Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lingotto and more

WOW what another great day. Apart from the satnav letthng us down when we needed it most, in Turin!

Once we found the other Jobbers in Piazza Carlo Alberto, we then made our way through Turin to the Lingotto rooftop Test Track. what a great job the Turin Police did, in stopping the traffic.

After our adventure, through Turin, we've had dinner at the new Eatery opposite the Lingotto. This is a facinating place where all lovers oe should go. Your not only offered an amazhng selection of food, but each section has its own specialist restaurant.

To Lingotto


We've arrived in Alba enroute to Turin. This is a fantastic place to shop, and was the starting point for Top Gears challenge, to find the best road in Europe.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Garage Party

We've invited a few jobbers to the garage with Ang and Carl and now we've got a full on party going on in the garage!

Evening ln Stressa

WOW what a hotel, it's positively palacial.

We had a wonderful boat trip out to an island here, this afternoon, after which we made our way to our hotel, the Les Iles Borromees. I thought last years hotel was magnificent but this knocks spots off it. The only downside is the bar prices, but we bought some drink earlier on (including a bottle of Jack Daniels for €6) to have a garage party in the underground garage later.

Quack Quack Jack driving

Jacks decided NOT to swim back from our lunch stop on an island in the middle of Lake Maggoire. He's taken control of the boat and said something about leaving the cars behind and getting back to Blighty!

I think he fancies himself as a bit of a pirate!

Lake Maggoire

On a misty day, but we're off on a tour of the lake, so hopefully get a better view

Monday, October 29, 2007

Clubman Italian Style

Briancar at Monza have laid on drinks, cakes and a beautiful hot chocolate clubman. An opportunity for Becky and Debs to have a quick laydown before, they're let loose on the mighty Monza track.

We've also met one of GramPys cousins GP0596 complete with checkmate stripes

A night in Monza

We arrived in Monza amd had a great lunch in The St George restaurant in the middle of Monza's massive park

Now its back to the Hotel Habitat to get ready for tonights formal lunch at the Monza racecurcuit before (hopefully) getting a few laps in, on the world famous track

Journey to Monza

With 169 miles to Monza and our next hotel, most of the cars had an early start to meet the 12.30 target time. A group of us have decided to travel along together, with a game of bingo. Crossing of the numbers of those cars that we pass on the way.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Table of glass

Tonights the first formal dinner on the job. One of the MINI2 tables seem to have had their fair share of wine, kindly donated by the Santome winery, who we visited earlier in the week.

Jack had another great day, hitching a ride with Keith, (a classic Mini owner) around Adria racetrack, who helped to raise £250 for the Italian Job Charity last night and paid for the honour of having QQ Jack as a guest for the day.

Don't forget you can help Jack to raise more for the charity by clicking on the donate button.

Help Jack to help others, every donation counts.

MINI2 Group picture

With the track and special stages complete, we took the opportunity to get some pictures of just some of the New MINIs on the job this year

Adria Circuit

After todays first special stage, the Jobbers get a chance to a few laps of the track.

Although the pace felt quite leisurely, we did get up 80mph on parts of the track.

Now for the second special stage. Drive in a figure 8 in exactly 12 seconds

And its all for Charity

After last nights auction team 16, have been sponsored to do todays stages in their boxer shorts. There's a definite nip in the air today and the guys are in a classic, with no heated seats!

Jack raires more than an kilt

Keith from team 48 paid .£250 to look after Jack tomorrow. Thank you

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Having a blast

With the days run done, a couple of MINI2ers have taken the opportunity to take on the mountains in the wonderful Autumn sunshine.

We've got to the top of Mount Grappa (1775 metres) and all QQ Jack wanted to do was play in the snow.

Day 2

After last nights drinkathon we've set out on todays route. First stop of the day is to a local orphanage to drop off some toys to the children, before setting off for Asolo.

We've spotted a new Fiat 500 for sale but non on the road yet.

Friday, October 26, 2007

MINI2ers Macarena

Drinking Time Again

Mandy Moo, QQ Jack and his new pal Mr Bridger having a few drinks after the first days run,

Mini2er in the lead at today is Debs and Nibs (aka Tommy) in 2nd place in the Navigational. How did they do that?

Theres a great attendance from MINI2, with 4 GPs and Dav52 and Biglove making a surprise appearance!

1st Stage

We've all arrived safely at the first stage, and after a hearty meal of various cheeses followed by pasta, its time for the special stages. The first consisting of tackling a coures whilst the navigator holds a tray of balls steady.

2007 Italian Job

After a mad dash from Bled we've arrived at Quarto D'altino.

Unfortunitely the weathers a bit wet but that wont stop the runners and riders from emjoying themselves.

First stop today, the Windery at Santome. I hope that duck behaves

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Where all roads lead to nowhere. Well we've eventually arrived in Bled after an eventful journey. With no Satnav coverage and the non existence of decent road signs(even significant towns like Bled) it is extremelx difficult to fimd your way round this part of the World. This made the journey very stressful but really was worth the effort to enter Slovinia by the Loibhpass. This is one of the most beautiful passes that we have tackled this year. And madd even more wonderful with the trees in their Autumn colours.

