Meanwhile, we have arrived in Halifax without major problems, except that Claudia after the sea crossing with the ferry had some minor balancing problems, called the marine sickness. That happens when the ground on which you normally walk starts to
move up and down. Fortunately in the evening she was getting her “inner balance” back. As for me, Neptune had mercy with “the old man”, in other words, I didn’t had to get out to railing to say Hello to the fishes…
Well, let’s start from the very beginning. Last Wednesday Marco M. and I picked up our two cars in a warehouse from a friend of Marco. Both cars had been perfectly guarded and taken care of in Lothar’s big warehouse. Thank you very much Lothar,
Marco and I really appreciate your generosity! We managed without any problems to wake up Ferdy and Drunken Monkey from their long sleep since they arrived in Amherst. Drunken Monkey was initially coughing a little bit, but soon he was roaring away like a
big gorilla who wants to impress his females. This Drunken Monkey beast is so loud that I have to warn everybody standing close, otherwise they may risk a heart attack or loose theirs shoes... Regarding shoes, we watch Carol and Marco stowing around 20 pairs
of shoes into their Ferdy, luckily this car has a secret compartment. We both loaded our entire luggage and drove off to Lothar and Sarah’s beautiful house. A George Clooney Nespresso Machine was waiting for us and more important a beautiful collection
of very exclusive cars. There they stood, the beauties, well treasured in two luxury barns, Ferrari, Mercedes, and of course Porsches. Lothar is also a Ferdy friend, like us. All great cars, which I rather don’t tell you exactly the types since one has
to stay cool and discreet. Only one thing I would like to mentioned, Lothar has also gotten to the point that he has enough from the IRS and will soon go back to Europe. It has become a nightmare in the States with all the tax demands. Who needs that, if you
can change it. “YES WE CAN” and goodbye Barak Obama.
Before leaving to Portland we went for a small bite and soon we were off for our two hours’ drive to Portland. There we happily embraced our friends Janet and Ed who had arrived
a few days before. Luckily for them they got in sooner because on their way to Portland the heavy rain had damaged the motor of the wipers. Of course it was not the rain, but Ed and Janet had to drive for hours through some heavy rain, using constantly the
windshield wipers. To find a wiper motor is not so easy, especially a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. They spend nearly a day on the phone and on the internet to finally find one in Virginia. When we got there, everything was fixed, everybody was happy again and soon
it was time to load the cars on the ferry. The Americans seem still trying to forget 9-11, because when we wanted to take some pictures of the ferry and our cars, we were politely reminded that this place belongs to the "restricted area" and we were not allowed
to take any picture. We all know how Germans can be and especially Claudia. She immediately started her charming offense and finally convinced the parking security boss to let us take a few pictures. Incredible what blond hair and blue eyes can achieve…
The loading went smoothly, the acquisition of the cabins, the allocation of the beds and the bar were found very quickly. However the nice South African white wine that we ordered was over the top. It was dark yellow and smelled like Sherry. Luckily
for us, the wine list had a few other choices. The crowning glory was unfortunately not the dinner at the restaurant; it had been booked by a group so we ended up having to fill up our empty stomachs with a buffet from the canteen Chef. Our first training
in eating buffet food, I am sure there will be plenty to follow during our rally!
We are since two days in Halifax. Not really a beautiful town, especially when it rains all day long. It appears as the good Lord had opened the floodgates. No problem,
the start will be anyway only on Sunday. We took advantage of this two days to make our final preparations, for all us, woman, men and the Drunken Monkey. While we enjoyed one of the best Lobster we have ever eaten, poor Drunken Monkey had to undergo a complete
body search. Everything had to get out, bags, tools, spare parts etc. etc. Everything was checked out and inspected. A few minor things were missing, not vital. The spinning wheel looks turned out to be nice but not at all practical, because in order
to check the wheel nuts you had to undo the wheel looks every time. After consultation with my buddy Marco M. he got me convince to take them off, in other words take of all the tires in order to dismantle the wheel nuts. Easy you would think? A job you can
do in half an hour may be a little bit more.
Forget it! It became for me a survival exercise, my back, my shoulder and my nerves suffered. The wheels weight more than 125 Hamburgers at 200gr a piece. Truth, my 21 inch wheels from the Infiniti are just
a miserable pile of light aluminum compared to this rally wheels and especially the tires. I was done… and so happy that Marco and even Claudia helped me. My lesson: other wheels and tires will be needed, but only after this rally ends. We need anyway
to improve a few things still. One thing is the nice look, the other story is however the practicability. In a rally everything needs to have is place, everything should be done easy and fast, not only the driving! Over the next days and weeks I will have
enough time to get my own list of “things to do” together for Curt. Back to the wheel change, we managed together to finish it before I felt into a comma. Now I hope of course that I will never have to change a tire until we arrive in San Francisco,
if not, Good lord…
Work done, time to relax and treat us for something special. So Claudia and I ended up in a Jacuzzi bath, Claudia with a glass of gin-tonic, me with my usual Campari. It was just right stuff to do for our souls and muscles.
Pure relaxation! And in the evening we got treated to one of the best Lobster, we had ever eaten, as already mentioned. It was a good day, despite all the hassling. Today is briefing, scrutinizing, packing, and relaxing day. Wake up time tomorrow we will 06:
00h, followed by breakfast and the race marshal question:
Are you ready to race? Yes we are!
Marco & Claudia