We are broadly past one third of the Rally. We just arrived at the Marriot hotel in center Kazachstan, Astana Nur Sultan and showered. Yesterday’s battle is still in Herman’s and my bones. We left Novosibirsk in high spirit after the Contal was nursed by Rudy Leblon in a workshop and drove right into an enormous trap. The weather changed suddenly dramatically and we were in a rain storm for 4 hours. The wind nearly blew us of the road and the strong rain was like nails on our faces. Then we did the Special Stage in the mud and slipslided all the way to the finish of it. I was at the end of my power… After some 100 km we passed the Russian-Kazachstan border in the freezing cold and the pooring rain. The officers felt so sorry for us they didn’t make us wait and offered us to go to their toilet to get a bit warm. The torture continued for another two hours and then the rain stopped. We arrived in the hotel as stray dogs. Herman and I tried to get our bones warmed under the hot shower and hung our clothes everywhere in the room to dry.
Today was a compensation for yesterday: sunny, the road was straight and flat and the 566 kilometers went ‘fast’. It gives Herman and me the opportunity to do the service of the Contal, dry more clothes and rest. Tomorrow is day 17, we are nearly in the middle of the rally.
Suffering is permanent, obscure and dark… and has the nature of infinity. But this one did end… with a cool beer.