In the U.S.A. at last
Last precautions are taken by the two travellers at Air Cargo in Seoul. Manni receives a special identification card which allows him to drive his car through the flight hall onto one of the prepared palettes. Of course he had to remove the car battery first, exhaust the gasoline, and secure the brake conductions. After seven hours everything is just like prescriptions say.
"Difty" is loaded into the plane to Los Angeles.
Manni and Matterhorn take the flight at 19:15 hrs. Seoul time, Sunday, July 25th, and land on the San Francisco Airport the same Sunday in the late afternoon, having crossed the date limit.
Since "Difty" was sent to Los Angeles, the travellers have to rent a car and drive 400 miles in nine hours on the road along the coast through the dark of the night to L.A.
Manni remembers a place where he had worked during his first trip around the world, the "Alpine Carpet One". The two men reach the parking lot in front of the shop and fall into a deep dreamless sleep at once. One may imagine the looks on the face of the surprised owner the next morning, as he finds the two men from Germany sleeping in their car. Nobody had informed him about the tour, nobody had announced their arrival, so actually he doesn´t know about anything. But he recognizes Manni at once.
First of all a shower, then change the clothes and then the owner invites the guys to a rich breakfast. After having just what they needed, their mission continues with the destination Air Cargo in L.A. – but no sight of "Difty".
When Manni and Matterhorn had a hard time with slow bureaucracy in Russia, here in America it beats everything. Being able to put a certain pressure on their demands in Russia, here they need a lot of patience and best connections, which they actually don´t have.
It is Wednesday in the afternoon when they receive the shattering news from the customs, that they need to hand over the exact address of "Difty"´s manufacturing firm in France. Neither one of them knows it. So they call the "Around The World"- Management in Bremerhaven. But in Germany it is in the middle of the night, no chance for the team to get anybody on the phone. By the time the Citroen company in Bremerhaven is able to help and the team passes the address to Manni, the customs in L.A. have closed. Another day lost.
The adventurers aren´t able to close an eye the next night. It is almost enough to drive them to despair.
Matterhorn says in his fax to the management team: "When we had problems with the officials in Russia, we took out our guitars and sang until they let us go. It ain´t possible here, everything is so much different here."
Thursday they are still stuck in L.A., still problems with the customs who don´t accept the documents. They want to know why the car is imported, when it will be exported, how much it costs and what kind of mission the two Germans have.
One day later still no result, and the weekend is only one day away. Nobody works on the weekend, not even in the land of unlimited possibilities.
Then, all of a sudden, good news, they have their car and they start immediately.
But considering the loss of time, the men have to change their plans again, change their route again, hoping to reach New York on August 7th, 1999 – taking the Interstate 80 – (view timetable).
gbm...August 5th, 1999