd charge. 4 star for 80? a night for a double room. Not complaining. :lol: We hit the town for a few beers before going to the Botel end of rally party, which had the worst barman in the world. Very cheap beer, but they had no change available and they seemed to not want to serve anyone. We quickly left and found another bar with a few other teams An excellent night it must be said.

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After the rally

As the Sierra guys weren't staying in the same hotel as us we left them at the end of the night; they flew back in the morning after giving the Sierra to someone for free. :lol: The Mazda guys we left as we left the hotel as they were heading to Prague for a few days. We initially had the ferry home booked 7 days after the rally ended, but we decided to return asap instead. We stayed in Passau (German/Austrian border) on the first night, and Tournai (Belgian/French border) the second. On the Dunkirque for a 2pm ferry 3 days after we arrived in Bratislava.

Here are some pictures of the car on the way back after we'd finished. And a map showing the approximate route we took :p

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I've undoubtably forgotten stuff, but that's what I've written. I will be doing a video - thats another ?150 up for grabs (best rally video) - so that will probably remind me of many things. :)

Cheers if you read this; its taken me a whole evening to write up. And if you donated, thank you so much - as I write this we are at a staggering ?612.23; miles over our ?500 target.
 
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Matt2000

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Am I still able to donate? Will do it tonight if so. Sorry I still haven't got around to it. :blush:
 

Davetouch

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Yes the page is still open to donations - we won't shut that down any time soon. I still have to update it though to say we've done it. :p But any amount you can spare would be amazing still; there is no end to the amount you can raise for charity. Targets exist to be broken :)
 
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