Staples2Naples

Several people (well two anyway) have asked me to post details and pictures of this trip so here is what I hope will be the first installment of many.

The trip details are at http://www.staples2naples.com/ 

I am going with my brother and sister-in-law in a Rover 213 which, when it was new, might have looked something like this. Hopefully this is not going to be fatal to our relationship, we have gotten on very well for the past 30 years and I'd like to continue that!

One of the entry conditions is that we have to raise money for charity. The lucky recipient is a charity 'DASH' (www.dashshipston.org for details) and are up to £20 already! My brothers local branch of Lions International are going to provide contacts along the route in case we run into problems.

Anyway I set forth on the first leg of the trip (NZ to UK) on wednesday (13th Sept) morning, airline security permiting.

 

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The carGerlinde took the car (pictured) to Shipston market and was able to raise over £500 towards a charity 'DASH' (www.dashshipston.org for details).

A sponsorship form is available [now deleted] if you'd like to help this worthwhile charity.

It's an elderly Rover 213 (the car that is, not the occupant).

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The local press have covered the event. Here's a copy of the article from the Stratford-apon-Avon Herald

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Ali Dibbens, David Squires, Doug Harris, Bob Gray, Gerlinde Gray & and Pat Harris (onlooking)
A large(ish) crowd gathered to send off the intrepid Shipston team. Doug Harris, President and David Squire, Treasurer of DASH were in attendance to give the faithful jallopy a push. In actual fact the first drive to Staples Corner takes place tomorrow for a photo call at 10am tomorrow (Friday)  

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Read more: Huge Sendoff

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Some of our competitors with early problems
The first days trip to Calais completed without incident. Departure was 07:30(ish)


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Read more: The Start

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Tiny Rover tows huge Batmobile
588 miles from Calais to Sarnan in Switzerland in 11 hours after a late start and a lot of noise disrupting sleep at the hotel is a very long way.

The challenge for the day was to photograph as many items begining with a single letter as we could, a bit like I-Spy. We chose C and got 105. As I say a very long day.

One of the Batmobiles had a dead clutch just outside Calais and drove 500 miles with crashing the gearbox and pushing at each stop. We gave them a tow through a traffic jam just outside Basel.

A late but good dinner in town and so to bed.
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The Cobblestones of La Trembla were very hard on the car and our bottoms
An even longer day, dirt road passes in the Alps! Not in until 9:45 then dinner (and beer). Pictures and stuff in he morning

Later. Stephen writes:

Today was a truly spectacular day through the mountains of Switzerland and no less than 10 Alpine Passes! We gathered in the car par of a local car dealer in Sarnen where we were instructed to bring newspaper to put under each car to prevent the numerous oil stains that were left last year. Duly gathered for the official group photograph, this will be posted as a download from the S2N website when the rally is over.

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Read more: High Country

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We kidnap a family of Italians at a gas station
You'll have to wait until morning for the report from Gerlinde. In the mean time ponder this picture.

Gerlinde writes:

Another long day. We drove 300 odd miles, the first part on little country lanes. we left Aprica at 10 after a hilariously wet start. We were all dressed up as Reservoir Dogs characters (the classic film) and had XP310 Super Soaker water guns with us. Well it was a free for all and most of us got soaked.


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Read more: Top of the 'Boot'

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High in the mountains in the rain Sonnini was not at it's best
Finally arrived, just about last, after the heavens opened, you just would not believe the rain. Sadly the Holiday Inn lived up to their usual low standard, it's hard to believe that such a large chain can be so uniformly hopeless. More later......

In the morning

The last day started off well enough and we found our way past Rome very easily.

Today we were able to choose our challenge from a selection of three. First we selected Pomezia just south of Rome where we had to find a specific newspaper kiosk. By this time the rain had started in mild bursts and seemed to come and go as we criss crossed the city. Although the map showed Pomezia as tiny it turned out to be a huge city of squalid high rise flats. What had seemed simple was really hard.

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Read more: Arrival

 

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Diagnosis

Gerlinde writes:

We left at 10:45 an hour later, oh dear Doris (our little red Rover) is not behaving well. We stutter to a stop just at the entrance to a autostrada toll. We all three got out and pushed Doris to safety. Bonnet up, what on earth could have happened. Perhaps fuel starvation.

Well we made the challenge, we got to Naples but how sad our trusted friend who got us over the Swiss passes had sort of gone into retirement.

What Now?(We did finally manage to nurse her to the Sorrento peninsular and found a nice hotel (Villa Giovan Battista della Porta) near Vico Equense. After a days rest Doris got us to the top of Vesuvius and Stephen decided to give it a go back to Germany and the UK. No further dramas! - Bob)

 

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Read more: Epilogue