Barcelona 2022: Barbie Boats, Pirates, Ducks and kissing bald heads!
We rolled into Rouen for the first time post-pandemic to start a rally that had been postponed for 3 years. With the theme for the evening 'strip', most teams opted for footballers, rugby, cheerleaders - but one team decided to think literally and turned up as strippers, much to the amusement to the hundreds of French students out celebrating their last day of term.
The start line was populated with a brilliant line-up of cars including a highland cow, a Honda dressed as a DeLorean a matching pair of BMWs carrying a full crew of pirates. The peace and tranquility of the Friday morning was only slightly disturbed as Team Wreck Dwarf turned up blowing smoke and a bright pink Zafira full of barbies arrived - towing a boat!
It was the first time we had a boat arrive on a rally - towed all the way from Newcastle. Unfortunately, it was also the first time that we had scrapped a boat on a rally as the tow bar failed before the team had even crossed the start line. So close, yet so far!
The start line
The teams rallied (not raced!) away clutching day one challenges and headed through the French countryside towards our first pit stop at the Le Mans visitors centre.
The afternoon saw teams navigate the Bordeaux wine region, as well as hunting for silly items including golf teas, fotune cookies and an Ikea tape measure. It was a long but rewarding day and we regrouped in the evening to enjoy some live music and sample some of the local wine!
Only a few teams got their hands on an Ikea tape measure!
Most teams were early to bed to prepare for day two and an early start on the outskirts of Rouen.
More teams ready to roll!
We headed South to the gateway of the Pyrenees, the city of Pau. The spectacular scenary made the perfect pit stop for lunch before we headed into the national parks and the winding climb to Andorra La Vella.
If the scenery wasn't enough, teams continued to battle it out for the coveted trophies by completing more of our daily challenges. Today's included images of boxing, barbers chairs and a home made mustache.
We had spectacular weather to drive up the mountain passes to Andorra and arrived just as the sun set behind the mountains. This tiny corner of the world is very special and every team had their own unique Andorra experience. The night saw the birth of a new rally celebrity - a plastic duck that narrowly avoided permanent residency and safely returned to Blighty.
Barcelona is just a short 3hr drive from Andorra using the incredible Collada De Toses road and teams were up bright and early to put their bangers to the test on what of Europe's great driving roads.
The excitement of the twists and turns (and suicidal cows on the road!) soon turned to flat freeway and the final sprint towards Barcelona. With the sun shining down the impressive cityscape soon appeared on the horizon. Now it was just the simple case of navigating the city centre to find the finish line!
Finding the beach was easy, our regular car parked was blocked due to planned demonstrations. Therefore our finish line ended up a mix of beach and underground car park!
As usual, we gathered all our teams together on Sunday evening to celebrate a brilliant few days together. Some danced, some drank - and some disappeared into the dark streets of Barcelona!
Celebrations in Barcelona
Well done to all our teams! Thank you all for taking part, it was amazing.
We are back baby!
Champions: Queen Anne's BM
Runners-up: Wreck Dwarf
Best Dressed Team: Queen Anne's BM
Best Dressed Car: Barbielona
Best Team Spirit
Fancy giving it a go?! Find out more at www.bustrallies.com