Change of Plans – day 1 and day 2
Morning departure from Budapest went almost with 1 hour delay but yet all participants were quite happy for the start of this big adventure.
The goal for the first day of the Central Asia Rally would be to reach the city of Rivne in northern Ukraine, 790km away from Budapest in Hungary.
Expecting to cross the amazing Carpathian Mountains on this first day, crossing Ukraine through cities such as Ushgurod and Lviv.
BUT, change of plan. Yes, all the team members got stuck in Ukrainian border due to the interdiction of export plate cars crossing he Ukrainian territory without paying and amount reaching around 10.000 euros each vehicle. NO WAY!
car on the border with ukraine
This money would prevent us to try to sell the car in Ukraine and should be given back in the exit border crossing (although this is never sure as all can happen in Ukraine). So unanimously all the teams got out of the Ukraine border and another plan had to be put on the table. Quick decisions had to be made.
The two possible options would be either driving north to Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Lavtia into Russia; or driving south crossing the Balkans through Serbia or Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia just before finally getting into Russia.
Next goal: Russia.
All teams drove through Romania into Bulgaria except our team – Novos Descobridores. We chose to cross Serbia as roads are much better and we made the itinerary Budapest – Novi Sad – Belgrade – Nis – Sofia – Plovdiv – Istanbul. Crossing the border of Turkey we already had a total of 1700 km driving since 9:30 am of the 26th of May.
driving in bulgaria
The only problem: this little misfortune of the Central Asia Rally would increase the amount of total km in around 2500 – to be done in 2 days in order to reach Russia within the legal visa permitted dates.
on the turkish border