Saturday 30 June 2007

Snails on their way home

The snails are on their way home and are currently just South of Reims heading North.

Therefore this is the fastest the cars have ever travelled, covering a distance in 12 hours that we took 6 days to cover.

Secretly i think that there was a few tinges of sadness parting with our cars, the final couple of hours in Casino Square were amazing, these old 2CVs took some of the limelight away from the Astons and Rollers.

Friday 29 June 2007

Last Day - Le Luc to Monte Carlo

Awoke to another glorious day of sunshine and blue sky's. We set off along the N7 the final leg. The scenery was of vineyards, and pine forests.

After a brief stop for coffee (Mangy Moose) in which this caused Le Boite to break down, a call to suppport and the car was repaired. The amazing thing is that all the cars have made it so far.

The road was small and winding, plenty of hair pin bends to negotiate, this must have been madness before the motorway was built. Somewhat a disbelief that this was once the main route to Monte Carlo. After Frejus we made the slow and majestic climb up through the hills and pine forests. The scernery was stunning and the CV's grunting and groaning. A great way to travel, all roofs back with the odd water fight.

BAck down from the mountains and onto the coast, the prize was nearly ours. A stop at a cafe for a quick sandwich outside Cannes before heading off along the Coisette and in the direction of Nice.

The road was now small and busy, the sun was shining, we are on the Med. Heading for Nice and along the Promenade de Anglais, the water shimmering in the sunshine and looking very inviting. Needless to say the traffic was horrendious but all car made it through. It has now become apparent that we are near the Italian border as the driving is becoming somewhat erratic, little signals other than hand signals!

After Nice we stopped at Eze for a panoramic view on the hill of the Med, lots of large yatchs etc. The driving is fun climbing the hills and around hairpin bends again.

Past Monte Carlo and onto Menton to the Italian border. Up to the old border post, plenty of locals making the most of the cheap Italian liquor and tabacco taxes. A few bottles of champagne were cracked open along with the obligatory photos.

Back towards Monte Carlo or Monaco as Monte Carlo is only one of the 5 districts that make up the pricipality.

Into Casino Square where we had reserved parking amougst the Ferraris, Buggatti's and Rollers. It was an amazing feeling that we have made it, lots of photo's and locals greeting us.

After leaving we had the most horrendious time looking for the hotel and eventually finding it. Monaco is full of tunnels, one way systems. We drove in convoy on part of the circuit and lots of photos were taken, through the tunnels the roar of the 2CV engines quite impressive through the tunnels. The hotel is right on the border, and you can walk in and out of Monaco without realising it.

The view from the hotel impressive over looking the gin palaces, huge boats.

After checking in, half the team took the cars to Eze the transporter as it could noy get anywhere near Monaco. The drivers had a interesting time getting back as finding a taxi in Monaco is virtually impossible, lift from passers bys were gained.

A welll deserved celebratory dinner at the Cafe de Paris had been arraonged. A quick scrub up and into the centre of Monte Carlo to Casino Square, rubbing shoulders with the uber wealthy - the show of wealth is breathtaking. All the people seem to be monied, beautiful and young!!

This was our last night all together so a glass of champagne to toast the cars and the amazing donations that we have recieved, thank you everyone. It has been an exceptional week, good fun, hard work for the cars.

Cars are being loaded onto the transporter

All the cars are being taken about 1/2 hour drive back towards Nice as the car transporter cant get any closer down the windy roads. We are busy loading them all up and are then going out to the Cafe de Paris for a light evening snack!

We have all arrived at Monte Carlo Casino square!

The cars are all parked in front of the Casino and pictures have been taken in Rosbifs, 118 and Air ambulance T shirts.

The sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky and the 2CVs are surrounded by Ferraris. We have stopped for a well earned beer at Cafe de Paris before we take the 2CVs around the Grand Prix course.

15k to Monaco and all cars running fine in convoy

First major break down - La Boite

We stopped in a village so Andew G could get a coffee (late night again) and whilst we were waiting Le Boite stalled and would not start again!

With the bonnet up and triangle erected, firstly we tried a new coil but as that didn't help Richard started stripping down the engine by the side of the road.

The support vehicle brought supplies of yellow jackets, swafega and easy start.

After each of these had been liberally applied and the spark plug re-inserted we tried to start Le Boite again and she sprung back into Life!

