How are Team My Left Tyre Doing?
Team my Left Tyre I am glad to say are doing very well. We have covered more than half our trip, which is roughly 16,000 kilometres in total. Currently we are in Uzbekistan, which is our 13th country so far
How is Barbara doing?
Barbara (the car), even though she is an old girl is making good ground. We have one issue we cannot seem to resolve since France and that is we are losing some engine power randomly. This is an issue on the hilly sections of the trip and it’s a low gear, slow progress situation. We have tried two separate garages and also some tinkering on our own part to resolve it but to no avail. However as I write this it is becoming less and less frequent so hopefully she is somehow mending herself, we can only hope!
We also broke the exhaust in Romania but soon got that mended easily. Apart from that it over heated just a little three times in the high heat, high rev places we traveled, but simply switching on the heaters resolved that problem, it made for an uncomfortable cabin but we are prepared to take one for the team and help Barbara along.
Tell us about the trip so far.
The trip as you may know started in Ireland. We first visited our sponsors MicksGarage
then returned home & fitted all the parts they gave us. We did a little tour of Ireland and managed to see the Ring of Kerry. We then visited our other sponsors TC Tyres
and Templemore motorworks. From here we completed the first of only two sea crossings of the trip.
We got off the ferry in North Wales then headed to the Launch party in the south of England at the Goodwood race track where we met several other teams with the same objective as us, Raise money for much needed charities and have a once in a lifetime adventure. At the launch we did a flying lap of the Goodwood racetrack then headed towards our second sea crossing that is the Eurotunnel to France. From here we got to a checkpoint in Brussels.
Then we went to the Austrian team member’s hometown for a quick get-together and fundraiser. Onwards through Hungary, we drove the stunning Transfargarasan Highway, unfortunately breaking our exhaust descending the mountain range.
Finally reaching another checkpoint at a Romanian coastal town where we caught up with some teams. After repairing the exhaust, we then made progress through Bulgaria stopping for a night on a beautiful Sunny beach.
The following day we head into Istanbul in Turkey to explore the fantastic historic city Istanbul has to offer. Sightseeing Mosques, Bazzars, Turkish Baths and sampling some Turkish cuisine.
From Istanbul we progressed along Turkey’s coast then through one of its Mountain ranges and entered into Iran.
We spent 7 day’s crossing through Iran soaking up such a different culture they have to the western world. We spent some time in the cities, Mountains and coast. Iran will always hold a spot in our hearts as to how welcoming the people were. Everywhere we went we were greeted with smiles and waves, invited into many peoples homes for food and tea and showed around cities all out of the goodness of there hearts and to show us the wonderful country they are so proud of.
We then entered into Turkmenistan which is known to be the north Korea of central Asia. Ashgabat city is so stunning it almost doesn’t feel real. With every building created in stunning marble architecture and massive monuments at every roundabout one would be lead to believe that this whole country must be very rich. However when we left the city the next day we soon ran into very poor roads and no more extravagant architecture. We travelled up the rough roads and then entered the Karakum Desert to access the Gates of hell (A gas crater set on fire 1971 that has been burning since) However after getting Stuck several times in the soft sand we decided to walk the last 2 kilometers to the stunning crater.
Next we had to cross the Uzbekistan boarder where we convoyed to Khivas city with a Polish team in a mini . The roads were desperate but new shocks from MicksGarage were taking the punishment with no problems! However the polish team weren’t so fortunate as one of there shocks decided to travel up through the body of the car (the rust didn’t help the situation)..And so from here we continue our Journey.
What are the difficult parts of the trip so far?
For sure it’s no holiday and with parts practically untraveled by tourists the language barrier is difficult ´for sure, but we are good at charades and hand gestures seem to be new way of communication.
Borders are no easy task with lack again of English and lots of forms to fill out in order to enter with a car . Lots of searches through our belongings and passport checks.
The terrain is getting pretty difficult, not only is it difficult to navigate through the abundant potholes(sometimes craters) but it greatly slows down our progress. One day spent in the desert and we got stuck about 5 times. But we know this is only the start of it really and will only get worse from here on.
As a team we decided to go without GPS. We have paper maps and maps downloaded on the phone, so this normally leaves the driver up front and navigator as passenger. Its relatively easy to navigate on country roads but cities can get pretty intense and we have gotten lost many times but locals are always happy to point us in the right direction , sometimes even escort us. As the journey progresses we seem to be getting better navigational skills , sometimes even now using the suns position to give a idea what direction we are heading.
None at all! We are all very positive and all firmly believe that this little Toyota will make it to the finish line. Team moral is positive and although it no easy task we are enjoying it.
Who knows? You will have to wait and see. You can follow our progress on facebook and our website Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mylefttyre?ref=hl Website http://www.mylefttyre.org/en
Any Final words for your mid way blog?
Yes we do. If you have read this far you will probably realise that this is a challenge and not a holiday. This is a journey suited for a big 4x4! We are in a deliberately inappropriate vehicle for the journey and that is to raise money for our chosen charities. If you would like to donate please follow the links.
To donate to Irish Autism Action follow http://www.mycharity.ie/event/my_left_tyre/
To donate to Salzburg Children’s care Follow http://www.kinderkrebshilfe.com/
To our sponsors Without you we wouldn’t have made it outside of Ireland let alone this far! Our sincere gratitude goes out to you all
TC Tyres http://tctyres.com/
Excel Technical Consulting http://www.exceltechnicalconsulting.com/
Twister Film Production