Day 1: Peking – Great Wall – Jimingyi – Dahai (457.34 km)

The day we had all been waiting for! Following 2 hours of sleep we got up at 04:30 in order to be at the Great Wall by 07:30 which is where the rally would officially commence. We left the hotel at 06:00 with what we thought was plenty of time to make the 59.3 km journey, however we managed to get completely lost! A new set of directions had been issued for this drive however we were following the original roadbook which is why we couldn’t understand them. We realized within about 1 km that we must have gone wrong and tried to return back to the hotel but because of all the junctions ended up getting even more lost. Armed with directions we couldn’t make any sense of and a map of Beijing in mandarin, we had no choice but to use our GPS system and follow waypoints. Although we arrived late at the wall, we were still before our official time slot and so did not incur any penalties before the rally had even started!
The first leg brought us to a small town called Jimingyi where we had to check in. Along the way we passed coal power station after power station, which really explains all the smog and air pollution. In the afternoon we then drove the 320 km to Daihai, passing through many small towns. Police presence along the route was extremely high with police standing by the side of the road every few kilometers.
The 40 km or so before Daihai were full of potholes and large puddles. It was a rather bumpy ride and at one stage we drove into a big hole and lost the sand boards that we will need in order to make it through the Gobi. There was also an underpass with about 40 cm of really dirty water in it. We just about made it without the back pressure of the water killing the engine but that happened to one of the Jaguars and it’s owners had to push it out. In general we didn’t see that many cars but instead lots of large and dusty trucks carrying coal. The locals along the whole route seemed very excited to see the cars. They would stand by the side of the road taking photos or if we needed to stop, quickly surround us. It was also quite funny how we would sometimes get cars drive up along side us and try to keep the same speed!
Although a couple of the cars experienced technical difficulties, luckily everything is still working well for us. In the morning the water pump shaft was making quite a lot of noise which made us worry that the water pump and as a result also the cooling system would fail. However, after giving it multiple doses of oil, it seems to be holding up alright.










Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Day 1: Peking – Great Wall – Jimingyi – Dahai (457.34 km)

  1. Gavin Hinxman

    Well done, day 1 completed!
    Good luck for day 2 🙂
    Great blog, thanks.

  2. Alex

    Hallo Noele und Mario, schoen was!!!. Ich wuensche euch alles Gute fuer die restlichen Kilometer.
    Die Strassen sind eigentlich nicht die besten oder?

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