Now back on the road again head for Italy and the end of the N7

Day 7 start - 29th June

We are setting off at 9am this morning after the keep fit runners finish their lengths in the pool! Its a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies and the roofs will all be rolled back on the 2CVs as we depart. We are aiming to go beyond Monaco today and into Italy where the N7 Route National officially ends. There was some talk of carrying on to Rome but a number of the cars are making strange noises especially turning left so we thought we had better not risk it. We are aiming to have lunch in Nice and have official "Photo Shooting" permission outside the Casino at 4pm.

Old cars and an ambush

Thursday 28 June 2007

Water fights

Mangy Moose blog - 28th June

Pilot Andy G writes: A walk around the town started the day off. The sky was azur blue well we are heading to the Cote de Azur. A visit to the cathedral and other historic monuments before heading off at 10, well it always take ½ hour to get organised. Oil checks and final mechanical checks before we headed off, we sound like a swarm of wasps, well sleepy bees!
Off down the N7, for a fuel stop and proceeding in convoy. The countryside has suddenly changed to arid Mediterranean scenery, fields of lavender, tomatoes and melons.

We stopped outside the small town Lugnac at 1.30 at a Routier, a very basic menu for €11 each, delicious steak and chips washed down with local vin. The rule that the driver in the morning can drink at lunch time and then navigate and co pilot in the afternoon. (Co piliot of the Moose still managed to be unable to read the sat nav)
After a long and lazy lunch in the shade of large plane trees we set of for La Luc. This is the way to travel through France, 2CV with the roof down and a comfortable speed of 80kms, although we have pushed the Moose, she rattles, rocks and rolls, however sadly we are becoming quite fond of her!!! Shall Lucy sell the Volvo and this becomes her family car?? Good on fuel the tank takes £17 to fill it up, very economical.
Water fights had begun, with gentle amounts being thrown, with the quantities somewhat increasing as the afternoon went on. After detours around Aix en Provence we proceeded down the N7 with water guns being fired and water bombs being thrown out of cars, something about the sun and mad Englishmen and dogs came to mind!
Over the radio came the call that the coil on the Boite had over heated and that a pit stop had been made at a roadside lay by. This was a calculated attack. On pulling over we were mercilessly attacked with not guns but 2 litre bottles of water a cooling down, an inch of water filled the base of the car. After general horse play with water we set off to La Luc and the hotel. The heat and the roof down and air con on (the front air vent open!). The bikers were attacked along with “the hanger on” vehicle in a surprise sting.
The scenery is stunning, just as you imagine the Provence region.

On arriving at the hotel, beers were ordered before jumping into the pool. General lazing about the pool then took place with a few more cool beers taken on board. Dinner at 8.30, yet again another stunning meal, 5 courses for €43 , it shows how much we pay for food in the UK, delicious.
The weather stunning so we ate out on the terrace. More water fights took place at the table, and Rob managed to squirt a table of Italians, it cost him a round of drinks and nearly caused a ‘flip flop’ incident!

Le Boite Blog - Day 4 27th June

Robert O writes: "Unprovoked attack on Le Boite"

Whilst waiting 2nd in line at red traffic lights, the occupants of the mangy Moose, decided to (sprinkle a small amount of water) throw the contents of their drinking water bottle at the occupants of Le Boite! This was a declaration of war. By the time we reached the next red lights, the co-pilot of the Boite had found a full litre bottle of water and jumped out to douse the Mangy Moose pilots. They were soaked!

Just at this point, a police road blocked loomed in front. The Moose stalled!! The Moose then made a stately and ordered drive past the police; the wipers were ineffective as the wipers did not work on the inside. After a regroup og the convoy, the mangy Moose decided to proceed far ahead of the group in order to change into dry clothes, and le Boite was suspecting a revenge attack. Another pilot can to the rescue with the loan of a “supersoaker” water gun.
The Mangy Moose waved white flags, however the gloves were now ‘this was war’ After the mangy moose was attacked yet again, revenge was sweet with a two litre bottle of water used to freshen up the Boite pilots.

We moved onto the hotel planning our revenge. The hotel is within the city walls, a stunning medieval city and the seat of the Popes for a while. A meal had been booked at ‘La Fourchette’ , some of the Rosbifs has ‘Escargot’ and Beouf, in honour of the trip. This was Tony’s last night so the effigy was worn. Good bye Tony and thanks for rein!!

