After our first proper nights sleep in a few days we packed the car and headed to Sofia in Bulgaria. On arrival we discovered that Bulgarian women are some of the most beautiful in the world and that the V5 had still not arrived at Sam's house. After frantically running around town trying to get the DVLA to fax us through a copy of it we missed out by only a couple of minutes and made the decision to try to get into Turkey without it. At 1am we arrived at the Turkish border. After a few hours of queuing up in the car, Brooke managed to sweet talk his way through customs and we were on our way through the border and into Turkey.
Thursday 24th July - Hungary to Bulgaria via Romania
Today we raced through the remainder of Hungary and headed towards the start of the Transfăgărășan Highway. After Brooke drifting his way to the top of the mountain range we were greeted with a view every bit as epic as we imagined. However, rain stopped us capturing the full beauty of the place in photos. From here we put the pedal to the floor and blasted through Transylvania with its creepy architecture and horse drawn carriages and on to Ruse in Northern Bulgaria.
Wednesday 23rd July - Klatovy to Hungary
Despite intending to wake up at dawn we crawl out of bed well after the sun is up, pack up our gear, say goodbye to the other teams and get ready to hit the road. But, before we do another team comes over and asks for our help. They'd just destroyed one of their tyres on a rock as they were leaving town. We changed their tyre for them and use our compressor to pump up the spare. Then we were back on the road. We decided to drive until midnight and see how close we could get to Sibiu in Romania. We ended up getting to within 200 km of the border before Hungary and Romania and after finding a secluded campsite, pitched our tents and prepared ourselves for an epic drive the next day.
Tuesday 22nd July - Belgium to Klatovy and the Euro Launch Party
After a very short nights sleep we threw the tent in the car and gunned it through the rest of Belgium and Germany to Klatovy in the Czech Republic for the European Launch party. Arriving at the campground, we were greeted by hordes of ralliers already drinking around their tents. After cracking open some drinks and setting up camp, we decided to take the time to spray paint the remaining wheel rims and the front and rear bumpers and to wire up the spotlights. Now our car was 100% ready to face the rally. Making our way to the party, we found the adventurists had organised a warehouse full of Czech circus performers, a DJ and dance floor and a bunch of local street food vendors. The Euro launch party went off and we all made plenty of new friends who we hope to catch up with along the way.
Monday - Wales to Belgium
Today we got up early and headed over to the DVLA office in Swansea, the only one in the UK, to sort out the V5. Steve and Brooke managed to secure a letter from them saying other car was registered in Brooke's name and the V5 was being processed. We were told to expect it by Friday. To celebrate our victory we had breakfast at the beach in Swansea and then set the GPS to the channel ferry in Dover. Along the way we picked up some spring assisters for the back springs of the car to stop it sitting so low. As the ferry left the harbour we watched the sun set behind the castle perched above the cliffs of white cliffs of Dover. Arriving in Calais we set our sights on getting as close to Cologne as possible. We made it to Eastern Belgium before decided to call it a night. After trying a few different spots, including a truck stop which we suspect was a homosexual meet up place, we found a site in the back of a local camping ground and set up camp for the night.