Eulogising about the weather and the roads was bound to cause a problem and after a sunny departure from Ljubljana the heavens opened late morning. It was a rainstorm of biblical proportions and I am not alone in stating that it is the worst rain I have ever driven in. At one point we had a horizontal wall of water and hail stones that our puny wipers and screen fan were powerless to do anything about. Crawling along at around 10mph we came across a rash of red tail lights and hazard flashers and thinking it was an accident we slowed behind the last car, only to see that they had all pulled over and were trying to hide under a bridge.
After about 15 minutes the fact that we couldn’t see the road, the car in front or much of the cars coming the other way we pulled over and waited for it to pass.
Thinking that the European final days would be easy, as the route book listed 350-450km for each day, was a mistake. There are 5-6 stages every day and while they were all on tarmac today, the wet conditions made them slippery. There seems a noticeably calmer approach today after the scary events of yesterday and we spent long lonely miles on the road without seeing that many other competitors.
Entering the Dolomites the Jag is taking a beating of a different kind as todays 440km was virtually all on one mountain road or other, going up through countless hairpins and very short straights and then down the other side, doing a stage and then repeating the process on another mountain. They are interesting roads, and I like Alpine type roads, but normally you do a Swiss pass in an hour or so of interesting bits, this went on all day. Consequently, steering, brakes and clutch all took a hammering – as did arms as the day turned into an upper body workout (I quite miss power steering, and AC, and a handbrake that works etc etc)