We have watched car after car breakdown over the event. Some have retired while others have managed to be repaired and continue. We reckon that no less than 30 cars have withdrawn from the event for some reason or another. We have been careful not to be too smug as the problems we have had with the Dodge have been minor until yesterday when it was our turn. While driving up a steep hill we suddenly pulled up with the engine making a terrible noise! The rally mechanics felt that the one of the ‘little ends’ had blown and that the rally was over for us. As luck would have it before the tow truck could get to us a local Turkish man stopped and towed us to a basic mechanics shop in a very small settlement nearby. To cut to the chase we discovered a bent valve which we replaced and 24 hours later we were back on the road nursing the car along for a 1000km to catch up to the main fleet. Unfortunately today we have discovered that the noise we are hearing in the engine maybe due to a damaged a piston or in fact the little end is loose. This has resulted in a substantial loss of power in the Dodge and may yet result in us pulling out of the event. We have only 3,500km to go and this would be a great shame – we are crossing our fingers that we will make it to Paris – we can almost smell the coffee! An interesting day with the mechanics and I spent the afternoon with the mechanics wife in their small home. She spoke no English but we managed to do a lot of giggling! They very kindly invited us for dinner with the family (they had 2 small boys), which was wonderful and she had gone to quite a lot of trouble making chicken, rice and salad. A tiny, minimalistic but very clean home.