Day 24 Tuesday 5th July 2016 Smolensk to Minsk

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These are probably nice interior fittings if you are Russian. Had an amusing time in the shower: first curse the tap/shower switch, damn those Russkis nothing works, oh yes, it does when you do it right; no hot water, bloody Soviet style Hotel, oh no it does work, yeeeow that’s hot; tussle over with hot/cold mix start drying myself with tea towel size towel, bloody hotels, take second towel off rack – it is a bath towel, I’ve been drying myself with the bath mat. Twat. Twat. Twat.

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Hero prepares for departure.

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Parking guardians with Soviet era checkpoint and searchlight. Didn’t see them do anything at all all the time we were here.

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Mike and Georgia claim they don’t do photos, I beg to differ, clearly enjoying themselves on arrival in Belarus
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Andrew looking avuncular.

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A poor photo of Richard and Graham. Not seen Richard without that smile. We shared a fun time in a campsite in Russia trying to jump the food queue.

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Geen flying the Belarus flag, we’ve left Russia!

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Doug enjoys the sun in the beautiful tree
lined avenues.

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Cars and crowds in the centre of Polotsk, lunch laid on for the crews: rissoles and boiled cabbage soup. Yum.

We had four stages this afternoon. Which all went well apart from me being able to stop on any stop line. I think we did ok for times, the results will tell in due course.

More concerning, the suspension is bending again. This time to the point where Jonathan is reluctant to unbend it.

As worryingly the spare alternator has started playing up. We blitzed through dinner and made it to the local Ford main dealers in Minsk and hopefully they will find a solution by servicing the dead ones.

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Another day another workshop…

While Jonathan played at master technician I attended to the important work and removed a kilo of stones from the exhaust shield:
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Just back from the Ford Garage (who refused payment for their services) at 12.45. Knackered but glad we made the effort. It will be good to get to Rzeszow where a spare alternator is hopefully waiting for us.

News from the comp department, although we are still nursing the cars suspension we set solid times on the four stages, mostly top tens and third on one. While we are still in 16th position, we have closed right up on the Alfa in 15th and are four minutes behind them. The better news is that all the cars up to 12th are within 14 minutes of us. We’ll have to keep looking after the car, hope it doesn’t snap and keep it sensible on the stages…