Day -2 Collect Cars

Beijing traffic is awful – it takes forever to get anywhere and drivers are very aggressive – it’s a wonder there are any cars left undamaged.

We both had to visit the Turkmenistan embassy to get the visa we were unable to obtain previously. Unfortunately, that means we will have to fight our way back again on Friday which will be great fun but better here than at the border later in the trip.

Got our first taste of the “Chinese Process” – had to sit for half an hour waiting for traffic police to come talk about traffic (they were delayed as they were stuck in traffic) which amounted to absolutely nothing but they wouldn’t distribute driver’s licenses until after the talk.

Funny, the traffic policeman (right) had to bring a construction worker (left) along to translate. Finally received our licenses and paper license plate so off to collect the cars.

Bus drivers (5 of them) got totally lost en route – very funny, 200+ people with 100+ GPS units trying to tell drivers where to go and how to get there, however, but none spoke English and seemed to prefer arguing in Chinese amongst themselves. 

Finally, with the help of a cell phone map, we were able to find the storage facility where the real fun began.


Unfortunately, someone had left our ignition switch on and the battery was dead – hopefully our biggest problem for the trip as it was quickly rectified with jumper cables from our more than adequate supplies.

Now on to the first order of business – fueling. Imagine 100 cars trying to get gas at the same station which was under construction (as it seems much of China is when you look closely) with half the pumps not working for some unknown reason.


Mysteriously, when the backup became ridiculous, additional pumps began to operate – probably short on personnel to collect the money as it must have been a banner day for that station. Again, all very amusing and no one seemed to lose their sense of humor.

All the cars made it back to the hotel parking lot in time for the cocktail party. Quite a sight when you see the amazing collection of automotive history all parked together – especially from an 18th story window.

Can’t wait to see these cars in action and not in a traffic jam.

This entry was posted in Peking to Paris 2010. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Day -2 Collect Cars

  1. Young Lloyd says:

    So happy # 86 made it and started up! From the official website it sounds like a few other cars weren’t so fortunate. Visas sound like quite a headache. I am sure you have to fill out forms in triplicate, etc…
    Eagerly looking forward following you guys on the skytrack.
    Best of luck tomorrow!!!
    Lloyd, Kate, Will and Peyton

  2. Beth says:


    All the best to you and Lloyd as you start the driving part of the journey. Can’t wait to see photos along the way. Be well and press on, regardless!

    Your neighborhood pharmaceutical dealer

  3. Craig Conti says:

    The one thing you need to know about Chinese driving is that the vehicle in the “front” feels they have the right or way and others behind must avoid hitting them. However, “in front” can be 1″ of front bumper ahead of the car next to you. From up above it looks like a school of fish swimming where the forward most “fish” swerves and the others follow suit.
    Have fun,

  4. MMR is sending out an MMR Community Newsletter to advise our Motorhead friends of Chuck and Lloyd’s Magnificent Adventure. Please keep posting the great pictures and commentary.
    Pleased to learn that you have already overcome the first technical challenge and that a decent battery charger was available. Good sign.

    Good Luck

  5. Laura nerriman says:

    Go dad and Chuck! We’ll be cheering L from san Francisco as you start in just a few short hours

  6. Dave says:

    sounds like your dong ok. How are you and you system adjusting to the food?
    Have a great time. Be safe.

  7. Bill DeSaulnier says:

    Hey Chuck,
    If the Sungard, car expert, yachtsman, grill man/bartender thing doesn’t work out you surely will have a future as a comedic writer!!
    Seriously, great correspondence, keep it coming when time allows.
    A stunning early Friday morning here at the beach. Will soon join Jackie, Teddy and Daisy for a romp in the water. We miss you and send love and prayers.
    All creatures great and small at Hightied

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