All posts by planfmongol

Plan F-Stival 2015 – Sunday 14th June

Plan F-Stival 2014 - We gained a man and raised £1000!
Plan F-Stival 2014 – We gained a man and raised £1000!

Our humble little home-spun music festival in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Once again we’ll have a fully stocked bar, a wonderous array of barbecued delights, a cake stand, and of course, more live music than you can shake a stick at.

Due to a couple of scheduling issues it’s taken a little while to set the date, but we are now go go go – Sunday 14th June – that’s a little less than three weeks away!

For those coming from afar, limited camping/floors to crash on are available, and arriving on the Saturday is fine as long as you don’t mind being pressganged into the festival montage team.

As in previous years, there’s a suggested donation of £5, which includes a beer and a sausage. If you can let us know if you’re coming that’d be great, to get a idea of numbers for logistical reasons.

Hope to see you all there,

Plan F & Friends

For more details check us out on Facebook or contact Alan on 07708381460 or at alanhempton@gmail.com

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Day 8 (For Dave): Batumi – Tbilisi, Georgia

I woke up feeling pretty good, Alan on the other hand, not so much, he had a pretty bad headache and was sick numerous times before we were able to leave the hotel this morning. Today was a sad day, I would be leaving the guys in Tbilisi as they continued on to Baku in Azerbaijan. The visa issue had not been resolved and so it was impossible for me to enter the country without waiting for my Azeri visa. I am gutted, this was not how the rally was supposed to be, I was looking forward to getting to Baku as for me, that is where the rally really begins, that’s where we were all supposed to meet Gilbey and thats where we were all supposed to get the ferry to Turkmenistan to see the Gates of Hell etc. This was now not going to happen and unfortunately, though I have been dreaming of visiting the Gates of Hell for quite a few years now, it would seem that this is not going to happen, not for now anyway.

I offered up my services as lead driver for the day knowing the Al and Don were planning on doing an overnighter so that they could be in Baku with time to meet Gilbey before going to the Turkmenistan embassy first thing tomorrow morning. It was a long, hot and very sweaty drive up and over the mountains avoiding crazy Georgian drivers and trying not to A) over heat the engine and B) not set the brakes on fire like we almost did in Germany! I soon adapted my style of driving to fit with the locals when I over took two trucks whilst driving around a blind bend based solely on the fact that I hadn’t seen anything coming in the distance when I did have a view, Don turned to me and said “Well Dave, you’re a Georgian driver now man!” yes, yes I am!

Arriving in Tbilisi some 8hrs later the guys dropped me off on Rustaveli, the main street in Tbilisi before I signed the roof rack wishing them luck and we had a little goodbye for now moment. I turned my back on them and walked off up the street, I didn’t look back, I couldn’t, I was gutted to be leaving them. I managed to find myself a room at Boombully hostel just up the road from where the guys left me, dropped my bags, and went straight out for a beer! Found a bar that sold beers for 65p and so had a few of those before returning to the hostel to scrub myself up a bit and go out for the night. I figured I’d make the most of my time here if I was going to be stranded here for a few days!

Day 7: Trabzon, Turkey – Batumi, Georgia

After a pretty crap night in Trabzon we were all a little slow at getting ready and leaving this morning, you could tell that the bad news and lack of beers had knocked some of the enthusiasm out of us all and so eventually we all got our shit together loaded the car up and got the hell out of Trabzon, todays plan was to enter Georgia and drive to Tbilisi.

It was a relatively short drive to the Georgian border and as we came out of the tunnel we could see Georgian immigration right in front of us, great! The police quickly pissed all over our parade as they used their PA system to shout at us in Turkish to join the back of the queue. We turned the corner and saw that the queue doubled back and went on for miles, we knew then we were in for a long one! Things could have been worse though, we were parked right next to the Black Sea, the sun was shining and there was the prospect of beers on the other side of the border!! Slowly but steadily we moved up the queue with the Turks shouting “Yanesh, Yanesh” which we understood to mean “Closer, Closer” – we got pretty close to the car in front but the friendly Turk in the car behind wasn’t happy until his car was physically touching ours, only then was he happy he was close enough, he didn’t damage either car though and we just kept laughing at him and he seemed to think it was pretty funny too. Whilst in the queue, Don befriended a local Turk who for $100 said he could get us straight to the front of the queue as his uncle was in charge of the border, we politely declined the offer and chose to wait it out like the rest of the people. We also met Jalal, a nice guy from Baku in Azerbaijan who was on his way back there to meet his family, he spoke really good english so we asked him about Baku and asked if he knew anything about getting visas at the border to which he said, sadly not. Bugger, thats Plan B out the window! I got bored of the queuing and went for a swim, Al got bored of the driving and so we left Rob in charge of the car and just took the handbrake off and pushed it every time we heard the shout of “Yanesh, Yanesh”.

Eventually we made it to the front of the queue and were told that only one person could take the car over the border, the other two would have to cross on foot. Never happy to leave one man alone in a situation that could involve extortion, rape and the potential refusal of entry Don and I made the decision to leave Alan to it and got out, he was the sacrificial lamb in this instance. Luckily there were no issues and Alan, Don and I all entered Georgia without anyone entering us!

We had spent so much time at the border queuing that by now it had gotten pretty late so we took the decision to get a room in Batumi, so that we could have these beers we missed out on the previous day and boy did we have some beers!! Beers, beers, Don’s donkey rides, more beers, even more beers, befriending a Greek ambassador and his Serbian girlfriend, vodkas, further beers, dancing in fountains and then finally a bit of vomit from Alan before we all hit the hay having well and truly made up for the lack of beer the day before. We loved Batumi!