I had forgotten to tell that we have a great and alert guardian angel, yesterday we drove behind Arthur and Niels and they announced that we should stop along side of the road as one of their warning light for the engine lit up on their dashboard. So we did what was asked. There finally was nothing wrong with their car. In the time we stopped Pieter also checked around our car and was left dumbfounded that he found a big pool of oil underneath our car. What was the problem? Well, it seemed that the oil return circuit to the gear box was torn and there was no drop of oil left in the engine. So if we had driven 5 more kilometers the whole engine would have been ruined and our trip would have ended right then and there. The funny thing was that we never had any warning sign or light go on in our car, but that it came on in our colleagues team car……………….. How is this possible???? All I know is that we were extremely lucky. Pieter fixed the problem in no time, (see day 13 in Photo album). This is where also a lot of problems are beginning to show with all the other cars.

It had become another late night, it helps that we don’t have much physical strain through the day time because our nights have been much too short. Tomorrow will be a long day to Omsk, 1018 kilometers. The last day that Maria will join us on our journey. I will miss her, she is a lovely girl and great company for girl talk. Blog Image

Today was a rest day in Omsk, this is the city here Maria was born and grew up in. There has been a lot of fixing on the cars, replacing V-belts, changing tires, tightening up screws here and there, replacing tubes and I could keep going. It was a busy day, so not exactly a day of rest. Pieter went to search for a car wash, because after plowing through the mud for a few days it was time for a rigorous cleaning. When he arrived at the carwash the manager came running out of her office. Njet Njet Njet (No no no) she said, we are not going to wash this car. Yes Yes Yes Pieter said, I will pay double and finally they agreed to a price and the car was steamcleaned from top to bottom, all around and was washed and polished by three girls for 15 Euros. He must have left about 20 Kg of mud behind at the carwash.Blog Image

Today also the technical and the medical team joint our group again, and everyone was so happy we were all together again. (Remember that the technical team got stranded with car problems just outside St. Petersburg and had to wait for parts to fly in and the medical team returned to them to accompany them to Omsk). They drove 3400 km that’s pretty amazing over those bad roads. Tonight we went to drive Go-Carts at some friends of Maria. Her parents had arranged it all. The Go-Cart Track was opened one day before and they wanted us all to be there. They invited the media to interview us. The owner of the track was Russian champion in the Lada racing class., but he did not race anymore because he had broken his back in an accident. It was a lot of fun and the men raced their hearts out. Omsk is a large industrial city and as I told you before the road to get has been very long, but the landscape makes it all worth it.

Greetings and until tomorrow!