On the 13th of October it was again time for the annual DoDa
Of all the rallies in the 'circuit' of the Dutch Mini Seven Club, this is one of my favorite.
It's a nighttime rally using the 'dot-arrow' system, driven on
small country roads and partly on dirt roads.
Even when the weather is fine, like it was again this year, it's a lot of fun, but when, oh joy, it also rains and the dirt roads turn into muddy roads, the Mini-trashing part of me comes out even more.
As she hadn't been able to join us during the NMM 2001, Susan (again a
former colleague of mine :) had claimed the navigator chair for
I picked her up from the trainstation, after which we went out for a bite to eat. After that (enjoyable) dinner, it was time to head off and check if other Dutch Mini List listers had assembled at a parking lot close-by. It looked like they hadn't so we drove off (and Susan dozed off. Don't know what it is that people fall asleep in my Van :). Turned out later that others _had_ been at the meeting point. I just didn't see them (it's so easy to miss a couple of small Mini's on a large parkinglot :).
Before the start we met a couple of listers and read the instructions, which proved to be straight forward; find some small signs on the side of the road and write those down on your sheet.
The rally itself was very straight forward. A bit to
straightforward for my liking. Although you have ample time to
finish, I do enjoy to keep things going. At times this meant
overtaking others in the grass next to the road, but this only
contributed to the fun. Unfortunately the weather was good and no
dirt roads found along the way, so no real off-roading this time
We tried following Manon & Rob around, but found we lost them (not our way around ! :) fairly early on. They did help us to some gear I'd forgotten to bring along, like a flashlight. With lots of Mini's driving around in the country-side, coming to you from left, right and center, in the dark, you get sort of a Twilight Zone feeling :)
Half way, at a manned checkpoint, we'd only seen two signs.
Our guess was we must have missed a couple (So what else is new
While stopping there (you have to be relaxed when doing such a rally, otherwise you can get in a frenzy, specially if you take it all too seriously :), a couple of Mini's drove up displaying the List-logo. Turned out to be fairly new listers, some of whom it was very nice to meet in person :)
During the rest of the rally we didn't see many other signs, probably because we were focussing on driving/navigating and having fun more then anything else. Consequently we arrived at the finish way to early with a largely empty sheet. This time around we waited though and chatted to some other Miniacs till it was time to finish.We thus finished in 'perfect time' and after hanging out at the bar for a bit, chatting with the other Miniacs (yes, mostly about Mini's :) we learned that of all those that had finished, we had finished 29th, which even brought us a championship point!
On the way home one of us dozed off again, but the rest of the night we had a good time chatting about life & relationships (hmm, do I see a pattern here ? :)
All in all, again a lot of fun. I most likely will be there again next time.