14 March 2010 Caterpilar (magyarul is!)

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We wake up at 7:25 for a breakfast. The morning breeze from the sea gives us the freshness. Of course, we are the only one having breakfast in spite of the agreement. All the others are sleeping. Later on Magnum team joins us. It’s funny how the cook reduces the size of the “omlette”. For the first order it was a king size portion, but the last arrival gets only a baby size.

Balazs gets the Polish Rallycamp Team, who has a repairman with them, to find out the reason of the overheating, and also to check the transmission, as in some cases it raises the RPM, and we are worried to drive this in the sand. The repairman, how interesting, jumps on the hood as we’ve seen it twice in Calabria. Is it a common thing to do everywhere or region specific? He starts with the transmission. The oil level and quality is good, as we expected, therefore it is something else. He does his magic with his fingers and all is fine by then. Let’s see the radiator, the water-pump, the thermostat and the water itself. He smells, licks the water, and touches to feel it with the hand. The examination is the following: the patient’s radiator is rusty, and probably it blocks the water circulation in the heating-cooling system. But to be sure he removes the thermostat, as we wouldn’t need it in the Sahara. Balazs goes to the nearby marketplace to buy some bottles of vinegar. Meanwhile Alek, the repairman cleans the whole radiator with pressured water and then adds the vinegar. Only the olives are missing for the good salad! :-)

At 11 we meet Attila (the organiser) who holds a presentation and a briefing about the situation. It’s not that rosy as expected. However all teams decides to stay and hope to get the visas soon. Armin, Attila and Balazs decide to go to the city to find out where the Algerian consulate is. But! There is always a ‘but’ everywhere. We see one the Polish Iveco running all around in circles in the parking area of the hotel. What this can be? They are testing it or something else. Alek is stopping it next to us at the entrance and they grab us in like hostages, when they are rescued by the SWAT team. We suddenly realize what’s going on, as we smell the mixture of “zubrowka i wodka”. They are almost drunk, and we have to join them. To sacrifice ourselves, we join without resistance. We the martyrs of the day!

When we have enough of the circulation, Alek drives out to the open street and the fun starts there. Some guys are very much in love with their VHF radios (certainly it wasn’t declared at the customs, as not allowed to bring in the country), so they are keep on giving instructions to the driver, who also has another VHF radio. “Cabin calls the cockpit! Cabin calls the cockpit! Over! – I copy – responds the cockpit. – Show us some caterpillars please.” Surprisingly almost every street has at least one caterpillar. Sometimes the hotel calls also the cockpit to find out, what’s happening.

The Iveco is very well equipped with everything: shower cabin, beds, kitchen, fridge (filled with vodka and bread ONLY). The cockpit looks like a space shuttle: GPS, CB, VHF, DVD, Satellite phone, installed shock resistant laptop, remotely controlled headlights etc. The more vodkas are consumed, more the party is on. We sing, we dance, and so on… If someone gets sick, we stop for fresh air, and to check the caterpillars around us. After these close inspection we always celebrate it. “Za zute koparke!”

… Couple of hours later…

Along the way, after passing by many caterpillars (it’s always creates a big laugh and joy in the cabin! And cockpit of course) we arrive somehow to the Embassy of Algeria instead of the Consulate, that we are looking for. At the Embassy we almost have a problem because Balazs takes a photo of the plate with the name and some angry Algerian gets out. At the end all is fine, and they tell us the general directions to our goal. Finally after four hours of hilarious fun we are at the Consulate. We take the coordinates for the GPS and we try to get back to the hotel. We can not avoid the “zuta koparka” along the way but the party is getting over after 6 bottles of vodka.

Armin and Balazs are hungry so they get off the party-van and go to the local McTunisia called: Baguette & Baguette. It’s very international. We chose Latino and California menus. It’s very tasty. Then we take a cab to the hotel. Driver is like a kamikaze. He goes in front of the circulation. He uses reversely the roundabout. And he always overtakes from the right side. We arrive to hotel in one piece around 7pm. We are joining to some TSR colleagues to chat a bit.

After all these experiences we go take a nap around midnight.

2010. marcius 14. Caterpillar

7.25kor kelunk, hogy reggelizzunk. Tenger felol erkezo reggeli fuvallat frissit fel bennunket. Termeszetesen csak mi kezdunk reggelizni, mivel a tobbiek meg huzzak a lobort. Kesobb a Magnum Team csatlakozik hozzank. Tok vicces, hogyan valtozik a rantotta merete. Eleinte meg hatalmas az adag, mig az utolsokent erkezonek egy fogara sem volna eleg.

