Deja vu

The Great Race Centennial was canceled in 2008 after China withdrew our travel permits 6 weeks prior to the start of the race. The reason? The Tibetan protests in the western provinces. So now, according to an article in the International Herald Tribune, on March 4, the Chinese authorities are clamping down on activities by foreigners that it deems threatening to political stability. Seems somehow this is related to the Internet postings and the potential of Chinese citizens gathering to show displeasure of their government. They’ve even forced cancellation of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Shanghai! Now, I agree, a bunch of drunk Irishmen can be threatening, but to government stability? Go figure. I didn’t even know there were enough Irish organizations in all of China to form a parade. Shows you how much I know about China. Guess I’ll know a lot more after driving across the entire country.

See you on the road to Paris,


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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1 Response to Deja vu

  1. Milford Brown says:

    In the Vintage Voice, you asked about a place in San Francisco to check Stewball’s condition, but didn’t leave an address for answers! If you don’t find one there, just across SF Bay, in Pinole, is Letcher Bros. Auto Repair, formerly Letcher Bros. VW Repair until VW’s “bounty-hunters” started threatening anyone who used “VW” on anything not part of the factory system. Mike Letcher (the only brother now in the business) has a well-restored early ’60s Beetle that won an award in the Kelley Park,, San Jose show last year, and at least one mechanic who was brought home from the hospital in one as a new-born and has worked on Beetles (plus the Porsche he owns also) almost since that time. In 1991 they built a new engine for my ’63 Beetle (my fourth) from their choice of new parts (too many possibilities for this d-i-y VW owner to select the best), and it still serves as my daily driver with no problems. Other air-cooled VW specialists on this side of SF Bay have gradually disappeared, but as long as he knows you are willing to pay the difference between a repair and a restoration, as I am (the problem with predicting repair costs for old cars), he undoubtedly would check to see how Stewball is doing, especially since this is such an unusual event.

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