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Thursday, July 19 2012 | Handover in Yekaterinburg

I'm absolutely shattered. Not only the new time change (Ekaterinburg is again two hours ahead), but the last few days and weeks have been strenuous. Shortly after 9 o'clock I'm already in Torsten's room. He, Rolf and Felix had picked Michael up at the airport late last night or rather early this morning. ... [ Read more ]

Wednesday, July 18 2012 | Repairs again

Good morning Iveco. After a quick breakfast, we are greeted by the friendly staff at Iveco, and ushered into the workshop. Then follows the second odyssey starting with an inspection of the engine compartment, tests, and finally a test drive. With Rolf furiously accelerating and breaking, I can work only intermittently. In the late afternoon, with the engine now apparently repaired, engine hoses fitted and sensor duly replaced, we finally set off in a happy frame of mind. ... [ Read more ]

Tuesday, July 17 2012 | From Kazan to Yekaterinburg Pt. 2

Today we are determined to get to Ekaterinburg. Ahead of us lie several hundred kilometres on possibly dodgy roads. So yet again it will be purely a driving and writing day. But the goal is within our grasp and that spurs us on. Today we will be reaching the Urals, and its beautiful setting which we have heard and read so much about. ... [ Read more ]

Monday, July 16 2012 | From Kazan to Yekaterinburg Pt. 1

So as not to waste any time, we are at Iveco’s front door promptly at 9 o’clock. It takes no time at all to explain the situation in Ekaterinburg with the spare part for the defective engine, and outline the problem. We are in luck, they have the part. We do not know exactly what is being exchanged, but assume that it is a porous hose hanging from the turbocharger. ... [ Read more ]

Sunday, July 15 2012 | Repairs and beautiful Kazan

It would be difficult to underestimate our concern that evening over the immediate prospects for the remainder of the tour. On the road to Kazan we stop for a rapid breakfast which lifts our spirits a little. It was agreed with the garage that we should wait at a kilometre marker and they would pick us up there. By early afternoon, we're still waiting impatiently for some action. Another quick phone call and finally we are picked up by an Iveco technician who takes us to a nearby repair workshop. ... [ Read more ]

Saturday, July 14 2012 | Broken machine

As we leave the city behind us, we are greeted by a sensational sunrise. Just for a moment, everywhere is peaceful, the streets deserted. It is not to last. We drive through a varied landscape of forests, tiny villages and gas production facilities. ... [ Read more ]

Friday, July 13 2012 | Bericap, Nizhniy Novgorod and the club

An early departure is the order of the day. Like almost every morning, if time and network availability allows, I answer emails and generally check everything is OK. In the afternoon we are supposed to be at Bericap, which still has to be arranged. A few hours later we arrive in Bor, close to Nizhniy Novgorod. This is the Bericap plant. ... [ Read more ]

Thursday, July 12 2012 | Netstal and off to Nizhniy Novgorod

It is shortly after 10 o’clock, when Svetlana Ansimova, whom we have already met up with on our visit to Alfatechform, comes over to greet us. Over a delicious coffee she shows us round the office and we discuss the latest happenings in the PET world. ... [ Read more ]