All the teams on the Black Sea Run gathered in the center of Budapest on Saturday morning for the official start of the rally. There are 11 cars this year who are hoping to make it to the finish line in Ukraine in two weeks which is over 3000 kilometers and 10 countries away from the starting line. Sometimes the cars travel together in convoy, but most days it’s a free for all, so cars are free to explore different places and get lost as often as they please. After mixing in breakdowns, confusion, and people getting lost, it works out that about 50% of the teams make it to the target spot each night.
The first day included some long distance driving as we headed south from Budapest towards the Croatian island of Pag. Pag is known for its famous Zrce Beach, which is packed with beach clubs and has become one of the most famous party-places in the world. Mature adults would be horrified that Croatia has allowed such a beautiful beach to be defaced by jumbo sound systems, swimming pools, dance floors, intelligent lighting systems, and go-go dancer stages. That explains why there are no mature adults here, and also why we think it deserves its reputation as a premier party spot.
We intended to leave Pag yesterday morning, but because everybody woke up with raging headaches and couldn’t get out of bed, it was early afternoon before the first cars started rolling. Most of the cars headed to Dubrovnik, which is the Croatian tourist town that we went to with Tamarisk several times in the past few weeks. So we’re diverting our own route and headed into Bosnia for something different tonight. Bosnia is a huge country but only has a few short miles of coastline, so they pack it full with hotels and millionaire’s homes. We’ve fallen behind the other cars but we should have no problem making back our 100km deficit tomorrow.