The drive through the villages of Provence is stunning, hills laden with sunflowers and lavender. The weather is now glorious, blue skies and tree lined avenues.

Mangy Moose Blog - Bushwhacked ala orange

Pilot Andy G writes: "Bushwhacked ala orange"

The Boite bushwhacked the Mangy Moose at an impromptu stop just outside Orange.
The mangy Moose crew were hit by surprise with a high power water gun.

Not to be out done, as soon as they had recovered from this cowardly assault the Moose retaliated with whole bottles of water.The end result was a draw, but the reputation of the Boite is irreparably damaged.

Aly Blog - 27th June

Pilot Andy A writes: Aly the Snail has shown her true colours, proving completely reliable, with superb bursts of unbridled power whenever opened up to the MAX , unlike the pilots who managed to get lost inside the Car Park at Avignon, eventually ending up coming out in the Main Square, rather than directly into the Hotel ! Our penalty looks likely to be at the loosing- end of a water fight, even though the Aly pilots provided the weapons

Amelie II Blog - day 5 – 25th June

Pilot Craig writes: Amelie II obviously is not a race car and she showed her displeasure at being abused down a motorway the previous day, by displaying alarming signs of breaking into pieces. Diagnosed as an impending driveshaft failure by a friendly Citroen mechanic, she was nursed into Avignon by her pilots and to their amazement had yet again claimed a stage win. Mainly due to the other pilots not telling them where the mid afternoon rest stop was, so they just tootled to the end at a gentle pace. Being magnanimous winners from the previous day, it was agreed that the pilots of the Citroen Tarte, John and mark could claim a stage win as they had checked in before the Amelie crew.

Amelie II Blog - Day 4 – 24th June

Pilot Craig writes: Taking advantage of the modified tour rules (there are no rules’) for the last 50 km’s of each day, The sneaky pilot’s of Amelie II, Craig and Nick, backtracked 5 km’s from a coffee stop and headed for the A7 motorway and made excellent time into Lyon to take a well deserved stage win from the highly fancied Citroen Tarte team.

All arrived safely in Le Luc

Brief update: We spent a couple of hours this morning exploring the Papal city and bridge of after Avignon and set off with all the Snails at about 11am. After a fuel stop we found a roadside cafe called Bar de Lignane – just north of Aix-en-Provence. Here with very slow but friendly service we were forced to relax and take our time sitting outside in the first proper sunshine and blue skies of the trip. We cleared the Cafe's stocks by drinking all of the Cafe's wine, eating all of their Steaks and finishing off their frites!

From there it was another 80km South East heading towards Nice - there were various escapades, water fights etc on the way but this is best told by the pilots who will be blogging later this evening.

We started arriving at the Hotel from about 4.30pm and after checking in were forced to try out the pool and sun beds! Dinner is at 8pm and more blogs and pictures to follow by the Pilots.

Wednesday 27 June 2007

All arrived safely in Avignon

After the days stresses and strains on the cars they all arrived in Avignon without any further problems around 7pm. Somewhat surprisingly the Daisy arrived 20 minutes before any other car. (We think that this was because Daisy only has wheel problems going round corners and so any roundabouts on route were just driven straight across regardless!).

We had dinner booked at 8pm at La Fourchette which is Michelin bistro recommended restaurant. The food was very good, the local wine (Chateauneuf du Pape white and red) was excellent and staff were great fun wearing our Rosbifs stickers. We preseneted them with a framed photo of all of the 2CVs for them to hang on the wall. One of the snails didnt make dinner until the cheese course, so now we have 2 sleepy Rosbifs!

After dinner we had a wander round the very pretty town, a glass or two more of red wine with others on Cocktails! and then off to bed after another very busy day.

We are intending to have a wander around the town first thing in the morning, with the joggers out at 7am having missed their early morning excercise in Lyons. We should set off again around 11am

Snails on a mountain road

See if you can spot your favourite 2CV comming down the mountain.

Mountain lunch day 5

Reporting from a montain top at 720m just south of Vanence. (Gilhac-et-Bruzac)

We decided to take a slight detour and try the 2CVs on some very wiggly and steep mountain roads. We had stopped earlier at a Citroen garage as the Daisy's front wheel was making a noise as if it was falling off, but the Citroen mechanic said it would fall off when it was good and ready and to continue until it did!

