John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985


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Colchester - Joannina

The plan for the day was to make Munich where accommodation and showers had been arranged. The route Nigel had planned was via Stuttgart, but as this would have meant trying to get a convoy across Munich I suggested that as the overnight stop was on the Nuremburg side of Munich, it would be better if we went via Frankfurt and Wurzburg. I also suggested that I went in front and try and pull the convoy along, as we could not continue the way we had the first day. He agreed with me.

That settled we set off with the minibus bringing up the rear and myself as leader. All went well for a couple of hours with me listening to the other guys chatting away on the CB when all of a sudden P & O called out on the CB to me. Do you have a CB handle Anglo Greek? I replied that on the Greek run I was known as the Colonel. Back came this booming voice in a sarcastic tone. Get him " The Colonel". I kept quiet and thought to myself that here we had a comedian and before the trip was finished I am sure I would get my own back. Then we lost "Cornflake" and "Fat man". We stopped and waited for an hour, but they did not come along so we decided to push on to Munich. We parked up on a service area and caught a taxi to where we were having our showers and meal. After the meal we made our way back to the trucks for a good nights sleep.

In the morning, there was still no sign of them. Eleven “o’clock” and they come sweeping into the service area, looking as if they had not washed or slept. The delay was caused because the BRS truck got a puncture and the minibus stopped to help. I still cannot believe that they called in BRS European rescue to change a wheel. Still, they are only treating this as an adventure. Then Nigel fell over the Armco whilst taking a photograph of the wheel being changed and ended up in hospital with a broken leg. It was if that was par for the course.

Nigel, now with his leg in plaster, said there was no problem because we only had to make Rimini for that nights stop. When I mentioned that there was a small non- EEC country called Austria, between Italy, and us he admitted that he did not realise that Aid convoys were subject to the same controls other than the possibility of free passage through the Brenner Pass. After a fairly long day we finally made Rimini and parked up on the service area at Montefeltro.

The following day proved to be nice and orderly as we made Bari and embarked on the Ventouris Ferry for Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland. By this time, Nigel was discussing with me everything relevant to the route. His plan was to disembark at Igoumenitsa and drive to Korce. Albania. Where we would unload. When I said this was impossible and explained that it would take at least two and quarter hours to reach Joannina. A distance of 93 kilometres away because it was all up, he decided that it would be best if we stayed at Joannina for the night and send the minibus up to the border to see if we would be allowed to enter Albania the following day, which just happened to be May 1.

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