2000, Turfan to Hami
the Rally Office informed us yesterday that we would get 15 hours time
assigned for the drive tomorrow as there were "diversions due to
construction" we first thought it was a bit of an exaggeration but
it turned out to be a justified warning. For one reason or another, when
the Chinese "road works ministry"
decided to repair the road between Turfan and Hami, they closed off the
whole road (about 400km of it) and constructed a diversion for the whole
route. The diversion was just a trail in the Gobi, occassionally channels
have been dug through elevations and the ground was varying between sand,
dust and gravel (whatever the Gobi just consisted of). Additionally the
diversion was sometimes winding around obstacles so that we calculated
an additional 60 km of route. But getting up early for an assigned 6:31
start, we still managed to arrive in the early afternoon, seven hours
before our time-check, even though we were driving carefully to reduce
any wear and tear. Fortunately the weather was cloudy so the tempeartures
did not get too hot.
The drive from Turfan to Hami can be described as off-road and therefore
our "Gobi Test" in the morning pales in comparison: This was
also off-road, but was only 4.5 km. The time assigned was 3 minutes (average
speed 90 km/h required, probably the fastest section so far), we got two
minutes penalty which does not affect our current ranking.
Over the day, we managed to lose another screw on our sump guard but we
repaired the problem until late afternoon. Yesterday, we also checked
whether all screws were tight and greased different points on the car,
the day before yesterday we had a change of oil. Other then that we have
not had much work with the car and we are happy the way it has been driving
until now, but still another 49 days to go...
|TC 91: Turfan OUT
|TC 92: Gobi Test Start
|TC 93: Gobi Test Finish
|TC 94: Hami IN
Overall 1 hour 10
official results can be looked up on this website
Early in the
morning: Before the Gobi Test
But not as rough
as the route to Hami
of the route is off-road varying from gravel to sand dunes.
on the theme of public transport can be seen every day in China.
Hami: More green and more Chinese than the cities before.
The Gobi Test:
A few kilometres
out of Turfan, the roads are still good but the situation soon changes.
Oil pumps working in the background.
It took us nearly
half an hour to help dig this vintage Bentley out of the powder
fine Gobi sand. We have some nice video footage of this and others
trying to get through, so look out for a video update on this day
(probably only once we get to America as Internet upload times in
China are too slow for videos)
Our sump guard
is rattling again and we try to find a temporary solution.
The route Turfan-Hami would have been better if there had been less
of these trucks going each direction.