Lunch and wine (Margeaux) was setup to be the prize at the top of the mountain and surprisingly all the 2CVs and bikes made it!

Robifs following the great blog comments from France

All the Rosbifs are reading the blog comments which are brilliant, Thank you. We would also like to say hello to "Les enfants de Foxes Piece" who are following us in their French class and comments.

Tour Day 4 - Tuesday 26th June

Reporting from outside the Hotel in Lyons 10:00 ready for departure.

(Full update on Day 4 later on today as we are about to depart after 7 of us had a rather late night bicycling around Lyons at 1.30am! [Ive been asked to include the names of those bicycling around Lyons in order to show that we are keeping fit each day - Richard, Robert, Mark I, Ian, Nigel, Andy G and Rob)

After breakfast and tour around the very impressive Chateau, we asked Robin to wait at the bottom of the hill to video all the 2CVs coming down a very steep hill. True to form as we turned out of Chateauneuf The Moose turned left instead of right in completely the wrong direction for the camera! Frantic car to car radio calls turned all the cars around at the bottom of the hill and with lots of blue smoke we drove backup the hill to take the right route and hopefully have some great video infront of the Chateau.

From there we headed South again on the N6 where there were vinyards on both sides. We had been visiting old petrol stations on the Route Nationale, however we were a little concerned about fuel when we couldnt find any that were open! So the support car asked the ViaMichelin device to take us to the nearest one which was in Saintt-Aubin.

All fuelled up, the next dilemma was what do to for lunch ! Again we use the ViaMichelin to find us a couple of recommendations nearby. We headed throught the vinyards to a Michelin recommended restaurant in Puligny-Montrachet called "Le Montrachet". The staff were very friendly and didnt seem to mind 20 Rosbifs descending on them without warning. The next problem was choosing the wine. The local Montrachet wines started at 200 euros and the best was 3,000 per bottle! We settled on some more reasonable and local white from Saint Aubin along with a couple of reds. The food was quite fantastic along with outstanding service.

.............. (To be continued with more stories and pictures shortly)

Tuesday 26 June 2007

Tour Day 3 - Monday 25th June

Reporting at 23:45 from a bar in Chateauneuf.

Slightly better morning today as the 10am start time meant that all the Rosbifs were awake before we set off. Several pilots, namely Ian, Mark, Allan (token Rosbif), Nick and Richard ran around Fontainebleau (4 miles) in 118 T shirts (excellent additional publicity for our major sponsor). The 118 runners ran in Abbeville on Sunday morning and will be running every morning of the trip.

As the 2CVs assembled the “Marlow Donkey” managed to reverse over its own reversing light meaning that it needed to be removed before we departed. David insisted on a comfy seat to facilitate the repair and removed one of his seats. This took 20 minutes to take out and 30 minutes to put back but hey, David needs his creature comforts when away from home!

Running repairs completed we left the hotel car park in convoy being filmed by the French TV crew we had met the previous evening.
After 800m we approached the first roundabout where all the cars preceded straight across except, inexplicably the “Duke of Cambridge” which turned left! One of the motorbikes tooted frantically to the as they disappeared into the distance.
The support vehicle set off to find a supermarket to buy a picnic lunch and the rest of the cars headed for a photo shoot in an old Antique garage on the N6, near Saulieu, next to a river and a rusty Citroen truck!

Having expended a lot of energy lining up the cars we stopped for coffee. In true tour form the 2CVs managed to sneak off without the motorcycles noticing and they were left to find their own way to the next meeting place. (Richard claims this was not the way it was intended but you know what bikers are like, easily offended and eager to blame everything on everything else).

As we proceeded South the cars gradually were split up and so we regrouped again at the river in Auxerre overlooked by a huge cathedral. The main reason for to meet there was to take a photo of the bridge, cathedral and Esso garage Richard had seen in his book about the RN7. The bridge and the cathedral were still there but the garage was gone and was replaced with a “modern” Ibis Hotel (as they say in French “that’s life!”)

