First, many apologies to The Mad
Molars loyal friends and supporters for the abrupt suspension (an important
word as you'll
see later) in Facebook posts since we left Dijon. Life
suddenly became something of a challenge for us on Day 2 and there has been
neither time nor WiFi in the last couple of days to keep you posted. However
we're back and here's the story so far.
The picture shows us enacting our
logo at the rally rendezvous in Dijon at the start of Day 2. The fancy dress
theme was 'white'
Day 2 included the famed Great St Bernard Pass, which was going to be the
ultimate challenge for our much loved Princess. Ronnie fitted a new set of
plugs and replaced two HT leads before we set off, but nevertheless The Mad
Molars' fingers were permanently crossed after leaving Dijon. The mountain
scenery was breathtaking.
Flushed with success, we headed down the other side of
Pass with no brake fade or problems whatsoever. Uncrossing our fingers we
cruised towards Turin, looking forward to a shower,
a good meal and a good night's sleep. Never count your
Oh woe is us! If you've ever visited Turin, you'll know
the charm of its cobbled streets. Well, The Mad Molars and
Princess could have done with less charm and more
smooth tarmac. Here she
is, just yards from our hotel, with a
front Hydragas suspension displacer
that had burst as we hit a very rough piece of cobbled road three minutes
After a family brief sleep, the Mad Molars were up bright and early to tidy
and polish the Princess for her grand arrival in Monte Carlo. In doing so,
we noticed a bullet hole in the boot - those rascals in the two BMW Red
Arrows cars had got us. One more statistic in the stated aim of covertly
sticking a bullet hole in every team's car.
As we slowly negotiated the steep and winding roads for the last 30 minutes
of our journey to Monte Carlo, listening for any sudden changes in the
groans from the broken suspension, Ronnie's sudden interjection "We're very
low on fuel, guys" was less than welcome. Luckily we were carrying an
emergency can of fuel ... a final sup for our loyal Princess.
A badge of honour permitting us to travel on Swiss
At the summit of the Great St Bernard Pass, we stopped
fellow competitors for a breather and to show off our Princess' warm
(very warm!) heart.
We managed to manoeuvre our stricken princess into a
roadside car parking space, using somewhat unorthodox traffic control
procedures - Mad Molar Bagg was still wearing his fancy dress SOCO suit
which provided a surprising degree of authority in Turins busy streets! We
had a Team conference, examined the options , did a risk assessment and
decided to forgo our stay in Turin for a slow overnight drive towards Monte
Carlo. It was the Monte Carlo or Bust Rally after all, and while we may been
bust, we were certainly not broke, so we set off..
At 1.15am we arrived at Hotel Astoria in Bordighera,
minutes east along the French Riviera coast from Monte Carlo.
thanks to Elaine Wales and her husband for
sourcing this oasis for us in our
hour of need!
At last, time and WiFi to recount the final chapters of our rally adventure.
The rally rules stipulated we were to arrive in Monte Carlo dressed as film
stars - something of a challenge for The Mad Molars! Those of you who have
been following us for a while will remember that we visited the Isle of Jura
with the Princess earlier this year and picked up a bottle of Diurach's Own,
by Willie Cochrane, the Distillery Manager, to deliver to HRH
Albert II of Monaco, the President of the Monte Carlo
Whisky Society. We
therefore dressed as members of the cast
of the Ken Loach film, The Angel's
Share. While the Princess sparkled after her clean, we glowed in our kilts
as the temperature soared.
Those who have been following our story will also know that
Cochrane we made contact with the amazing Anita
di Sotto, who established
and runs the Monte Carlo Whisky Society. Anita had asked us to meet her at
the Hotel de Paris on Casino Square in Monte Carlo at 11am. There followed
an unbelievable sequence of events, all master-minded by Anita and her
delightful husband, Dario.
Whilst the Princess bathed in the glow of stardom, with special permission
to park for 10 minutes at the hotel entrance (ordinary vehicles like
Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Rolls Royces were
restricted to the other side of
the road), Anita invited The Mad
Molars into the hotel for a cool drink and
to reveal her plan for the day.