Cars and Warriors or Warrior Cars

June 11: We have been in China a week now. We don’t travel today so my “flower photo” is from the Tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, the site some of us visited today. What really is famous is the 7,000 terra-cotta warriors that were uncovered in 1974 by some farmers digging a well. There are probably several thousands more warriors and horses, but these are the numbers that have been restored. Quite an impressive sight, all lined up facing East, the direction Huang expected the enemy to attack from.

Our trip here included our first car breakdown in China. Clay’s 32 Ford developed a noise inside the break drum (after a rather intense ride on very rough roads through a small town). He also lost power and finally stopped along the road. He didn’t make the sightseeing trip and instead has been working on his car all day today. He discovered a screw loose inside the break drum and has that fixed. Additionally, he has been working on carburation and may need to replace the distributor cap but that will have to wait until later when the engine is cool.

 We all sat by the side of the road while Clay was able to do a roadside repair to get into the hotel. While sitting, I was able to capture another one of China’s contrasts. This farmer herding his buffalo while pulling a wagon with his wife. Is the Buffalo too important to pull the wagon? This while we were sitting on the side of a 6 lane divided highway.  

Then after Clay got going, Stewball didn’t want to start. We had just refueled. Bad fuel? Vapor lock? It was VERY HOT and we didn’t think to open the engine compartment while sitting.  Something we will now always do. Our tour manager Anvar,  who is from Uzbekistan, offered a solution based on his experience. He placed a cloth with cool water on the fuel pump. We won’t know what worked, but we were running in about 5 minutes.

Ed didn’t go to Huang’s tomb, but spend quality time with Stewball.

From Ed:  I had several items to deal with today, some of long-standing. This has been our first full day off since leaving NY city. The horn is badly needed here. It’s true, to deal with bikes, other vehicles and pedestrians, the Chinese drive with their horns and I must too.  Ours was only working on the right side of the steering wheel, and if I have the wheels turned, it is hard to find the right spotwhen needed quickly. The right door armrest had come detached, making it necessary to wind down the window to close the door firmly, and I brought along new windshield wiper blades to change out. The automatic choke is not working, but with the heat, that’s not important. The secondary roads-which we experienced yesterday- are rough enough to shake anything loose, and the Beetle and the 32 Ford don’t seem happy with the fuel. What percentage ethanol? Nobody knows.

Some of the group are having personal health breakdowns as well. Tom has gone to the hospital with some serious swelling in one leg, Anvar has a swollen hand from what appears to be a bite, Ed Gavin has a cut on his arm that won’t quit bleeding and has gone to the hospital as well and Ed Howle now has stomach cramps!

More from the road to Paris.

in town


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Cars and Warriors or Warrior Cars

  1. TBC says:

    We certainly hope that Ed feels better soon. There is nothing worse than traveler’s complain on the road. Very inconvenient. Bring more TP!

    Meanwhile, we hope Stewball continues to behave as well as can be expected with different fuel.

    Take care, both of you, and hugs,

    TBC and Arnie

  2. ejhowle23 says:

    John, good to hear from you. I hope Ray and Luke are following too. I know you plan to start in Vladivostok, but you will encounter many of the same things we are. Heat, bad roads around cities, truck traffic, changes in diet and water as well as the usual car problems assoicated with fuel and long days on dusty roads. More to come.
    Jan and Ed

    • John Quam says:

      I keep in touch with both Ray and Luke and will let them know your progress…..Ray is not too computer savy, but Luke is. Luke and I just pulled out a 1937 Cord Sport Phaeton from the garage of one of Lukes neighbors (literally in boxes…took us most of the morning to load) and Luke is going to going to restore it for them. He will do the mechanical stuff and a body shop will do the body work. The Cord actually belonged to Al Jolson, so it has an interesting background.

      Actually, we will start in Kobe Japan as Schuster did and then ferry to Vadivostok. We will then go through NE China (Harbin) and then back into Russia. Ray, Pat, Luke and I plan to get together with Doug Grimes in the fall to fine tune the route as it relates to the original Schuster journey.

      I’ll be following you guys as the trip unfolds

      Stay safe!!


  3. rdsieber says:

    Yes: your car had the vapors, all righty. Hope you can modify behaviors to keep ol’ Stewy going. Sounds like you are having quite an adventure, despite all the men dropping like flies. We are such a fragile gender…
    Hah! :]
    All the best,
    Ronald Sieber

  4. dan pierce says:

    If the horn thing is a big issue. Pop the cap off of the horn center with a small flat screwdriver and you will see your horn ring is held by 3 flas slot screws. Undo the screws keeping in mind that there are springs on the other ends of those screws and you DO NOT want to loose the springs. After the horn ring is removed you will notice in the steering wheel there is a metal ring “contact” that is molded into the wheel. Take some steel wool or some light sand paper to that ring (it may even be painted over in spots!!) clean it to copper then put the whole shebang back together and Viola horn works on all sides!


  5. crhowle says:

    Hey, guys! Sounds very exciting!! Hope all car issues, yours and others, are resolved as well as health issues. Hope you packed some xanax for stress, or do you just “wine” about it? Take care. Lots of love from us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s