We then followed the N6 South to have our picnic. We aimed to stop at a high viewpoint but with nowhere to park we found a farmers track in the middle of a corn field where we parked the 2CVs in a row. An excellent picnic of French bread, ham, cheese, salads and red wine, in fact more food than we had ever seen before, but we finished it all dining from Jeremy’s and Richard’s “tablecloth shirts”. Although slightly cloudy we were really lucky with the weather being able to have a very relaxing lunch after the last few hectic days.

With another 60km along the N6 to Chateauneuf, some of the cars decided to turn the tour into a rally with a race to the hotel.

The race was started by a tasty manoeuvre by the Mangy Moose, unseen in previous competitions but now a serious competitor to Aly, the Citroen Tarte and the day two champions - Boite de Peu - expertly piloted by Robert and Richard. [ed. this paragraph written by Richard who "thinks" he is an expert Pilot!]

After much weaving and diving the Boite took the lead having previously removed the Moose’s petrol cap, returned the cap in a high speed handover, forcing them to stop and refit the said component. With Le Boite now well in the lead the pilots decided to hide for a while and rejoin the race in fourth place in order to add some spice to the race.

Chasing from behind Le Boite caught overtook Aly with ease and caught up with the Moose and overtook to take first place. A missed turning caused Le Boite to lose her place and again she fell to fourth place. Making up time again to reach second place and attaching herself to the Moose bumper the two chased at break neck speed (55mph) up the hill to the Chateau. The Moose won the day with a 1 second lead at the final winning flag. Congratulations to the Moose, more tomorrow.

A few more Paris photos

Here are a few more snaps of the 2CVs travelling up the Champs Elysees and round and round the Arc de Triumph

Sunday 24 June 2007

Day 2 update (Sunday 24th June)

Here is an summary of Sunday's activity

We all started the day at an 8am briefing except for one Rosbif who didnt turn up. Our set off time was 9am and with a little light rain everyone was ready to leave - but we were still missing one Rosbif! By 9.15am the decision was taken to leave without the lone Rosbif and let the support car bring the sleepy Rosbif along after getting the hotel reception to tell him we had all left without him! (more on this possibly separately).

We headed South through Airaines and regrouped for fuel at Grandvilliers after about an hour. Although the snails are surprisingly quick there are a lot of traffic lights and junctions on the side roads which have slowed us down a bit.

We arranged to reunite the "sleepy" Rosbif with his car at Beauvais and all met at a McDonald's. That was fine except for the "Boîte de Peu" which took a detour to the centre of Beavais and went to the wrong McDonald's!

After our late start we decided to make up time to Paris by joining the A16 motorway and eventually zoomed into Paris past the Stade de France with the Support Vehicle taking the lead. From the Perifique we headed into the centre of Paris and here the ViaMichelin navigator was extremely helpful directing us through the Parisian streets. We think we programmed the shortest route as we did take some frightening small and narrow back roads but successfully emerged, as a complete convoy, just by the Notre Dame at 1.30pm.

We were an hour and a half late and had lost our police parking, however we managed to park in a line right in front of Notre Dame where we met Richard Lamberts Sister. Many Pictures were taken around Notre Dame including a team photo at the start of the N7 in front of Notre Dame.

After about 1/2 hour we set off for our Paris tour, firstly travelling up the Champs Elysees, taking our life in our hands as we circled the Arc de Triumph several times and then on to the Eiffel Tour. We managed to park South East of the Tower in a line with a perfect picture pose. Many people came up to support us including several Japanese tourists wanting their pictures taken with the cars.

From here we headed back to the start of the N7 South of Notre Dame and then from there South to Orly. We had planned to meet some people from the 2CV club at Orly but this didn't happen so we carried on South to Fontaineblue.

We all parked at the back of the hotel and were met by a French camera crew making a film about the 2CV for its 60th birthday. We spent a lot of time giving interviews and talking to the crew until it was time to go to dinner.

Dinner was at an interesting restaurant within walking distance where the food was very good but service didn't quite live up to expectations. After that we headed back to the hotel for the evening fines for bad driving and general indiscretions and then to bed ready for day 3.

Day 2 programme

After a late night of toasting our good fortune to all the cars arriving yesterday, we are leaving Abbeville at 9am and aiming to park outside Notre Dame in Paris at 12pm. The plan is to have lunch there and then do a tour of central Paris at 2pm after which we head South to Fontainebleau trying not to get too lost today !

