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2013 RTL Rally - Toys Out of Pram


sunny 23 °F

I am putting two days into one posting tonight as I sit with a large vodka and tonic on the terrace of the Palace de Menthon watching the sun sink over Lake Annecy.

Scenery-wise we couldn't have had more spectacular stuff these last two days. There have been miles of lush pasture...


cow's bells (that is bells) bonging, hectares of vines clinging to hillsides, ski lifts, views of Mt. Blanc, cheese makers. There was fondu for breakfast in an alpine bar while a chap played flamenco/matador style music on his accordion. No, you couldn't make that last bit up....you had to be there. It all had hints of the utterly barking!! Mind you, there was a little sign entering Noirefontaine (I think) illustrating grapes, cheese and fly fishing. No wonder the three old boys leaning on a gate watching us all thunder past looked so happy with life!


I think Santa is following me. Early morning we spied the most magnificently bearded one driving a white van. He turned up again late afternoon , so did Team Rowe...


...on time at Le Tram Time Check in Confort. They were two moments of joy in what have been two off-the-scale-stressful days on the Navigation side of things. I was hoping this would get easier as the days added up. I should have realised when Mark and Keith (designers of the route) asked us if we had enjoyed our 'easy first day'? WHAT THE ****?

Sunday night, over dinner, my new best friend Ivo told me I have to imagine Bianca has no windows so the stress can simply waft into the atmosphere. And I had to be "ZEN". Me? "ZEN"? He truly is having a laugh isn't he? It didn't work for me. It didn't work for Evo either who a full 24hrs later is still a little 'concerned' over the shouting match he had with his delightful son, William. We have decided to be "ZEE" instead. Dear Reader, this might all sound daft, nonsensical stuff to you but it's things like this that become monumental in their importance when you are in the thick of a Rally.

But there is LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL...we think we did pretty well ok in our last Benularity late this afternoon (until a herd of cows held us up!) as the sun was setting against Mt. Blanc...


This was taken at the penultimate stage of this year's Tour de France!

A Benularity, by the way, is driving a certain route in a certain time, at varying speeds, which you have to work out yourself. This didnt happen at the one early this morning when four Rally cars all congregated at a Mother's b.....r of a junction. A Mercedes was chucking itself up and down a lane, one chap went for a walk round the village searching for someone...anyone...to help, a blue Porsche raised dust, we tried each and every track until we went back to the last 100% certain turn and started again. That will be another 20 minutes penalty to Team Fisher then!

I am tired. Need food, sleep. Tomorrow we do the Coupe des Cols - a wee extra day we signed up for! We have to climb almost 30,000 metres between the hours of 0830 - 1600. Yes, Dear Reader...another day of madness beckons!

Posted by haveyoubeenyet 23:16 Archived in France Tagged tour_de_france mont_blanc

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Sounds like you're having fun!

I noticed that both you and team Rowe have settled in at around an hour of penalty after three days? That is just 20 minutes per day and actually really good, keep it up!

As for the ZEN thing; might I propose a silghtly different approach? The ingredients to combine in arbitrary order are:

1) shouting (loud, and in copious amounts)
2) gambling (turning left is ALWAYS correct)
3) post-leg wine (an amount enough to counter the use of measure 1 for that day).

And remember: Veni, Vidi, Veloce! That Vici stuff doesn't really matter anyway ;-)

by Sebastiaan

Darling Pammie and handsome Ben, you two look fab! You know your zen has always come in the form of alcohol or pampering! Unfortunately the driver can't imbibe and the navigator may take you to Greece by mistake! Just have fun and say CSF !

by Dorothy

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