So one month later and the date has been annonced for Dumball 6 – only 570 days to go… We’re back to a spring date – 27th April 2012. Set your alarms folks.
Meanwhile, Dumballers old and new have been trying to cope with real life but just can’t stop thinking about it. So a couple of goodies from the Red Squadron’s Surf Chicks:
From old hand Jess, a half-hour photo montage taking you right the way through the whole event, featuring epic mountains, Busted jumps galore, speed limits for tanks and previously unseen footage of the cars post-crushing. Check it out here: http://gallery.me.com/jessholliday#100021
And from new girl Camilla, a gushing brain dump of all the best bits as she tries to explain exactly what happened in that magically week. Camilla couldn’t bare to be parted from her trusty steed and to this day drives around Italy in the Surf Chick’s dumball car, searching for anyone chatting on channel 3….
Dumball rally – The Godfather 2010 – one life live it
Really..??!.. is it not normal hanging out of a car with a massive sheep on the roof and screaming CIAO at the top of your lungs trying to get high fives from pedestrians whilst speeding through red light, on a forgotten mountain village on the way to Kosovo? Really? Not normal? Who defined normal anyway?
How about deciding to drive over 3000 miles through Europe, in one week with a bunch of your friends in fancy dress and pimped up shit ass cars. And we are not talking the autobahn either, we are talking hard core winding mountain roads, that only mad dogs and English men seems to still grace with their presence. Normal? I think yes, if you were a part of this year’s Dumball rally – The Godfather. One cause got us all united and made us live, scream and shot through the walki talkies that kept the squadrons together in convoys. Teenage Cancer Trust. What a great way to raise money for charity. Helping teenagers with the fight of their life, the fight to live. We all have one life, so live it!
On day one we arrived on Brighton peer, dressed to impress, a bag of currency and ready to cross 1 ocean go over two and drive through 12 countries to get to our destination, Scilly. Don’t forget the spirit of Dumball, it’s not about being there, it’s about getting there. Each car received: one driver manual, walkie talki and a bunch of stickers. My car the surf chicks were dumballers nr 25 and in red squadron together with: The Beach boys, easy to recognize with all the inflatable’s strapped to the roof, Devon Sent looked like it had dived into a painters kit and had everything colourful glued to it, Midas Touch the queens of the gold, Devon does Dumball and Moonshiners. We eagerly put all the stickers on our old 2liter 850 Volvo estate, with special attention to the sticker IN MEMORY OF ADAM HORN – one life, live it. A bubbly perfectly happy teenager, that one day got the horrifying news that he had cancer. Adam lost the battle before his 18 birthday but never lost hope. It’s for teenagers like Adam we were all gathered to do Dumball rally.
Are we not glad we got the manual, apparently all we need in form of maps and other information was in it. And as stated on page 1:The manual is perfectly correct in every way. In the unlikely event that you should discover any discrepancies along the way, blame reality… The manual is always right.
On that note, what could possibly go wrong?
The walkies turned out to be necessary for more than one reason. Some fabulous banter going on channel 3 amongst the red squadron. It proved extremely useful when driving in convoy or overtaking slower vehicles climbing up a winding road with absolutely no view of oncoming traffic. “Go go go go.. NO no no car coming car coming. All clear. Surf chicks are through, waiting for Moonshiners in the blowhole.” All good! Or trying to keep the squadron together through crazy cities and various crossings with holding manoeuvres. “Who is in the blowhole? (being last in the convoy) over, Midas touch over, Beach boys requesting a holding manoeuvres from Midas touch over. Roger that, beach boys over. Roger Federer over.” And the last car would pull out and stop all traffic.
