Never ignore a new noise

July 18: The day started out easy enough. Good roads, good speeds. Then we stopped to change drivers, telling the others to run on and we would catch up. So now we are speeding along at 65mph, maybe more, when we saw a pretty young woman at the side of the road waving frantically at us. It was not the “young women of the daytime” we saw along the road outside of Moscow and then again outside of Prague, with heels that were higher than skirts were long, but our own Tatiana. Seems the rest of the group had decided to stop for gas and lunch and she was left to flag us down.

Now the first problem was she was just beyond the exit which meant by the time we stopped we had to back up on the autobahn to make the exit. Not something I’d recommend when speeds are either 130kmh or no speed limits at all. OK, this maneuver done, Ed climbed into the back and Tatiana in the front. All is well, she told us they were just down the road at a gas station. However, when we got to a T, she wasn’t sure if they had gone right or left. We selected left, found a gas station but not our cars. A few maneuvers and phone calls later they were found. Of course they all thought we were the ones lost!

But back to the car, with Ed in the back, Tatiana in the front, and me driving, I heard a noise that I had not heard before. Ed thought it was stones hitting the underside of the car and I thought it was in was due to the rearranged luggage in the back (to make room for Ed). Neither of us said anything to the other. Then suddenly the car jerked, we all heard a big bang, and the back tire was sliding rather than turning. I immediately thought it was a blow-out. We have not had any tire problems, but Jack has had three and Jerry has ruined two and Clay has had one. It was our turn for sure. Not so, we got out to change it, we discovered something quite unusual. Our seatbelts do not retract and when Tatiana got in, the seatbelt was left outside the door. It had been hitting the side of the car and finally got caught under the rear tire. Nothing was damaged. Not the tire and not the seatbelt-other than the plastic cover over the buckle! We were back on our way to lunch in 2 mintues, laughing and relieved we did not have to use the one spare we have. (I earlier reported that one spare tire and rim was left in Kazakhstan.)

Now the end of the day. We arrived Munich for a tour of the Deutsches Museum (owned by Siemens, you know the name) which houses one of the best antique car collections including the German Protos that ran in the Great Race 1908.

Jeff and Baron von Seimens

This car arrived Paris first, but the Thomas Flyer was declared the winner after the race committee penalized the Protos for riding on a train car and not making the trip to Alaska.

1886 gasoline powered Benz

Of even more significance to Ed, was the 1886 Benz, the first gasoline powered car ever. He was really moved, never expecting to see this car in his lifetime. And this is the very first one ever made, having been purchased from Benz for this private collection in 1906. It has a vertical crankshaft, like a lawnmower because Benz thought the force produced by a horizontal crankshaft would tip a car over.  

Now to end the day we went to a beer garden for dinner, met Kelly, Max and Kevin, three young people who had just met each other  tripping around Europe. Good to see young people still doing this. Reminds me of the 70s and 80s. Then to the Hofbrauhaus, the most famous beer garden in Munich. We drank liters beers and listened to a real German umpha band! It doesn’t get much better than that! Best of all, Baron Von Siemens went with us.

Tomorrow, Zurich and on the way, a stop in Dachau, surely to be an emotional day.

Jan and Ed

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.
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4 Responses to Never ignore a new noise

  1. Carla says:

    I’ve always wanted to see Dachau, read so much about it. Won’t be a happy visit, but a very impressive one, I’m sure.
    Curious how your weather is, I hear my Dutch friends complaining it’s like Autumn, rainy and miserable. Hope it’s better your way.

  2. Tom Miller says:

    The seat belt left outside is a Classic, I am glad your all safe and doing Good. Enjoy The German Beer Oh how I miss it. Keep up the good work.

  3. TBC says:

    Too funny. I can see/hear it now. neither one of you wishing to mention the noise just in case it might be something major. Wish it away!

    Now, if Tatiana had been using her seat belt that might not have happened! Still, glad all was OK. Phew!

    Munchen is a great city. Have you seen the Ravens? The largest rookery in the world is in a park right in the city. Speactacular. Every morning and every evening, the skies go black as the thousands of Ravens head out in the various directions, then return for a good stein of beer, I am sure!

    Tomorrow will be amazing day, emotional, draining, and a plethora of other emotions we cannot even predict. It is, I am told, a very moving place.

    As to Zurich, how picturesque that will be. The quintessential Swiss city!

    Hugs and safe travels and no more things hanging out of doors!

    TBC and Arnie

  4. Susan Attermeier says:

    What a treat to be back in The West, right??? I am so enjoying your adventure vicariously – can’t wait hear about Dachau.

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