If yesterday was a proper Marathon Day, then today was a Marathon day and then some, to misquote the great Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap, today was “turned up to 11”. There was a bit of everything, but then any day that spans two countries, across a distance of 376 km and involves seven regularities and two tests is bound to throw in some surprises.
It is a bit of a job recounting the details of day four, as it all seems to have run into a big rally-shaped mess in my brain, not so much a case of it all being rather samey, more that the what’s and where for’s have come so thick and fast it’s a job providing punctuation to the day’s experiences – it’s been a hard day for the old synapses.
It began innocently enough, with another morning bathed in Slovenian sunshine, a start to the day that has become almost as routine as a cup of coffee. There were more wonderful sweeping roads to enjoy as well, the stretches of which were bracketed with picturesque villages with their pretty churches that have been such a feature of the landscape in the upper areas of this country. It is almost more Austrian than Austria, a comment that is meant as a compliment, of course.
We were climbing higher today, and as the altitude increased so did the views and even the Krsko Nuclear Power Plant miles away down in the base of the valley didn’t really spoil the vista. You see whilst the route has been excellent, we have spent a lot of time pedalling between the trees so far, so it felt good to have an unmolested view of the countryside, which stretched for miles. Life was good and the regularities were enjoyable once again, but perhaps it was a little too good and the rally Gods had decided that a little mischief was in order.
This began innocently enough, a Tractor here, a slow-moving lorry there, all costing the competitors little snippets of time. Things went a little too far when on reg four a logging truck going about his business blocked the route entirely, leading to a, well, logjam of rally cars. Engines went off and the crews disembarked their vehicles, some watching the tele-arm of the arctic picking up great fistfuls of logs and some remarking that they wished they had bought a picnic. Nobody panicked, as there was little to be done, rally cars long enough, and something like this will happen. Car 5, Gerd A. Buehler (DE) + Elina Feierabend (DE), in the beautiful BMW 503 were actually somewhat pleased about the interruption, having wrong slotting just before the congestion, “now everyone around us is losing the same amount of time” chuckled Gert.