We don’t get much time to ‘stop and smell the roses’ on this trip – especially as we are not the most competitive cars on the rally – so I am not well enough informed to brief on social issues but as we approach Tyumen we pass countless people lined up on the side of the road with small punnets of strawberries / cherries. Selling fresh fruit by the side of the road is not unusual but it is the number of individuals and the very small number of punnets they are each selling that is noticeable.

After a long day the hotel is welcome, as it is every night. A small walk to stretch my legs and I meet one of the other competitors, mildly annoyed that he couldn’t get a haircut. I’m impressed that he has the time to fret about it as getting a trim in Siberia was certainly something I thought I might need, I am just glad of a hot shower and a proper bed after camping!

We stay at the Mercure, with underground parking and a shopping centre next door – fresh fruit and chocolate.. what more do we need.

Matt, with some advice from the sweeps changes the front bushes on the passenger suspension, another attempt to improve the ride at the front and eradicate a knocking when cornering. The existing bushes are certainly a little past their best.

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