Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Lada Legend: The Colonel Goes West - Part Twelve

The drive along the Dalmatian coast has to be one of the most picturesque in the world. And thanks to a new freeway that runs inland all the way to Zagreb, you encounter significantly fewer cars. We were lucky to have perfect weather as we skirted the Adriatic, passing small, tile-roofed hamlets. At one point we stopped to take the iconic Lada photo: the three us, next to the car, proving to the world that we made it to the Adriatic Sea.

Our destination on this day was Kastela Stari just outside Split. The next day we'd drive it to downtown Split and then figure out what to do with the Colonel. We had some options:

1. Viking Funeral - put it on a ferry, light the Colonel on fire, scream, and then attempt to push the car off the ferry into the water as a way of saving the ferry from disaster.

2. Drive it off a cliff - pretty self-explanatory, but the key here is that we could video tape it and use it as a great finish to a Lada thriller.

3. Beach send-off - drive it onto the big beach that was used to accommodate the Pope's visit, take tons of pictures, and then just walk away.

4. Leave it on the island - put it on the ferry to the island of Hvar, find a field, park, write a note saying that the car runs well and someone should take it, leave the key, and walk away.

As fun as the first two would have been, the environmentally-concious part of us just couldn't justify the pollution. Number three was attractive, however we figured there might be too many people around. The last option was ideal because it would give us a chance to drive around the island of Hvar and find an adequate resting place for the ol' boy.

They say the best laid plans often go awry. We were all set to go early the next morning except for one small problem: the car wouldn't start. Bump starting didn't work either. There we were pushing the car up and down a narrow street. Everytime a car needed to get by, we'd push the Colonel off to the side, let the car pass, and then push it back out onto the street. We tried this for a while, but all our efforts proved futile. Perhaps it was the Colonel telling us that island desertion was not something he had in mind.

Ok, time for a new plan. Take the license plates and any other identification marks off the car and just walk away. It was perfect until we realized we didn't have a wrench small enough to remove the plates. So off we went looking for the proper wrench. It took a while, but we eventually found one. Back at the car, we removed what we needed, said our silent goodbyes, and then walked off. In many ways it was a fitting end to a car that had treated us so well.

That concludes the story of how we got the Colonel 4000km from Baku to Split, Croatia. The next and final edition of "The Lada Legend" will be an ode to our car and everyone that helped make it what it was.

2 Comments:

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Your memory is insane, Lighty. Insane.

 
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