4 times across Turkey – announcing the POI Rally Joint Runner Up
“All ready to head to the border of Iran, we went to the Iranian Consulate in [Turkey] to collect our visas only to be told they can’t be issued because 2 of us have been rejected.
“What’s the option with 1 week left before the finish line closes in Georgia? Will we just pop over to Georgia and finish the rally? Absolutely not!
“We’ll drive 2,300kms in the wrong direction all the way back across Turkey to Romania because it’s the most inconvenient thing to do!”
Meet Team Red Hot Jazzapenos, Runners Up in the Poles of Inconvenience Rally 2022. Eoghan, Maeve and Mark from Ireland win £250 off their next adventure.
They reached a massive 21 Poles of Inconvenience during the rally, plus a noble failure trying to get to POI #12 – the Road of Doom in Albania. So they self certified a final tally of 21.75 POIs – the highest number recorded by any of the 90 teams taking part.
They drove 23,000kms through 22 countries with three humans squashed into a 1.2 litre Honda Jazz. And they raised €3,895 for charity.
Here’s why the judges awarded the prize to this gloriously stubborn team…
“We had to make the difficult decision to turn back and endure 25km of shit all the way back to the main road”
They were lightly pummelled by POI #13 – the Zelengora Pass in Bosnia & Herzegovina – describing it as “a joke … 50km of roads filled with rocks and loose gravel climbs. Not a place for a Honda Jazz filled with 4 people and all their gear which is exactly why we were there.”
Then their failed attempt on POI #12 over the border in Albania and really shit cooking tested their patience:
“The Road of Doom in Albania is the worst road on the rally in our opinion. The 40+ degrees didn’t help either which is possibly the cause of the phantom petrol smell we couldn’t figure out. Made it 4km from the POI before the Jazz got beached and we had to make the difficult decision to turn back and endure 25km of shit all the way back to the main road.
“Once we made the brutal 20km crawl back to tarmac, Albania absolutely floored us with the most incredible roads through mountain gorges with nothing but lakes, twistys and wild turtles for hours.
“Did our good deed for the day by donating one of our spare tyres to a stranded German couple in a rental with a puncture & no spare tyre. And just to punish ourselves for not getting all the way to the Albanian pole we cooked dinner that was absolutely inedible.”
“We made our way back across Turkey for the 4th time in a month.”
Turkey is a big country. Driving across it once in a crap tiny car would probably be enough for most people. But not the inconvenience seeking heroes of the Red Hot Jazzapenos team. Oh no, these fine folks criss-crossed it 4 times. Here’s what happened:
“Drove to South East Turkey which is so unnecessarily out of the way to conquer the dead end of Glory. Drove to Bayburt and tackled death road where we stopped to play a bit of footie.
“Pierced the side wall of our front tyre on the way down from the POI near death road so had to swap that out in the clouds on a grade 1 corker of a road with beautiful crumbling-fall-to-your-death edges.”
“We also cooked the brakes coming down the hill after changing the tyre so changed them in the car park of the campsite which the owner was delighted about.
“Drove to Ani in East Turkey to the spooky tea spot where apparently no one lives. That is a lie.”
This was the point they got rejected from Iran and decided to drive in the wrong direction. Away from the finish line. Because of their genius.
“Got to Romania in 2 days. Conquered 3 poles including through the hills which ended up being 6.5 hrs of rock, gravel, driving in the wrong direction to the wrong side of the lake, finished off with endless miles of a pot hole rodeo!
“Left Romania ->> Back across Turkey for the 3rd time to get to the finish line at 5.15pm on 6th August.”
“We were not satisfied & wanted more”
After reaching the finish line they couldn’t resist a sneaky detour in Georgia to POI #42.
“Battled what we consider to be the second most brutal road on the rally up to the Zagari Pass. Road size pools of water, followed by dry river beds, followed by flowing river beds, followed by the steepest loose gravel climbs & finished with a swarm of wasps, Lovely.”
When they eventually headed back across Turkey for the last time they still couldn’t bring themselves to head home in a sensible, convenient manner.
“We made our way back across Turkey for the 4th time in a month and with a desire to finish strong, we headed to Serbia to get our last POI.”
“Since the Jazz was still alive after >21,000kms, we decided to try and abuse it further by taking it to none other than the most demanding racetrack in the world – The Nurburgring. Unfortunately for the story, we didn’t bin it but did witness other like-minded individuals binning it!
“The Mighty Jazz somehow made it home to Ireland & is now sitting in the driveway raring to go & waiting to be released on its next adventure.”
We salute you, Red Hot Jazzapenos – worthy Runners Up of the Poles of Inconvenience 2022.
Follow the team and find more photos and videos on their instagram: @team_redhotjazzapenos
More prize winners and the overall Champion will be announced over the next few days.
FULL LIST OF POIs SNAGGED
The three word addresses below with each POI are nuggets of pure genius created by our chums over at what3words – the revolutionary new approach to mapping.
POI #10 – UK – Duncansby Lighthouse – fail.illogical.awestruck
POI #2 – UK – Bealach na Ba – folks.secrets.parked
POI #5 – UK – Breast High Road – chapels.repeating.dolphins
POI #6 – UK – Rudland Rigg Byway – cookie.exulted.manual
POI #1 –UK – Strata Florida – compress.dumplings.centrally
POI #4 – UK – Foder Green, Green Lane – dumpling.jumbo.overheat
POI #3 – UK – Salisbury Plains – portfolio.brain.novelist
POI #47 – Czechia – Package Holidays – facing.rememberance.renderings
POI #45 – Czechia – Flatscreen Paradise – unburied.smashes.palace
POI #46 – Czechia – Is that a skull in your CPU? – rejected.calming.nice
Official Launch party – Czechia – perhaps.dress.radicals
POI #13 – Bosnia – Zelengora Pass – gooseberry.enticingly.applied
POI #12 (nearly) – Albania – Road of Doom – spaceport.unsupervised.obeyed
POI #48 – Turkey – Dead End of Glory – bidders.shrivels.rainbow
POI #18 – Turkey – Bayburt of Yolu – telemetry.follicles.tellers
POI #50 – Turkey – Spooky Tea Spot – touchingly.joined.farmyard
POI #24 – Romania – Forest Chaos – sidelines.glory.layouts
POI #25 – Romania – Pole of Toxicity – plop.levitating.phosphorus
POI #25 – Romania –Through the hills – choral.multigrain.intolerance
Finish Line – Georgia – Soviet Auto Museum – melon.unstable.moved
POI #42 – Georgia – Zagari Pass – jubilantly.choosy.rebellion
POI #52 – Serbia – Twisty Track Tribute – umbilical.weathers.earring