Balazs lezsirozza, hogy a lengyel Rallycamp csapat szereloje megnezze mi a palya az autonkkal. Mi okozza a felforrt vizet. Tovabba a valtot se volna rossz megnezetni, hiszen az alapjarat kb 2000-en forog, igy annyira nem poen bevinni a sivatagba. A szerelo, tok erdekes modon, pont ugyanugy ugrik fel es helyezkedik el a motorterben, mint ahogyan ezt mar 2 alkalommal megfigyelhettuk Calabriaban. Ez valami altalanos dolog, vagy csak Europa bizonyos reszein megy igy?? Elobb a valtot veszi kezelesbe. Az olajszint es minoseg rendben. Mi is igy gondoljuk, mivel indulas elott leellenoriztuk. Valami mas lehet a gond. Alek megis megoldja a gordiuszi csomot es az alapjarat ismet a megszokott 800-on duruzsol. Jon a radiator, a vizpumpa es a termosztat tuzetes vizsgalata. Megszagolja, megtapogatja, megizleli a hutovizet. A vizsgalat eredmenye a kovetkezo: a beteg radiatorat belul megette a rozsda, es valszeg ez tomeszeli el a csovekben a vizet. Ezert nem mukodik megfeleloen a huts-futes, es ezert tud felforrni a viz is. De hogy tuti legyen a diagnozis, kikapja a termosztatot, hiszen arra ugysem lesz szuksegunk a sivatagban. Balazs elbaktat a kozeli boltba, ahonnan 2 uveg borecettel ter vissza. Vizkooldonak idealis megoldas ugyanis! Ekozben Alek kitkaritja nagynyomasu vizzel a radiatort es beletolti az iment vett ecetet. Mar csak az olajbogyo hianyzik a salatahoz! :-)

11kor talalkozunk Attilaval (o a foszervezo), aki gyorsan vazolja a helyzetet. Nem annyira rozsas, mint vartuk, megis mindenki egyuttesen kiall amellett, hogy a vizumot meg kell probalni beszerezni. Armin, Attila es Balazs elindulnak tehat a varosba, hogy megkeressek az algir kovetseget. De! Es itt mindig valalmi ugy kezdodik, hogy DE! Meglatjuk a lengyelek Ivecojat, amint korbe korbe megy a parkoloban. Ezeket meg mi lelte? Probalnak valamit? Esetleg valami gond van? Alek megallitja az autot,mikozben a tobbiek terrorelharitokat megszegyenito modon ejtenek tuszul bennunket es rangatnak be a vezetofulkebe. Mi rogton rajovunk mi zajlik itt, hiszen a levegoben zubrovka es vodka illata terjeng. Mar majdnem reszeg mindenki es kovetelik, hogy igyunk veluk. Mi felaldozzuk magunkat, hiszen martirok volnank, vagy mi!

Amikor megunjuk a korozest, Alek megindul kifele az Ivecoval. Ekkor kezdodik az igazi buli! Nehany lengyel kezbekaparintja a VHF radiokat (amiket persze nem vallottak be a hataron, hiszen tilos volna behozni!), ezert azokon keresztul adjak az utasitasokat a sofornek, akinel szinten van radio. A tavolsag kb 2 meter. A vetel tokeletes. „Fulke hivja a toronyt. Fulke hivja a toronyt. Vetel. – Mondjad! – kerdezi Alek. Keressunk Caterpillarokat!” szol a parancs. Erdekes modon szinte minden utcaban van ezekbol a munkagepekbol par darab. Sot neha a hotelbol is megszolal az ottani VHF radio, hogy megtudja mi a palya a kocsiban.

Az Iveco bitang jol fel van szerelve mindennel: zuhanyzo, agy, konyha, huto (amiben kizarolag vodka es kenyer van!) A vezetofulke pedig olyan, mint egy urhajo: GPS, CB, VHF, DVD, muholdas telefon, beepitett utesallo laptop, belulrol tavvezerelt keresofeny stb..

Minel tobb vodka fogy, a hangulat annal emelkedettebb. Enekelunk, tancolunk es amit elkepzeltek... Ha valaki megis rosszul volna, rogton megallunk kicsit levegozni. De hogy itt se legyunk tetlenek, ezert gyorsan megnezzuk a kozeli caterpillareket, amiket persze meg kell unnepelni! „Igyunk a markolora!”

....par oraval kesobb.....

Utkozben, mindig mikozben elmegyunk par markolo mellett (ami mindig nagy oromet es boldogsagot hoz a Fulkebe) megerkezunk valahogy az algiri kovetsegre! Igaz,mi a konzulatust kerestuk. De sebaj! Ha mar itt vagyunk Balazske gyorsan lefenykepezi a kovetseg nevtablajat, mire 2 agressziv or pattan ki az ajto mogul. Minden jo ha vege jo, elmagyarazzak, hogy merre kell mennunk, hogy megtalaljuk a konzulatust. Odaerven elmentjuk a koordinatakat, es elindulunk vissza a hotelbe. Nem kerulhetjuk el az utbaeso „zuta koparkakat” (sarga markolokat), de a buli hangulata kisse ellaposodik a hatodik vodkas uveg utan.

Armin es Balazs megehezik, ezert kiugranak a partimobilbol es beternek egy helyi McTuneziaba. Ezek nagyon nemzetkoziek. Mi Latino es Kalifornia menuket kerunk. Meglepoen finom! Ezutan bepattanunk egy kamikaze taxiba, aki minden szabalyt megszegve vezet. Az hagyjan, hogy vegig jobbrol eloz, de minden korforgalomba rosszul hajt be, es folyamatosan a szembejovo savban halad. A hotelhez megis epsegben erkezunk kb 7 fele.

Kicsit meg bandazunk a TSR arcokkal es ejfel fele mar bekesen szundikalunk..