Spent a couple days in Istanbul with Team Slow and Mild Tempered and Team Breast Brigade. Had a good time sightseeing the grand bazaar and a few mosques. Got a sump guard fitted and our hood lifted for more airflow. On our way to Lake Tuz and then to Cappadocia.
Yesterday we left Ruse, Bulgaria and went to Buzludzha. At the monument there were miles of traffic because unbeknownst to us there was a Bulgarian Socilaist party rally at the Headquarters. We parked the car and walked a couple miles then up the hill and took some videos and photos. There were thousands of people from an older generation of who we think are former communists. So essentially, we accidentally went to a communist rally at a former communist headquarters. From there we drove to the Turkish border and made it through without a problem. We continued on to Istanbul and are back with Team Slow and Mild Tempered.
Managed to get the exhaust header bolted back to the engine so now our engine isn’t deafening. Made it across the border to Ruse, Bulgaria. As soon as we crossed it started down pouring. We tried to drive a bit but some water got somewhere and our engine got bogged down for awhile. We waited for the rain to pass, checked the air intake filter, and some other odds and ends and eventually the car worked again. While we were parked at a gas station a Bulgarian man asked us to move the car so we said okay then he proceeded to slap me across the shoulder and told us to move in a harsher tone. We moved. Decided to call it a short day and got a room for the night here in Ruse. Out having dinner now. Tomorrow we will go to Buzludzha then try and push to Istanbul... maybe.
Jeremy Clarkson liked my tweet!
Our mighty little Reliant made it up (and down) the Transfagarasan Highway yesterday! What a ride that was. The views were spectacular. Toward the end of the highway we ate some dinner after our passenger window fell out of its guide. We had to take off the door panel and super glue the window to the gasket and the gasket to the guide. It works for now. We got a room at a small hotel in Pitesti, Romania.
Today, we plan on heading to the Buzludzha monument in Bulgaria. Around an hour ago our exhaust sounded very loud. (Our engine is mounted next to our legs.) We removed the access panel and found that our exhaust header has lost one of its two bolts that keeps it secure against the engine. We found a mechanic but he said he could not fix it so we are still heading for the Bulgarian border with what sounds to be a lawnmower under our bonnet. We will try and get the bolt replaced around the border.
Yesterday, we drove from our campsite in Kiskunmajsa, Hungary to the Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, Romania. We finally got off the highway and it felt great to do so. We strapped our old engine to our roof. We are constantly checking oil and water levels to try and avoid another catastrophic engine failure. Today, we head to the illustrious Transfagarasan Highway.
The three-wheeled demon is back and better than ever! (Hopefully). Today we finally made it out of the Czech Republic! We passed through Slovakia briefly then made our way into Hungary. We are currently situated at a campsite in the town of Kiskunmajsa; around 100km from the Romanian border.
Our last week or so had us wandering around Jihlava, Czech Rep. with another team who was having engine problems, Team Slow and Mild Tempered. They are on their way toward Romania as well but quite slow because they over heat over 70kmph. If anyone has any idea why that might be message me or them on Instagram or Facebook. They have no leaks anywhere, apparently their water pump works, and they have water in the radiator.
For now, we will sleep for the evening then tomorrow make our way toward the Transfagarasan. We are hoping our new engine will get us up these mountains because they are quite small compared to the Pamirs...
We hope everyone is doing well. Drive safe.
Found Team Slow and Mild Tempered also broken down in Jihlava. Grabbing a few pints with them and trying to figure out which team has had the worst luck so far. Jealous of everyone who made it to the beach party. Looking forward to being on the road next week.
There are worse places to be stranded. Jihlava, Czechia is a nice little town with also little to do. The beer is cheap and the workers at our hotel are friendly. We have gotten our three wheeled machine (name still to be determined, suggestions welcome) to a mechanic where she awaits a new engine. The engine should be arriving Friday from the UK.
Hopefully we are back on the road this weekend. To everyone else, drive safe, slow, and again, buy a fire extinguisher.
How’s that quote go? “The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory”?
We made it around 185 km before a loud noise erupted from under the hood and then smoke started pouring into our car.
With a quick reaction we pulled onto the shoulder, grabbed our fire extinguisher*, opened the hood and proceeded to extinguish the flames that were licking the windshield.
Upon inspection, once everything cooled down, we noticed a hole about the size of the palm of my hand in the side of the engine casing.
After a couple hours waiting for a tow truck we loaded our 3-wheeled beauty on to the truck to only be dropped off at a petrol station because the driver (who only spoke Czech) thought we just needed gasoline.
Now we are in a town called Jihlava, Czechia for the next couple nights while we have a new engine shipped to us from the UK.
At this rate we will only need 9 more new engines.
Shout our to the couple of teams who stopped and offered beer and moral support. And to the teams who honked and laughed just remember us today when we honk and laugh at you somewhere in Turkmenistan while joyfully continuing on. Jokes.
*I highly recommend having a fire extinguisher in the car. If we didn’t we would no longer have a car.