With another whole days driving ahead to look forward to, it was an early breakfast in the hotel before hitting the road. Unlike the previous day’s eventful drive, the only thing eventful and challenging about this drive was that the roads really started to deteriorate quite rapidly, and trying to miss the endless amount of pot holes was our biggest challenge (so as not to wake Petro ‘sleeping beauty’ Chymera up) as we headed towards Mariupol.
The slag heaps began to get bigger and bigger as we got ever closer and passing the mining city of Donetsk and headed to Mariupol. Driving into the main square, we had now reached the half way point in terms of driving and got slightly lost as we had gone a little too far than we needed to in the city centre. Here were parked up in front of a hotel to ask for directions. The very helpful hotel porter directed as to where we needed to go. We got back into the car and then it happened. As soon as we got in, we heard a big bang. The four of us got out, and not knowing anything about engineering it looked as if the back of the car was sitting lower than normal.
Not sure on the extent of the damage caused and unable to leave the car where we were, we took a slow and steady ride to our apartment as the car started to make strange noises on any kind of bump. Deflated and not knowing what to do we got to our apartment where Stepan started reading the Haynes manual and was confident of fixing the suspension himself – Yeah Right! Not having a clue what he was reading or talking about we headed out for some dinner. A taxi that dropped us off on the sea front, we walked along the sea front before heading for dinner. Here we discussed our options for the car, and agreed that we would need to take it to a Renault garage in one of the ‘bigger’ cities, Donetsk being the closest, nearest city. This however would be done in the next few days.
After watching the football outside on a screen, vision hampered by the pole of the gazebo, we headed to a bar called ‘Sad’ before turning in for an early night as we were all tired and deflated from the drive and wanted to be ready for game day 2 the following day.