"Difty"´s first break-down - Russians help with repairs
What sounds like a scenario, something one could have planned to make the trip of the two adventurers even more exciting and spectecular for the media, has happened in reality. The two are nowhere to find. Saturday, June 5th, they leave Moscow heading toward Omsk. Daily the "Around The World" team tries to get in touch with them, or the other way around, Manni and "Matterhorn try to call Bremerhaven with their Handy or from the hotel. But nothing at all since Saturday. The team in Bremerhaven knows, if they´re doing good, they should be near Ufa, about 1.000 km behind Moscow. Everything seems possible, so the management team contacts all the hotels on this leg, but no sign of the travellers. The team calls the Russian TV, so they may leave a message for the public. The local radio stations are also informed, even the police. But no success. The "Around The World" team got in contact with a very friendly and obliging journalist from the Moscow press. In the first place to inform the Russian people about the trip, but as time passes on he turns out to be a big help. But in this case he is also helpless.
Then on Thursday the redeeming call. Everything is ok, they are well, only "Difty" has had problems with the road conditions. A 2 CV Citroen driver knows, a 2 CV has swing-wings instead of an axis fastened with bolts. One of the front bolts broke after 4.500 driven kilometers. At the time of their call the two are in Kurgan, about 450 km before Omsk, one of the bigger cities where using the handy should be possible again. The Russian police takes the car to one of the biggest mechanical factories in that area. Straight away ten mechanics start working, trying to repair the car in a very short time. Everybody there knows that the travellers have a mission to complete in a certain time, in 80 days. In a jiffy the ´old lady´ is fit to go again, and on top of it all she gets a full tank, and everything without any costs. A complete different face of Russia most of the Europeans get to see on TV, friendly and co-operative. Friday, June 11th, they reach Omsk. Next destination is Novosibirsk. Manni had taken Russian lessons short before their leave from Bremerhaven, but "Matterhorn" has not. He is still talking with hands and feet. Just imagine what it looks like when he tries to explain to the Chef of the hotel, that he wants his breakfast eggs fried from two sides.