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Monday, September 3, 2012 | Delayed flights and the visit of Retal

The holidays are over. The Editourmobil is waiting in the Ukraine for us to pick it up. The two of us, Waldemar Schmitke, co-driver, and Alexander Büchler make up the third team on this, the final stage of our Go to Brau Beviale Tour. The first major challenge is on the outward flight.

Waldemar is flying from Dusseldorf to Vienna, I'm taking the Frankfurt to Vienna plane, and then the plan is to fly together to Dnepropetrovsk. We duly meet up at Vienna, but there is a hiccup with the onward flight. There’s a two hour delay before we take off. This makes the afternoon schedule in Dnep rather tight. In particular it means that we won’t be able to collect the Editourmobil until the evening. We will still need to proceed with our interviews however.

After discussions with Retal, and having had a bite to eat, we finally rouse the vehicle from its 30 day slumber in the secure car park. Straightaway we notice that more water than anticipated seems to have escaped from the tank. There is no hose available but we do have a canister. When we turn on the first tap, a horrible brown sludge emerges which is not fit to be used even in the toilet. The Retal people kindly lend a hand and they manage to run some water from the engine cooling circuit into the canister which they then tip into the water tank. We fill up the windscreen washer reservoir at the same time. By this time we are much too tired to worry unduly about water quality and we are asleep almost before our heads touch the pillow.