Let me start by saying a huge well done to all the participants on the rally for making it to the end. Hopefully by now you have all enjoyed a much needed sleep in your own bed and can now begin processing what the hell happened in the past six weeks.
And then secondly I would like to say a massive thank you for letting me be a part of the team, albeit from my desk in Hampshire, and allowing me to follow your journey so it could be shared online. Thank you for sharing your stories and photos and letting me grab them from shared iCloud folders, Facebook, emails, and family Whatsapp groups.
I have been given free rein now to share my top one hundred photos and that is no easy task. I have literally thousands and looking back through them over the past day or two I have been reminded of just what the rally saw, achieved, and experienced, all whilst thinking “blimey was that really only six weeks ago”. So here goes with the first batch of my top one hundred. I have broken it down into four posts of 25 photos or this one would be huge and take forever to load!
I hope you enjoy them and that you are all looking forward to a weekend that isn’t quite as dusty as previous ones might have been
In no particular order:
The briefing on the first night when everybody came together, many for the first time, must have been so exciting. All the planning and preparation and this was finally it! The start of friendships being made and a shared adventure about to begin.
The first run was the “shake down day” and it gave me an insight into the crowds that would surround the cars wherever you went!
The first hotel in Vietnam really pulled out all the stops and ensured that the day before departure was a special one.
What was to become a typical sight: crowds, classic cars, stray dog!
Little did the cars know that this kind of road surface was to be cherished.
I can’t imagine what a sight it was for the locals to see all the cars lined up at the end of every day. Safely tucked up, resting, ahead of the next day’s adventure.
This sort of pic just makes me laugh, but became an average day on the trip.
As did having to work out a fix for things that you couldn’t plan for. Like finding a welder to help with a missing set of keys to get into a boot.
Some of the hotels were in the most beautiful of locations, that must have been hard to leave
Stopping for some road side assistance became a regular occurrence but was always resolved and it was lovely to see everybody helping out under the ever watchful eyes of Paul.
I have to admit that I actually cheered when the little MG finally arrived. Reluctant to get off the ship in Vietnam it had carried on sailing for a few days and had to be rushed to catch up with the Crightons who had begun the journey in the back of one of the 4x4s. To know it was no longer “missing at sea” was a huge relief for everybody.
It still baffles me that this car was built in the 1930s and here the Cohens are with her, much to the delight of the motorcyling locals!
Driving in convoy wasn’t what the rally was about so to be “bunched up” like this didn’t happen very often, mainly for border crossings I think, but it did make me wonder what on earth the locals thought was going on when you all drove past.
I mean why don’t we have hammocks in Starbucks?! It is a genius idea and one I think all coffee shops should adopt. Though it might make it hard to work, but I think that is kind of the point.
I swear these cars are actually smiling.
As I said, the Hotel Royal in Hoi An really did pull out all the stops, even using little road signs to decorate dessert at the briefing dinner.
So many people worked behind the scenes to make the rally run smoothly. This incredible team even drove the route in Cambodia a few days ahead of the group to ensure the roads were passable.
More evidence of being mobbed for rally cards and selfies with the cars.
I adored the pictures of local families on motorbikes, it seems so normal to transport everybody on one bike but can you imagine if we tried to adopt this at home?!
This sign made me want to just grab a back pack and head off to Cambodia. Overnight accommodation for $2.50? And beer the same price as water? Sounds perfect.
More evidence of everybody helping out when things went wrong.
And that sometimes the cars just didn’t need a major problem to be fixed, they just need to cool down a bit.
Mind your backs. Nothing like an elephant up close and personal to focus the mind somewhat.
I have so many photos of the participants smiling it really showed just how well everybody got on and how much fun everybody was having. I could have easily done a top one hundred of you all!