Saturday 23 June 2007

Abbeville end of day one update

The ferry journey went according to plan until we hit Calais. It took less than five minutes for all the vehicles to become seperated and lost. Even though we had two way radios it was complete chaos!

We spent 30 minutes trying to extracate ourselves from Calais before we found the D127 South towards Abbeville. We regrouped outside a patisserie in Hardinghen, where we updated the logos on the side of the cars to "118 218". We then proceeded at various speeds South, where some of the 2CVs "just" exceeded 70mph resulted in later fines and "L" plates for various drivers at dinner.

We were surprised at the number of French people that waved and recognised the "118 218" logo. When we stopped for petrol, several children recited and danced to the "118 218" tune. This is a good omen for out trip tomorrow to Paris !

Update from mid channel

After a very fast trip down to Clacket Services in about an hour some of the 2CVs were smoking a little so we stopped for a quick pit stop. With no problems found we set off again and managed to get to Dover and the Ferry ticket desk without any problems.

At that point the lead 2CV (Robert and Richards) had a major electrical fault and needed to be pushed from the ticket desk out of the way! After some work on the coil we managed to get the earlier ferry so we have a more leisurely trip to Abbeville.

Friday 22 June 2007

Real time 2CV Tour tracking

You can track the 2CV Tour's progress in real-time thanks to a mobile tracking device fitted to our support vehicle here, or from our home page.

Our thanks to Michael Zelouf and Dave Redpath from BlueCom Group Ltd for supporting the tour and supplying and fitting the tracking device.
Thanks also to Chris Hurley at Vision360 for completing and pubishing the tracking pages for us.

ViaMichelin GPS tracking sytems to keep the snails on track

ViaMichelin UK Ltd is supporting the tour by generously donating a ViaMichelin x960 GPS navigation system to each of the cars. Many thanks to Stuart Derricott of ViaMichelin for arranging this for us.

The daily route way points have been programmed into each of the ViaMichelin devices and will help the cars to stay on track and give us a better chance of actually reaching Monaco !

The Michelin man is also coming along to see us off from the Compleat Angler, Marlow on the morning of the 23rd.

Tuesday 19 June 2007

Fund raising update - 4 days to go

With four days to go, we are getting very close to our £75,000 target for the Air Ambulance.

Our stand at the Marlow Regatta and a collection raised £280 on the Saturday, and on Sunday, at the end of the concert and festival dragon boat day, we collected a further £308. Many thanks to all who contributed.

So, if you haven't signed up on our justgiving web pages please please make a donation here now!

More sponsored moustache growing progress

The Mangy Moose (Ian Brown) thought it would be nice to give Boîte de Peu (Richard) some company in looking like a dodgy second hand car salesman so the race is on for the best looking tache by the end of the tour.

Ian says "So far I have sponsorship of two weeks pocket money from my daughter Kezia. In trying to make the growth look more substantial I have cut my hair as short as I dare, but all that has happened is that my wife Lucy thinks that I look like something out of the Village People and has refused to kiss me until it either dies or falls off. Any other sponsorship directed at the Mangy Moose (or should that be Mangy Tache) would be gratefully received."

Its Monte Carlo Or Bust - Press articles

Its Monte Carlo Or Bust (from Bucks Free Press)

Business in Berkshire Article

Monday 18 June 2007

The Tache so Far (or a tache too far!)

The sponsored 118 moustache growing is nearing the end of week 1 and the sprouting continues.

With two weeks to go before the end of the tour, the full 118er should be in full flourish! (Well as full flourish as he can muster with he weak growth hormones!) Richard would be pleased to receive any helpful suggestions. He intends to ignore Nigel's advice: "cover your face with salt and hover over a bowl full of water. The hairs will be so desperate for a drink they will stretch out for the water". Thanks Nigel!

A bit of competition from Ian Brown too...maybe a little contest at the end of the trip?

Sunday 17 June 2007

Rosbifs row for the Air Ambulance

A team of 2CV pilots and supporters of the Air Ambulance took to the water to enter in the Marlow Town Regatta Dragon Boat competition.

The imaginatively named "Fit, Active, Rowers, Toiling for the Air Ambulance" (or F.A.R.T. for the A.A. for short) were one of 39 Dragon boat teams competing on the day.

