Our first day is designed to test the cars, the drivers and the navigators on a short run to get used to the driving conditions and to master the Road Book.
We were escorted through Da Nang to avoid any issues with the police and then released, into the mountains beyond, to tackle the Hai Van Pass. It is a mini-Stelvio with switchback bends and steep gradients leading to the summit. Made up of 19 kilometers of roadway that winds up and over a fortress of mountains, connecting Da Nang with the town of Lang Co in Hue Province. Popularised by BBC’s Top Gear, adventurers come from far and wide to tackle the route and soak up the breathtaking views of the mountain and coast.
Here are fellow rallyists Marian, Tessa, David, Neil, Lorraine and David.
As we summitted the Hai Van Pass the locals all came in to admire the cars.
Of course the summit is a melee of stall holders trying to make a living from the tourists who arrive, mostly by bus. Naturally our cars attracted some attention and the “Friendship Rally” has finally begun with lovely smiles and wishes of good luck.
The first trophy of the rally has been awarded. The “raised bonnet award” goes to our esteemed team leader who was investigating a misfire and cooling his coil.
It would appear that not all cars are maintained to the same standards on this trip 🙂
The scenery didn’t disappoint, this was one of several bridges we crossed during our “day trip”.
And of course we never miss an opportunity to refuel!
A successful day indeed and now our last night in Hoi An before we start “the rally proper” in the morning.
Huge thanks to Destination Rally, Neil, Jo, David H and Alan S for the photographs