On the 13th CMC IL/DL was kind enough to give me a wake-up call at 5am, just to make sure I would arrive in time at the meeting point. Got up, packed the last couple of things, fueled up and left.
On the way to the meeting point near the Dutch/Belgian border I passed CMC and Arjo, so I knew I would arrive on time :)
At the meeting point I fueled up again (the Van only can carry 25l) and waited for the others to arrive.
We had arranged to drive down to Calais to the ferry with some other DL's; CMC, Arjo, Erwin, Sten & Maarten and Henko.
After everyone had arrived, done their thing and I had the CB working and tested we set off for Calais.
As luck goes (it was Friday the 13th after all) we didn't get further than about 5km before we were diverted because of a traffic accident on the highway.
Driving over the 'small backroads' of Belgium turned out to be a bit testy for Sten's Mini, since some parts just hang on them instead of being actually attached to them. He didn't lose any vital part though :)
Since Arjo had just installed a new engine and got it running the evening before we didn't do much high speed highway cruising, although most of the Mini's in the convoy were set up to do so. By the time we reached the French border I got somewhat bored and decided to go an play a bit. As it turned out most of the others were game for that too.
We arrived at Calais at about 10:15 ample in time for the
11:15 crossing we were booked for.
Got a call from Boris Shapiro IL that he had arrived at the meeting point on the M25 and told him it would take some time before we would get there.
Apart from the shaking of the ferry (more than any of the Mini's do) and the fact that I really don't like these 'Roro' boats the rest of the crossing was pretty uneventful. Got off in Dover and drove to meet Boris at the services on the M25. Since he had to be back at Gatwick on Sunday morning he had arranged to hire a M*nd** which was therefor decorated with a 'My other car is a Mini' sticker. (BTW Boris, did you remember to take that off ?! :)
Drove up to Gaydon and met 'Andy from Belgium' IL on the carpark of the British Heritage Motor Centre (BHMC), just across the street from the IMM, as arranged earlier. Since no-one else turned up we went in and set-up camp next to a flock of Austrian's, right across from the guys I had been driving up with in the convoy and also close to Arnoud Bordewijk IL/DL.
As it turned out MTB was on another field altogether, but they found me none-the-less. And so did Greg Fripp and Marcel Chichak, of IL fame. Even though I'd thrown part of my bed in the back of the Van, just in case, the tent Boris brought for me from Israel came in very handy the rest of the week. It had started to rain a bit by that time, so in good IMM tradition the fields we were camping on, but specially the roads we had to use turned in to nice mudtracks. Not a problem for the Mini's as well as for the non-Mini's there :)
We had some dinner (or whatever you want to call dead meat) and set off to the party-tent together with Gaby & Klaus IL. Outside of the tent stood a couple of Mini-bins; Mini's with the roof taken off that could be used as bins. Some, not to be further identified, Miniacs sourced some usable parts on them :)
At about 21:30 and I had totally had it; getting up early doesn't seem to agree with me. So I left the party and it's 'unofficial' competitions; beercan stacking, highest flag hanging (won by a bra btw :), for what they were and headed back to the tent and went to sleep. I did wake up in the middle of the night and heard the Austrian neighbors singing and playing music on their accordions; felt like I was back on my winter-holiday again :) Fell back asleep and didn't wake up till the next morning.