Our squadron leaders, the beach boys, and their fabulous effort to keep us all sane when we needed it most. On the fifth day of driving we today we’re heading to the disputed territory of Kosovo through beautiful, tiny mountain passes in the middle of chuffing nowhere. The manual said it’s important to go to the right border into Kosovo and not via Serbia, as they are very much in dispute with Kosovo. There was a seriously long and hairy road through the Montenegrians peaks and tops that took us to Kosovo. Kosovo, the land that is being rebuild from almost scratch, at least the motorway, oh no wait let me refries that, the motorway is not built yet. If you try to find a descent road map of Kosovo you will find it to be more than a challenge. Pretty sure that any German participant, if we had had any, would have lost the plot just by the thought of not being able to know exactly where we were going. Having to buy car insurance on the border, because no insurance company in their right mind would insure you in this country, continuing on a not yet built motorway that we had to drive on for hours in the blackness of the night, with no light in sight, ANYWHERE. It basically consisted of a dirt road with no signing what so ever, the only light you saw through the huge cloud of dust was if you were lucky, the tail light of the car in front of you, and the sudden scare of the front light that came from out of nowhere 1 meter to the left of you. We constantly had to take hard right and hard lefts to avoid sudden drops in the road, ditches that would most certainly had messed our wheels up and the emergency total lack of road. Thank goodness for the walki talki at least we had each other. Me for one I did not know if I was driving into no man’s land, into a war zone or both. The dumball manual clearly said; don’t stop for anything in Kosovo, don’t drive off marked roads, and never drive at night. Ok so why not add to the excitement and just do all of it? Living in the comfort zone? Nop, living real life!
When we eventually got into Prestina, we were met with roads, cars, and general chaos. As expected traffic rules was mere guidelines, if that. And our dressed up cars drew no attention what so ever… so we managed to blend in pretty well. Or? After having the squadron leaders running around half panic stricken in the street trying to find out our location, in bright yellow and red LIFGUARD outfits, I don’t think anyone noticed us. We managed to find a taxi to escort the squadron to the hotel. Driving bumper to bumper got a whole new meaning. I was wondering why the taxi driver chuckled at us when we said take us to the Grand hotel, I assumed it was the bright red faced blond lifeguard James that was directing us with his lifeguard whistle, but after driving one block to find our hotel, I realized why. 23.45 we reached the hotel and 23.47 we hit the bar. Glued to a bottle of red wine and soaked in massive amounts of food, high fives and hugs all around. 100 exited voices turned into a 100 drunken voices and so the night went on.
As regards to the driving experience this was one of the highlights of the Dumball Rally this year. But it was so much more to come. The joint mission we were all on, glue you together and create a whole different kind of unity. The sort of belonging that you felt to your 7th grade best mates and your soccer team mates after 10 years of thick and thin. Everyone with open minds and no personality filters, we all blended into a melting pot. The standard for fancy dress was defiantly set by the TOP DUMB on the first day in Brighton, where Highway to the danger zone was blasting out at serious volume, from the roof of an old gray sprayed pimped up sports Mazda made out to resemble the F11 top gun fighter jets. And in front MavNick and MavRick in full fighter pilot costume, helmet and pilot glasses. Top Dum = big hit! Not far behind was the EWE Turn, an estate Vauxhall with a massive sheep flat out on his stomach made out of insulation spray, a massive pink tongue hanging over the front window screen. This would later prove to be an issue and resulting in Mr Darren hanging out of the window holding the tong to one side in torrential rain in 70 miles an hour down the motorway in Italy! And I thought I had seen it all….
Parked next to EWE Turn in Brighton was the Esplanades Mexicans. A spaceship of a car dipped in serious technology. It had blasting speakers mounted on the back in what looked like space motors, changing colours and spewing out smoke. The inside was like sitting in a cockpit, and I could not help wondering what a class hang up on electronics had happened here. Having seen stranger things in my life, I sat back and let myself be impressed.
THE SPIRIT OF DUMBALL MONKEY
This is the highest honour one can receive. It is given to the group who show the most Passion, courage and madness along the way. The price we were all competing for went to “Blow your doors of” on the last leg to Sicily they actually literally blew their doors of, and drove the last hour without doors. Don’t think they had been expected a thunderstorm and pouring rain, but that only made it so much more fun.
8days, 3000 miles and £ 68 000 raised for charity later we grouped hugged when our cars got squashed into scrap metal. All but a couple of cars got to live to tell the tale. One that is still very much alive is our surf chicks car, which I renamed The surf chick when driving alone from south to the north, to Lake Como, which is where I currently live real life….