Herald - Issue 398

Page 56 • The HERALD • 19th November 2020 v SEND YOUR LOCAL NEWS TO THE HERALD v VAUXTECH LOCAL GARAGE Tel: 023 8086 9496 Unit 5, New Forest Enterprise Centre, Totton, Southampton SO40 9LA LOCAL GARAGE EST 23 YEARS • Servicing & Repairs • MOT’s (arranged) • Brakes • Clutches • Tyres • Air Conditioning • Collection & Delivery Locally Friendly & Reliable Onsite Café Facilities All Makes & Models FAWLEY GARAGE SERVICE - PARTS - M.O.T.’S ALL MAKES OF VEHICLE SERVICED AND REPAIRED • D iagnostic F ault F inding • T yres - F itting & B alancing • L aser T racking FAWLEY 8089 1057 THE VILLAGE, CALSHOT ROAD, FAWLEY Peking to Paris Motor Challenge – Pt. 3 by Michael Eatough, Press Offer and Secretary, Austin A30 and A35 Club 16th June Its 8.52am and with the heavy Siberian rain lashing down we are o . Once out of Novosibirsk the roads descended into rough potholes with a poor surface, causing the car to kangaroo along. e schedule was tight and we only just made the rst control point. Eventually we arrived at a village to a welcoming party of people set up for the rst (and only) test of the day. e average of 80kph was unrealistic for us, only managing half of that speed at best. e car was sliding all over the place and now so plastered in thick mud which was impossible to see through. By the time the test ended the car was only running on 5 of the 6 cylinders. At the end of the test we were very grateful to the locals who appeared with buckets of water and kindly got to work clearing the windscreen. Our aim for the day is to enter Kazakhstan and to reach our night stop. As usual these border crossings are a nightmare. e Russians check and search each car as it leaves, and in Kazakhstan the o cials check the cars documents and our passports. Of course, this all has to happen in the driving freezing cold rain! My rst impression of Kazakhstan is not favourable. e roads continue on in the Russian tradition and are terrible with poor looking towers of ats and forlorn looking people. About 130km over the border and we reach our destination at the Irtysh Hotel at Pavlodar. is turns out to be the worst hotel I have ever stayed in by far. Each oor has a kiosk with a woman in it to keep an eye on whose coming and going - like something out of an old Cold War lm. e best thing about Kazakhstan is that petrol is about £0.40 a litre. June 17th Another brilliant morning send o with people everywhere looking at our cars and wishing us good luck. Kazakhstan is a poor country but is rich in gas and oil deposits. A er a long day and three tests we arrive in the capital city Nur-Sultan. e wealth of the country seems to be in this capital city. On the way in we passed a pre-war American Pontiac which had collapsed. One of the back wheels was still attached to half the rear axle and these were on the side of the road. e car was standing on three wheels with the back scraping the road. Not sure how he got the car back to the hotel, but the mechanics on this event are brilliant and had already taken control. is Pontiac later received a new engine in Finland but before was using 12 litres of oil per day. We nally checked into the Marriott car park on the third oor, once again surrounded with people and children asking for autographs. Another long day with 600km covered and three tests but my old Mercedes still running well. June 18th Another day driving in Kazakhstan, but a treat was in store when we arrived at the small village of Balkhashino in the middle of nowhere. To get to our camp we needed to make a river crossing which the old Mercedes successfully negotiated, to be greeted by locals in national dress, spoiling us with delicious local food. ey looked at our cars and children asked for autographs. When the sun set a large bon re was lit and we all Continued on page 57