Peking to Paris – Arriving in Paris
- 25th July 2007, 10:48am
Greg Paul and his team have finally made it to the finish of their epic marathon from Peking to Paris, but even the last stage into Paris wasn't plain sailing!
Day 38 - the final day!! Some apprehension was evident this morning as we prepared for the last 40km leg into the Paris finish point, the Eiffel Tower.
Some of the group, including ourselves, were sorry to see this fantastic trip coming to an end. Others were ready to return home to loved ones and normality. Some were obviously just happy to make it to the end, having achieved what we set out to do in the first place.
Some of the cars were running on borrowed time and some, like our two Fiats, were running better than when we started the journey! The VW Kombi had starting issues, having stripped off ring gear teeth, the Saab had a disconnected front shock absorber which had been destroying top mounts and breaking up the inner guard. Clutch problems had also given the Ridley/Matheson crew some sleepless nights from day 1. The Capri and Volvo had run well and endured the rugged roads well, having suffered only ignition and bent rim issues.
The last part of the journey into the Eiffel Tower did prove to be a final test, as suspected.
We found ourselves on a very congested “Paris Peripherique” southbound, heading for the Port Dauphine exit which would take us via some well know Paris landmarks. At this point the grand plan of all the cars arriving in convoy at the Eiffel Tower fell to pieces. Three of the team missed the exit in the busy traffic and had to use their own resources to navigate to our finish point. The rest of us negotiated our way around the Arc de Triomphe and drove down a busy Champs d’Eleysee. We crossed the Seine River and found enough available car parks to assemble the cars with the very imposing Eiffel Tower in the background. The rest of the group arrived some 15 minutes later.
Needless to say, lots of celebratory photos were taken for the personal history books.
We had arrived at our final destination at 12.15 pm as planned several months previously. The finish was not a wild celebration but rather a mood of satisfaction and accomplishment, having completed such an ambitious challenge.
Our sincere thanks to our loyal sponsors, supporters, families and friends, all of who will be acknowledged when we return to normality. Without the support of these people, this ambitious challenge would not have been possible.
Greg, Daryl, Geoff and Dallas.
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