The "FARTftAA" won their first 3 races with some very impressive times. Unfortunately however, the team seems to have peeked too early and were eventually beaten by a more seasoned dragon boat. Even with a respectable 15th place overall some of the pilots felt they had done better and a stewards enquiry is in progress !

Collecting buckets for the Air Ambulance were rattled all day with many generous donations received. Also a big thank you to Marlow Town Regatta for letting us collect money as people left after the pop concert and also for the collecting tins on the bars.

Saturday 16 June 2007

6 Snails at Marlow Town Regatta

A Stand with 6 of the snails were fund raising at Marlow Town Regatta in Higginson Park, Marlow on Saturday 16th June. The 2CV sun roofs stayed firmly closed during several deluges of rain, however that didn't dampen the events spirit. Money was collect at the stand with custom badges being sold and may other goodies. Sir Steve Redgrave signed two of the 118118 shirts and has said that he will join us at 8am for the send off on the 23rd June from the Complete Angler

Tuesday 12 June 2007

Richard Lambert's Sponsored 118118 Moustache

Richard Lambert has been offered £200 as a donation if he grows a 118118 moustache by his return from Monte.

Richard has accepted this challenge, which really will be a challenge as his usual shave involves a rub with a rough towel!

If anyone else thinks that this challenge should be properly rewarded (as he will have to start now and look like a vagrant for the next two weeks prior to departure and still carry on business) then they are welcome to add to the donations for Richard and Robert or for the whole tour. Just add a suitable note to your donation so that we know why you've sponsored!

Sunday 10 June 2007

Windsor photos and more breakdowns

All 7 2CVs, the support vehicle and a motorcycle outrider arrived outside Windsor Castle, parking behind the statue of Queen Victoria, for a photo shoot today.

The photographer arranged with the police to let us stay for 15 minutes whilst the tourists looked on in an interested but somewhat bemused state. Lots of pictures and a press interview later and we drove off to the park by the river. (Well nearly all of us did - the "Marlow Donkey" needed a bump start outside the Castle which was the first sign of things to come).

We all parked up near the river under the railway arches and took lots more pictures. The plan was then to head off to Windsor Great Park, but this is where we ran into real trouble. The "Marlow Donkey" had decided that it was definitely not going to start again, even after trying to bump start it half way back to central Windsor! So the "Support Team" was summoned and a shiny new "A" frame towing bar fitted to the front of the tired 2CV to take her home.

Everything under control again we headed out of the car park when the "Mangy Moose" decided to come out in sympathy and stalled. Again she stubbornly wouldn't start until connected to jump leads from the Support Vehicle.

We made it to a roundabout on the Windsor by-pass when the "Mangy Moose" battery decided it had had enough and was going no further. This was a pity as the day before it had been driving round farmers fields at great speed, becoming airborne at one point, and delighting pilots and children at a party at Hickenham Farm.

So now we had two dead cars and one towing vehicle. After cooling down (the coil had over-heated), we managed to revive "Marlow Donkey" just enough to get it on its way and so attached the A-frame to the "Mangy Moose" for its recovery home.

An interesting morning and we haven't been past Windsor yet. It looks like the support teams will be quite busy on the trip !

Photos available here

Saturday 9 June 2007

The Mangy Moose Climbing Frame

The Mangy Moose (driven by Andy and Ian) made an appearance at Andy's 40th (and his son Theo's 4th) birthday party earlier today. The children had a great time climbing all over her and were given rides round Hicknaham farm, where the event took place. Drives round the fields and farmyard proved the value of great 2CV suspension as did cramming 17, 18 or was it even 19 children into the car!

Thursday 7 June 2007

Wonkey Donkey

Richard Lambert writes: -

How to change a wheel on a Wonkey Donkey!

The first reported puncture of the Tour was easily rectified with a little strong arm!

Arriving at the prestigious Evolution offices in High Wycombe the Marlow Donkey let out a huge sigh and collapsed on her hind quarters.

Flat tyre, no problem, get the jack out and hey presto the sill started to bend. Put the jack away boys! Now lets all heave! Old wheel off, new one on...who needs a trolley jack...throw it away Tony...change the Support Car toolkit - travel light!

Tuesday 5 June 2007

May Fayre 118118 Photos

There are two sets of May Fayre photos available on the Rosbifs & Snails photos website:

Taken by the 118 photographer: 118118 photos
Taken by others at Marlow May Fair