We're going to make an early start tomorrow to get out of Slovinia and hopefully make The Italian Job deadline of 11am

Sulking at the Solk

We've tried to get through the Solk Pass, but the road is closed.
Unfortunately, although there is beautiful warm sun today, there must have been a recent heavy fall of snow and the plough don't seem to have got through.

QQ Jack took the opportunity to make a snow man. Although, i would have, thought a snow duck would have been more appropriate, but i think he wanted to get to the next hotel, as mentioned something about putting the last of the Chodova beer on ice!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Alls Wels

Well we've arrived in Wels after tackling a hectic Linz.

At first sight the town isn't that impressive, however, a short stroll down some of the little alleys, and the town begins to reveal some wonderful gems of architecture.

The town has an excellent sellection of shops and plenty of small coffee bars.

After last nights massive eat and drinkathon, we're staying in tonight with half a ton of cheese and bread that we bought earlier and the excellent beer from the Chodovar Brewery.

HIC, i hope that duck behaves himself tonight!

Southern Czech Republc

Yep its seriously snowing here, and the temperature is constantly dropping. However, the drive through all the woods and hillsides is beautiful.

We've stopped off in Volyne for some coffee and Honey cake, and all for about £3.

Now we're off to Vyssi Brod and Austria.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chodova Brewery and Hotel

WOW what g magnificent time we've had today. This hotel has everything on site.

Great hotel
Interesting museum tour
Relaxing beer spa with therapys
Fabulous restaurant with the hugest plates of food.
And beautiful wooded countryside surrounding it.

If you want sample a small bit of eastern Europe, then Hotel U Sladka is most definitely a must.

We cant thank Jiri (our host) enough for the wonderful time we've had here. We just wish we had more time to sample more beers, more therapys and to work through the amazing menu at the restaurant.

A jolly good ducking

After our very speedy trek across Germany we've made it to the Czech Rebublic.

We have booked in for our beer spa and as is usual now Jack was there to test the quality of the beer bath.

It's snowing!

We've had a massive blast on the Autobahns, but only managed 140mph today. As we approach the Czech Border, we've stopped of at the Golden Arches (Mc Donalds) and the last Shell garaged to get some 100 octane V-Power.

The weathers definitely getting colder and up in the hills we've been driving through snow.


Frosty start

After a great evening, with plenty of beer consumed, we've woken to a heavy frost.

For the duckwatch crew, QQ Jack had another fabulous evening so he's having a bit of sleep (i'm beginning to think that duck has a drink problem)

We've decided to get an early start as we've got over 300 miles ahead of us to get to Jiri's beer spa in the Czech Republic.

A few stats

292 miles covered
55 mph average speed
30.3 mpg average conrumption

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ouch first casualty of the Job

Caught up with Micheal Caine and Ian, team 21, at Nurburgring. They got hit in the back on the way up to the ferry ARGH.

We managed to miss a spin on the ring by 5 mins.ARGH2

Andy and Nat have arrived at the German Austrian Border and apparently its 0 degrees and snowing. ARGH3

Back in Brugge

Only 4 months and we!re back at the Gruuthuse Hof in Brugge for some of their superb mussels.
We managed to get an earlier ferry so we decided to stop off for some chocolates on the way.

It's a glorious warm day here, and although there's a chill in the air, its wonderful walking around watching the horse and carriages.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

First drink of the Italian Job

So Chrisandjax insisted that i come to the bar with them. They assured me that the double vodka was a traditional drink to have before taking on the English Channel. As i'm not used to such a long distance on water, i agreed to have one. Hic

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Slight detour

After taking a wrong turn, a group of us have ended up on a dirt track leading to Cilla Black's house.

Now there's a surprise, surprise.

Middlesex MINI Maniacs

A spur of the moment kind of thing, but we decided to grab one more run, before we set off on the Italian Job next Sunday.

With nearly 20 cars in attendance, it's great to see so many new faces as well as the regulars.

As with most MMM meets there's a loose itinerary to take in a few of the local sites.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Rear View

And the secret in the boot... for a spare tyre!
Yep underneath the boot storage space is another space to carry a spare.

Get ready to ditch those run-flats on your Traveller.

Ready for the Red

The new Clubman in Nightfire Red with silver roof.

Feelin blue!

The Clubman in its Cooper S guise.

Even enough room for the Mighty Sham

The new Clubman was thoroughly tested by the Mini2 regulars today, and I can confirm that the extra 80mm of legroom makes all the difference. We even managed to get 3 of the biggest characters (Poppet, Big Jon and Rakey) in the back seat!!

Umm.. Chocolate

The new colour that will be exclusive to the R55, a rather fetching metallic brown called Hot Chocolate.

Proud owner to be

Chris is expecting his any day, but his delivery date has now been put back to December

A classic reception

This is a magnificent modified classic, with gold bullion paintwork down the sides and signed on the bonnet by Michael Caine.

Oxford services

A group of us have met up for a quick coffee before making our way to the plant.