Sunday, 3 March 2013

Splinter Group Rejoins Rally Group

Hire car eventually sorted and in Cusco, we were off to join the rest of the rally group in The Sacred Valley Wow...
Hotel Tampa del Inka located on the Urubamba River was to be our home for 2 nights.
Quite a pleasant Resort it turned out to be but not a notch on the beautiful Hotel El Monasterio in Cusco.

First car to arrive (or first car that we saw) was the Porsche of Stephen and Haydn.
Not long after in rolled Martin Egli with Thomas at the wheel in the Lagonda M45 looking a tad dusty..

Contrary to popular belief - Martin Egli and his Lagonda DID finish Philips Young's (ERA) Peking to Paris 2010 Rally.
He did NOT Retire in Italy as previously reported by Chucklet from the caddy coupe.

In fact after the Finish in Paris, this Beautiful Lagonda M45 was driven back to the UK by Jack Amies.

Very 'Norty' boy Chuck from car # for this very misleading information!!
I will be having words with Gernold at some stage for apparently providing this information lol - Beaulieu 2014 maybe ha

Anyway the 'Splinter Group' were warmly greeted by the rest of the Rally Crews.
Nice to be back in the fold!

Roger Goodwin soon made himself useful ferrying crews and their broken parts downtown in search of welding and fabrication shops.

Lots of the crews along with their mean machines were looking pretty rough and worn out.

Obviously Traumatised by the previous few days. We listened intently to their horror stories and it was clear to see that many would be scarred by their experiences. Poor things looked haggard and totally washed out.
Some were putting on a brave face (as you do) but ...

Not sure if they still had 'You Guys are going to have such a fabulous time, fantastic roads, best hotels and a few off road tests' ringing in their ears as we do.

It will be a long time before we will be laughing over supper with friends over this one... Methinks

Hopefully the planned trip to Machu Picchu tomorrow would lighten the mood!!

The Rally very kindly had organised a full Rally day out at this Inca Empire. We were very exited as i had received an email to say that we would be travelling on The Orient Express. Wrong lol
We did wonder and thought it might have been a treat but THE Orient Express it was not. It was a train actually 'managed' by The Orient Express.
Anyway very comfortable it turned out to be with onboard entertainment and fashion show..

We were all told to congregate outside Tamba del Inca at 6.15am prompt.

Slight problem tho as it transpired that the tickets organised by the rally team were to catch the first train up and the last train down.!! Which meant arriving back to the hotel approx 10pm. Ummm

A very experienced tour guide had already told us that 4 hours would be ample to trek around the Inca Empire unless you were planning on crashing out on the grass or maybe watch the sunset.

Oops with so much work to do on the wounded cars, this obviously wasn't the best plan in the world and didn't suit all crews. There was an immediate panic and frenzied queues started to form at Reception. Lists were made and passport numbers taken. Most crews were trying to get back on an earlier train.
The Rally tickets couldn't be changed so we were told that we had to purchase new ones at a cost of $70 per head! The hotel were doing their best to help but couldn't confirm new times until morn.

I overheard one crew member say 'why bother going up to Machu Picchu to see these ancient ruins - we only have to glance around at the rally crews' !!

We nominated Roger, our tour guide for the rest of the trip to fight our corner in these frenzied queues as we slurped the local refreshments - namely Pisco Sours...

Please see pic below of the lovely Maria, now also in the 'Splinter Group' with top rally mechanic Tobias.
'Come take a ride with me' said he, -broken steering wheel in hand. Lol

We have since learned that 2 Pisco sours can in some cases render you totally incoherent and with a touch of amnesia. I hear that one organiser managed 5 before supper. Ooops more amendments coming our way.

Roger and David had planned to help with the 'poorly cars' after the trip, but more importantly we were still trying get our cars out of Bolivia so our shippers had organised for a lawyer to meet us at our hotel at at 6pm prompt so it was imperative that we return on an earlier train or we or rather David would have to forfeit our trip to this World Heritage Site.

Machu Picchu for me along with Rio was the reason i was on this trip in the first place so i was not intending missing out!
Ooh and of course Patagonia!!
The Salt Flats i could take or leave lol
I could have taken a 'rain check' lol on Bolivia too (with hindsight course)

6.15am prompt, the majority of the Rally laden down with packamacs, fleeces, umbrellas, sun hats, anti this, that and the other sprays and of course Passports gathered outside Tamba del Inka in great anticipation. Nearly an hour later we were escorted down to PeruRail to board.

Dedicated team Chuck and Lloyd in the caddy just had too much work to do on their caddy coupe so alas they had to stay behind to sort out their problems. They are going for gold so lets hope it pays off in the end.

Thanks to Top Crew members Martin E. and Roger G. we ended up with 2 tickets each for the 1.37pm train back so all was in order, we could relax and enjoy the day.
2 hours and 849 pictures later we were back on PeruRail and chugging our way back to Hotel del Inka along with half the Rally.

Once back at the hotel David and Roger were 'spannering' in the car park covered in grease and happy as 'sand boys' along with 2 or 3 rally mechanics who had been left behind to patch up and breath new life into these 'poorly' old bangers in the car park.

6pm was fast approaching for us and Mr Shooter took up his position on our behalf in Hotel reception eagerly awaiting the arrival of our Peruvian Lawyer.
Please see picture below lol several joined him for company...

Of course 6pm came and went at approx 8pm and after several phone calls and texts finally gave up the wait and retired to the bar for supper and an early night.
The Shooters (Barbara and Adrian) like us have completed many Rallies with their wonderful Model A but this one has defeated us.. Not quite the Rally we were promised lol. I still have the Original Brochure advertising this event and something has gone wrong someone - maybe a typist error??

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