Day 31

Budapest to Maribor – 425 km.

Thirty six degrees this afternoon.
A brief message about the rally day today.

It has been so dry and hot all day that we take an early night to prepare for another very hot day tomorrow.

After the start of the rally from the Hero’s square in Budapest this morning we gradually wound our way out of the big city. The traffic was dense and the weather at 9.30 already sweltering hot. We decided to keep the top of the Pagode closed as the sun would burn us alive when sitting with the roof down.

We had to do four time trials today and we did them all in fairly quick succession. All of them at closed off road sections. Two of the time trails were about 10 km long from start to finish the other two were about seven km long. We took it relatively easy on these stages but still the car gets a lot of beating during these sessions.

Because of the traffic delays coming out of Budapest and some roadwork’s on the route the organisation gave us an extra hour for the time controls.

It helped the schedule but still the cross country route we had to drive today is long and tedious. Very hot as well as we saw 36 degrees Celsius on a meter today. We try to drink a lot but the car is really hot with the roof closed so it is hard to stay alert.

There was a late TC (time control)near an enormous lake called Lake Balaton. If we could have we would have jumped in to get a bit of cooling but we just managed to get some time to get a salad and a soft drink before we had to move on again.

At around 4 pm whilst driving through the country site of Hungary we suddenly passed a road sign saying Slovenia…

This was the border. No controls, no customs just a small sig and a welcome committee on the other side.

Then another 120 km to Maribor. A rather frustrating exercise going over small country roads whilst you cross over a very nice and empty motorway several times that goes straight into Maribor. At this stage we get the feeling that ERA is trying to keep us busy rather the get us to move to Paris as soon as we can. The last 20 km we were allowed to use the motorway, which was nice in this sweltering hot day.

There was small welcome at the Maribor town centre and then we drove out of town to the Hotel Habakuk on the edge of the world cup ski slope.

Anty and I have been in this hotel before during two Winter Trials so it was nice to see it in the summer time for once.

Tomorrow we are again driving a lot of country km to Ljubljana when the motorway can bring us there in 250 km’s and maybe three hours.

It will be hot again so we will have to go carefully.
The car is okay and the car temperatures are staying good in these conditions.

Till tomorrow,

Mick