Featured on the same page as the Pope, we are told, in the Japanese press.
Welcome Kojiro, joining Chris for the final leg of the journey after rescuing Babushka. Enormous thanks to Kojiro and his family for their kindness and support.
In case you are wondering about the Sputnik numbering system (invented by Ilya, who explained that it translates as someone on the same path – a travelling companion) Chris decided to reallocate according to order of travel since Corsham. So, #1 Arthur, #2 Helen, #3 Ilya, #4 Will, #5 Judi, #6 Kojiro.
This nine minute video with closed captions captures Chris’s welcome into Sakaiminato and the setting up of the TV news filming and administration process.
Poor Babushka started to struggle going up the Japanese hills. Initially Chris thought it might be the fuel, but the problem persisted. On the roadside he checked everything he could think of, then eventually Sputnik 6 (Kojiro) arranged breakdown assistance to a garage where the mechanics also checked all the possible causes for the loss of power. They thought maybe it was a piston or a piston ring but could do no more. Kojiro got up at 5.00am to collect Babushka and trailer her to his family’s workshop – a six hour round trip! He and his family are familiar with Austins as they have two! They all helped to identify the problem – the head gasket – which they replaced. They refused to take any money for the work, saying that they had heard of the journey and felt it was their destiny to be part of it. It appears that they have actually put the project back on the road at the final moment – Chris is due to take part in a Mount Fuji photoshoot before driving the last couple of hundred kilometres to TOKYO! At last!
The penultimate video chapter in this epic journey sees Chris and Judi finally arrive in Vladivostock and the boarding of the ferry to Sakaiminato for the final leg to the opening match of the World Cup. Babushka and Chris made across Siberia with the help and support of many new Russian friends
Chapter Eight of Chris Blakey’s epic adventure travelling to the Rugby World Cup in a 1937 Austin across Siberia. This video chapter covers the trip from Lake Baikal to Novobureyskiy. During this journey, Sputnik2 (Will Leith) made his scheduled departure by train to Chita for a flight home and Chris was joined by fellow adventurer Judi Zebedee, a former solo round the world cyclist. There was almost a an end to the adventure when one of the rear wheels came off near Mogocha but help was at hand !!!